2014 NBA Draft Profile: Nik Stauskas
Nik Stauskas was named 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year and selected to the 2014 All-Big Team First Team by both the coaches and the media (he was the only unanimous selection for both teams). He became the eighth sophomore and 48th player at Michigan to reach 1,000 points and finished his career second all-time in free-throw percentage (83.16), fifth all-time in three-point field goal percentage (44.10) and eighth all-time in three-pointers made (172).
On Friday, June 20, Stauskas was one of six prospects to go through a pre-draft workout in front of Lakers brass at the team's practice facility. PHOTO GALLERY
Below is a transcription of his comments to assembled media members:
Q: On if he sees himself being a legitimate top 10 candidate in the NBA Draft:
Stauskas: I believe so. I think I offer a skill set that not many people have – the ability to really shoot it and put it on the floor and create for others. There’s parts of my game I’m working on, but offensively right now, I feel like there’s not a lot of people that can do what I do.
Q: On breaking the stereotype that he’s just a knockdown shooter:
Stauskas: I broke it a lot this year throughout my sophomore year (at Michigan). Obviously making that jump to the NBA, you’re going to have to prove yourself all over again against higher competition. Coming in, I’m on a fresh slate and I have to prove myself all over again.
Q: On what part of his game is ready for the NBA (outside his shot):
Stauskas: I think I’ve really developed my pick and roll play. I can make some really good reads and create for others as well as for myself. It’s putting myself in pick and rolls, putting the ball in my hands and letting me create. That’s something I’ve really improved in and I think I’m ready to do in the NBA.
Q: On his dad filming his games when he was younger and how that has played a role in his development as a player:
Stauskas: Before I even got to Michigan, I loved watching myself play and watching my games. Going to Michigan, coach (John) Beilein was huge on that. Every practice and every game we played, we watched every single clip. Film study has been key my whole life and moving forward, it’ll be the same.
Q: On how this entire pre-draft process has been for him personally:
Stauskas: Right now, I’m a little anxious to see where I’m going to go. It’s been two months, whether you’re working out on your own or you’re going to different cities and working out for teams. You get a little tired a bit, but this is your job now, and I’m excited to see where I land.
Q: On his canceled workout with the Lakers on June 4:
Stauskas: I hurt my shoulder that week so my agent didn’t want me going out feeling less than 100 percent so we just rescheduled for this week. I was glad they got some of these guys back today and I got to go against high competition.
Q: On how he injured his shoulder:
Stauskas: I think I just tweaked it and it took me about a week (to heal). There was a little swelling on the inside. Taking a week resting it and taking some Aleve and it got better.
Q: On his initial thoughts seeing the championship banners, retired jerseys and trophies overlooking the practice court:
Stauskas: This is a legendary place. A lot of great players have come through here and obviously this team has had a lot of success over the course of NBA history. Just to be here and workout for such a great team like the Lakers is an honor.
Stauskas finished fifth overall in lane agility time (10.79 seconds) and 11th among all guards in the shuttle run (2.92 seconds) and three quarter sprint (3.27 seconds).
"Stauskas didn't participate in the drills, but I'm not sure he really needed to. Everyone knows he's one of the elite shooters in the draft. He tested better than expected in the athletic portion, knocking off a good 35½ -inch vertical and an even better 10.79 score in the lane agility drills. He also measured at 6-6½ in shoes, which makes him one of the bigger 2-guards in the draft. The big question for him is: Can he prove to scouts that he can be a playmaker as well as a shooter?"
Other NBA Draft Combine Measurements
Standing Vertical Leap: 29.0 inches
Hand Length: 8.5 inches
Hand Width: 8.5 inches
Standing Reach: 8 feet, 6 inches
Wingspan: 6 feet, 7.75 inches
"Most NBA GMs and scouts consider him one of the best pure shooters in the draft. He has a super quick release on his jumper and can get it off against just about anywhere on the floor. In a league devoid of great shooters, Stauskas is an instant commodity. However, he's more than just a shooter. He has an excellent handle, can play the point in a pinch and has a high basketball IQ that allows him to score in other ways besides 3s. The only real knock on him is on the defensive end. He lacks the lateral quickness to guard most 2s at the next level."