Michigan guard Nik Stauskas led the Wolverines in scoring (17.5 points per game) and assists (118) as a sophomore. He is expected to make a surrounding his future and the NBA draft soon.
(Melanie Maxwell | The Ann Arbor News)
ANN ARBOR -- Michigan sophomore Nik Stauskas said following a season-ending loss to Kentucky that he'll "make a decision soon" regarding his future.
On Tuesday, an NBA Eastern Conference scout speaking on the condition of anonymity told MLive that if Stauskas chooses to enter the 2014 draft he will "be drafted in the late lottery and I think have a good career."
And he apparently isn't the only one. The scout added that Stauskas is "high on everyone's radar."
Stauskas, a 6-foot-6 guard, led Michigan in scoring with 17.5 points per game, posting over 20 in 14 games, and dished out a team-best 118 assists.
Now the program is waiting to learn whether that production will be back. U-M coach John Beilein was expected to separately meet with Stauskas and fellow pro prospects Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary on Monday or Tuesday to discuss their futures.
"I think he has the chance to be a really good player," the scout said, adding that Stauskas' skill set will allow him to play either guard position in the NBA, bolstering his value.
Those skills emerged this past season. After being relegated primarily to spot-up perimeter shooting as a freshman, Stauskas this season morphed into a driving, cutting, dunking, defense-collapsing guard who -- as an added bonus -- happened to be one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.
As a sophomore, Stauskas converted 93 2-point baskets, 93 3-pointers and 168 free throws. Those numbers in his freshman year: 58, 80, 74.
Though some cite defense as his noted flaw, it doesn't appear as a major deterrent. Stauskas added significant muscle mass last offseason and should continue to do so professionally.
When it comes to defensive concerns, the scout said, "As (Stauskas) gets bigger and stronger, he'll be fine."
One question answered this year was Stauskas' ball-handling and athleticism. He displayed the ability to take defenders off the dribble and push past them into the paint. There were some moves, too. In numerous games, Stauskas proved he "has a little shake to him and can get to the basket," according to the scout.
The scout also lauded Stauskas for his "shot selection and creation" and his penchant for being "a basketball junkie."
Stauskas, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, is ranked by ESPN.com's Chad Ford as the No. 21 draft-eligible player available in this year's draft, while DraftExpress.com has Stauskas going No. 17 overall in its latest mock draft.
"I'm not really sure," Stauskas said Sunday, after scoring 24 points in Michigan's NCAA tournament Midwest Regional finals loss. "I don't know where I'm at right now with the decision. In the next couple of days I'll start figuring out what I've got to do."
NBA DRAFT KEY DATES
April 16-19 -- Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Portsmouth, VA)
April 27 -- NBA Draft Early Entry Eligibility Deadline (11:59 p.m. ET)
May 20 -- 2014 NBA Draft Lottery
June 16 -- NBA Draft Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline (5 p.m. ET)
June 26 -- 2014 NBA Draft
Brendan F. Quinn covers University of Michigan basketball. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on Wolverines hoops. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org