ROSEMONT, Ill. –– University of Michigan men’s basketball sophomore guard Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Marks [Mass.]) has been named the Big Ten’s Player of the Week for the second straight week, while freshman Derrick Walton Jr. (Detroit, Mich./ Chandler Park Academy) was the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, as announced by the conference office today (Monday, Jan. 27).
Stauskas, who has also been named CBSSports.com’s and CollegeSportsMadness.com’s Player of the Week, continued his strong play as he helped U-M close its historic week of play. The Wolverines won their third straight game against a top-10 opponent — marking the first time in U-M’s history that has been accomplished and the first Big Ten team to do it since Iowa in 1986-87.
For the week, Stauskas averaged 22.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He shot a blistering 57.7 percent from the field (15-for-26) and 60.0 percent from long range (9-for-15). He added a 6-for-7 showing at the free throw line.
Opening the week, Stauskas tied a career-high 26 points as U-M defeated No. 10 Iowa (Jan. 22) and held the Hawkeyes to a season-low 67 points. He added five rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal, while going 8-for-14 from the field (57.1 percent) and 4-for-9 (44.4 percent) from long range. Closing the week at No. 3 Michigan State, Stauskas showed no signs of letting up as he ended with 19 points as he went 7-for-12 (58.3 percent) from the field followed with a 5-for-6 performance from behind the arc. He added four assists, two rebounds and a steal as the Wolverines kept their perfect Big Ten record intact.
After playing just three minutes against Iowa due to illness, Walton Jr. guided U-M to an 80-75 victory at No. 3 MSU with a career-best 19 points, six rebounds and four assists. He finished the game shooting 50 percent from the field (4-for-8) and a perfect 2-for-2 from behind the arc — including a key long-range bucket to help U-M tie the game at 58-58 down the stretch. He added a career-best 9-for-10 shooting performance from the free throw line, including going 8-for-9 over the final 2:29 of the game to seal U-M’s second win over a No. 3-ranked team on the road in less than a week.
The Maize and Blue will be back in action this Thursday night (Jan. 30) to take on Purdue at Crisler Center. The game is scheduled to tip at 9 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.