By: Pat Caputo

It seems odd Nik Stauskas, even though he was a terrific player at Michigan this past season (Big Ten Player of the Year, first or second-team All-American, depending on the source, the undisputed leader of an Elite 8 team, which lost outstanding players Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Mitch McGary from last year’s national runner-up), is still being rated by most NBA Draft experts as just a late first-round pick.

These are three reasons I think Stauskas will better than that as an NBA player.

1. Stauskas is one of the best pure shooters I have ever seen. Give him an inch, the ball is in the basket. If you watch him warm up before a game, his accuracy and range are utterly incredible. And this past season, he translated that uncanny ability to shoot the ball in practice into games. There is no reason to believe he won’t be a similarly great shooter in the NBA.

2. At 6-foot-6, Stauskas is the ideal size for an NBA shooting guard. He handles the ball well and is an underrated passer, who had eight assists in an NCAA Tournament game.

3. Stauskas is athletic. The notion he is not is ridiculous. It’s not like the kid can’t dunk or score off the drive. He did so regularly at Michigan.


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