It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that Michigan Wolverines freshman Nik Stauskas has made an immediate impact at the college level.
Freshmen come in much more prepared for the rigors of college basketball, in part because of the AAU circuit, and Stauskas is the latest in a long line of freshman sensations.
The talented young guard was at it again on Saturday against Bradley, drilling four 3-pointers to punctuate a career-high 22-point performance and lead the Wolverines to a 74-66 road win over the Braves.
It was the first true road game for Michigan this year, and for Stauskas, it turned out to be no big deal. Never mind that it was his first career start for the third-ranked team in the nation.
“It was a little bit exciting, but when the game starts you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do,” Stauskas said in a post-game press conference. “Like I told (Trey Burke), every time I’m open, I’m going to knock it down…I owe it all to this guy.”
Stauskas came pretty close to hitting every shot. He was 8-of-15 from the floor, including a 4-of-5 showing from 3-point range.
Burke dished out five assists to go along with his 16 points.
The Wolverines are now 7-0 and have lived up to the hype up to this point.
Stauskas has played a role in the success. He is shooting 57.7 percent from the field and buried 18 3-pointers. Stauskas as also proven he can defend well and has tallied three steals.
There will be nights when Stauskas struggles. Every freshman has at least one bad night in the gym.
But if he can consistently play well and continue to improve as he goes through this first season at Michigan, the Wolverines are going to be fine.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. He is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association as well.
Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.