Michigan fans were treated to few scintillating shooting performance courtesy of Nik Stauskas over the past few years. On the high school and AAU levels few have done a better job of mimicking those kinds of performances than Austin Grandstaff. GoBlueWolverine was on hand for one of the more memorable examples at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas last summer.
“He had an ankle that was grapefruit size,” Wes Grandstaff said recalling his son’s exploits. “He sat out a lot of it. We had decided that he wasn’t going to play. He was going to watch. He is the kind of kid that doesn’t do that very well when he gets there. Against Rashad Vaughn I think Austin had like 26 but he had six threes in a row and everybody kind of went nuts.”
“Austin is 6-5 and he is a shooter. He led the state of Texas in scoring. He had games of 51, 45, and 25 his last three games. He averaged about 27 a game. Austin is also a great passer. He has good skill for the game. He can go to the one if he had to some and be a mismatch. It’s just the style of play is what really attracted us to Michigan.”
It’s a skill set that sounds a lot like Stauskas’. The Big 10 player of the year’s outstanding showing last season was a definite lure for Grandstaff.
“I’m sure (Stauskas’ season is a lure) for every 6’5” shooting guard,” Mr. Grandstaff noted. “A kid like that comes in and shines like he did and had a great year last year and this year… that’s impressive”
That, though, is only part of Michigan’s attraction. Grandstaff’s connection with the coaching staff has been just as key in the recruiting surge.
“(lavall jordan) has been awesome,” said Mr. Grandstaff. “We have really gotten to know him and he has kept up with us and stayed in touch. He has been great to deal with.”
“The visit (with John Beilein) went wonderful. Coach Beilein is just a great guy. I can see where his players, he would become definitely a great coach to them but also kind of a father figure to them while they are there. He demands that academics is first, basketball second. That is something that I think gets overlooked a lot of times and he is up front and honest with you. He is not going to tell you what you want to hear. He is going to tell you how it’s going to be. As a father and my wife being a schoolteacher, that meant a lot knowing that academics are going to be number one.”
Thus far the Wolverines have done a good job of meeting much of the four-star shooting guard’s decision criteria. That said, the full assessment of fit can’t happen until Grandstaff makes it up to Ann Arbor for a visit.
“They definitely want us to get down there,” Mr. Grandstaff stated. “Coach Beilein doesn’t offer anybody a scholarship until they have visited the campus. He thinks that’s very important.”
“Things we’ll be looking at… I think the chance to play sooner than later would definitely be something that he wants. Having a great relationship with the head coach and the coaching staff. That will be very important. A place where he can go and get a good education academic wise. The main thing is just going to be style of offense and his relationship with the coaches and coaching staff, the players that are there.”
There are a handful of other high majors vying for face-time with the talented youngster. All have already been in the home. Now they’re charged with trying to get him on campus. Doing so will be crucial if he opts for an abbreviated decision timeline.
“The same day Coach Beilein was there Coach Donavan was there from Florida,” Mr. Grandstaff recalled. “Austin loves Florida. They’ve offered. Ohio State, Coach Motta… he was down real quick after they lost out of the tournament. He came down and spent a couple of hours and they offered. We are actually going to do an unofficial visit to Ohio State next weekend. Then Oklahoma, Coach Kruger was down. He came down, I guess on Monday of this week and had a great visit. They are schools that we are very interested in. The location only about three hours away. That is one of the closer schools that is to us. Texas A&M, we have a great relationship with them and they have been recruiting pretty hard.”
“Timeline (for a decision) to us isn’t important. Basically a timeline to us as to when the time is right or when we feel it. We committed to Oklahoma State early in between his sophomore and junior year last summer and we just finally felt like we jumped the gun a little bit. Oklahoma State is a great school, but we just want to make sure that we didn’t miss out on anything. Then once we decommitted, then we had these other schools coming in. I would say I don’t think we will wait until the end but I could say it could be in the next couple of months.”