From Mississauga, Ontario to Ann Arbor, Michigan to -- Sacramento, California.
Following a stellar sophomore campaign at Michigan that ultimately made him Big Ten Player of the Year in 2013-14, Nik Stauskas is officially a Sacramento King after being selected at No. 8 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft Thursday night.
“I think a lot of guys that come to Michigan are guys that are under recruited and we play with a chip on our shoulder,” Stauskas said immediately after being selected. “I think me and Trey both felt like we had something to prove and I think Coach Beilein and the assistant coaches they’ve all done a great job and they give us a great system to play in and we’ve really succeeded in it.”
With family and Michigan coach John Beilein in attendance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Stauskas becomes the third first round pick from the Wolverines program over the last two years.
Standing 6-foot-6.5, 207-pounds and shooting 44-percent from three-point land last season, Stauskas also bumped his scoring average up from 11 points per game to 17.5 points per game year one to year two.
Selected at No. 8 overall in the draft, Stauskas becomes the highest Wolverine selected since Jamal Crawford was taken in the same slot back in 2000. Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke was selected at No. 9 overall in 2013.
Jalen Rose on Stauskas’ time at Michigan, “When you play with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. you have to take a back seat somewhat,” Rose said. “He improved his ball handling somewhat, got a lot stronger, able to finish at the hoop, is a knockdown three-point shooter and he’s fearless. He’s one of those guys that goes on that floor and thinks I’m the best player out there.”
Jay Bilas breaking down Stauskas’ game, “I’ll tell you Nik Stauskas, I think is the best shooter in this draft,” Bilas said. “But he is far more than a shooter. He’s got a complete offensive game and he’s got a swagger about him, he’s cocky, he’s confident, he’s totally unafraid; you have to be a little cocky to wear that suit I would think.
"But he can really shoot it, deceptive speed, he’s got really deep range but he’s not just a catch and shoot guy. Myself included thought what’s he going to do without Trey Burke? Well, here’s what he’s going to do, he can get his own shot, he can put the ball on the deck, he can drive it, and he can dunk on people. He can also pass, 3.5 assists a game, he’s got a total offensive game.
“What does he need to work on? He needs to get stronger and I think he needs to work on his defense but offensively, he’s big time.”