Michigan Basketball Gameday: Can Nik Stauskas stay red hot as Michigan hosts Western Michigan?
• Who: Western Michigan (6-1) at No. 3 Michigan (7-0)
• Tipoff: 8:30 p.m. at Crisler Center, Ann Arbor
• Live coverage: Join MLive.com 30 minutes prior to tip for live updates, and follow Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) on Twitter.
• TV: Big Ten Network
• Radio: Michigan Radio Network
• Line: Michigan -22 1/2
ISSUE OF THE DAY
Nik Stauskas is all the rage right now, so much so that Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was asked to give his take on the Canadian-born freshman Monday during a football availability.
"I love watching him play," Robinson said.
The Wolverines have loved watching him, too. And for good reason. Stauskas' numbers at this point are eye-popping, and seem basically impossible to maintain for an entire season.
The 6-foot-6 freshman is 18 of 29 (62.1 percent) from 3-point range, 30 of 52 (57.7 percent) from the field and 22 of 23 (95.7 percent) from the foul line. Over the course of 30-plus games, that's tough to maintain.
If the book wasn't already out on Stauskas' abilities, it certainly is now. Teams will likely have to pick their poison, though, between cheating over toward him or staying home to defend against the penetration of Trey Burke or Tim Hardaway Jr. Tough choices.
Stauskas has been especially effective in transition, especially against Bradley, by finding open spots on the floor on the run and allowing Burke to find him while the defense is on its heels. From there, it's basically elementary.
He's set the bar unbelievably high for himself through the first seven games of his career, but how long will this hot streak last? Or, with Stauskas, is something like this actually the norm?
If you were a coach, what would you do: Play tight against Stauskas, or sag back to stop Burke and Hardaway? Or would you just throw in the towel?