Where does Nik Stauskas rank among Michigan Basketball’s all-time greats?

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Nik Stauskas

Nik Stauskas had a sensational sophomore season in which he earned Big Ten Player of the Year honors and was named to seven different All-American teams. He also became just the eighth sophomore in Michigan lore to eclipse 1,000 career points.

So when it came time to update our ranking of Michigan’s all-time best shooting guards, Stauskas presented an interesting dilemma. In addition to his stellar sophomore season, Stauskas had a solid freshman campaign for the Wolverines. He drained 80 three pointers, which is the most ever by a Michigan freshman. Stauskas also erupted for a game-high 22 points and six three pointers in Michigan’s Elite Eight win over Florida.

Had he played another season at Michigan, he would have easily landed in the top five on our list, which is chock full of outstanding players. He did more than enough to make this list, but where should he land? Some of the players ahead of him on the list are there, in large part, because they had longer careers at Michigan.

I would have loved to see Stauskas play another season at Michigan, but he absolutely made the right call when he decided to forego his final two seasons of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft. He is a virtual lock to be selected in the first round and could land in the lottery.

[A history of Michigan Basketball players in the NBA Draft]

Stauskas’ sophomore season was one for the ages. He was voted the team MVP and led the Wolverines in scoring (17.5 ppg), assists (118) and three pointers (92). He was named Big Ten Player of the Week four times and also to the Big Ten Tournament All-Tournament team.

He’s one of the best three point shooters to ever play at Michigan. In two seasons he knocked down 172 shots from beyond the arc, which ranks him eighth in school history. Not only did he connect on a prodigious number of three balls, he did so while shooting a sizzling 44.1% for his career. Only two Wolverines, Glen Rice and Sean Higgins, finished their careers with a better percentage than Stauskas.

Stauskas also plays the game with unbridled enthusiasm. Whether he was donning the three goggles, waving to the crowd at the Breslin Center, or flashing a wry smile, Stauskas always had fun playing for the Maize and Blue. He was also an excellent passer and a more than capable ball handler. He had a knack for turning the tides of a game with one of his rim-rattling dunks or, of course, a cold-blooded shot from downtown.

During Stauskas’ two seasons in Ann Arbor he helped guide the Wolverines to their first Final Four in 20 years (2013) and in 2014 he led Michigan to their first outright Big Ten Championship since 1986, and to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

As far as where did he end up in our rankings, after much thought and consideration, we have ranked Nik Stauskas as the ninth best shooting guard to ever play at Michigan. Click here to see the complete list: Michigan Basketball’s All-Time Best Shooting Guards.

More on Nik Stauskas’ career at Michigan

• Started 69 of 75 career games 
• For his career, averaged 14.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists 
• Scored in double figures in 61 career games with 17 20-plus point games 
• For his career, shot 46.7 percent from the field, 44.1 percent on three-pointers and 83.2 percent on free throws 
• Ranks second all-time with a 83.16 career free throw percentage 
• Ranks fifth all-time with a 44.10 career three-point percentage 
• Ranks eighth all-time with 172 career three-point field goals 
• Ranks 10th all-time with 390 career three-point field goal attempts 
• Ranks 43rd all-time with 1,060 career points 
• Eighth sophomore and 48th overall player at U-M to reach 1,000 points

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