Michigan duo Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III declare for 2014 NBA Draft


Michigan sophomores Nik Stauskas, the Big Ten Player of the Year, and Glenn Robinson III announced on Tuesday afternoon that they will both forgo their final two years of eligibility and declare for the 2014 NBA Draft.

Both starters in their two seasons in Ann Arbor, they helped advance the Wolverines to the National Title game in 2013, and won a conference regular season crown this past season.

The 6-foot-6 Stauskas was one of the more improved players in the nation, putting on 16 pounds of muscle in the offseason, and quickly shredding the notion that he was simply a shooter. He averaged 17.5 points 2.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc.

“For as long as I can remember I have had a goal of playing in the NBA, whether it was on my backyard court or winning the Big Ten title at Crisler Center,” Stauskas said on Tuesday. “Following some heartfelt discussions with my family, Coach [John] Beilein and the rest of the coaching staff, I am ready to pursue my goals and begin my NBA career.”

Stauskas is projected as a lottery pick, currently slotted as the No. 14 overall pick in DraftExpress.com’s latest mock draft.

MOREThe entire list of players entering the 2014 NBA Draft

Robinson, the son of the former NBA veteran, is currently viewed as an early second round pick, following a sophomore campaign where he posted averages of 13.1 points and 4.4 boards per game.

“It has truly been a blessing to have had the opportunity to attend to the University of Michigan and be part of this basketball program,” Robinson added. “The Wolverine fans and U-M alumni are the best in the world. I have developed many relationships and created so many positive memories that I know will last a lifetime. As excited as I am about my future, I will always be grateful for this wonderful two year experience at the University of Michigan.”

Michigan is still awaiting a decision from sophomore center Mitch McGary. The breakout star from the 2013 NCAA Tournament elected to return for another year, but was limited to just eight games due to a “lower back condition” which required surgery.

Does McGary come back, and attempt to repair his stock for a junior season?

Remember, McGary will be 23-years-old by the time of the 2015 NBA Draft. Also, with Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell and Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein announcing they would both return to school, the draft board has opened up for McGary to climb.

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
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Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.