If I put together mock drafts, I would, at this point, have Nik Stauskas projected as a lottery pick.
He’s 6-foot-6, he’s athletic, he’s a lights-out shooter, he can handle the ball in the pick-and-roll, he can create off the dribble for his teammates, he can break your ankles with a cross over and go dunk on you.
Offensively, there really isn’t anything that Stauskas can’t do. Would it be nice if he was a bit quicker? Yeah, probably. Can he use some work on the defensive end of the floor? Definitely. But given the total package, I’d have a hard time finding 14 better prospects, which is kind of surprising for those that haven’t seen much of him this season. Last year, Stauskas spent the majority of his time on the floor tucked in the corner, hitting the open threes Trey Burke created for him.
Which is why the only thing that surprised me about his father’s quote to SI.com this week was the fact that, you know, he actually said it on the record.
“He knows all he has to do is keep his nose to the grindstone for another couple of months,” Stauskas’ father, Paul, told SI.com, “and there’s a really good possibility he might be able to go pro. He’s working really hard to achieve that.”
We all know that. We’ve all seen it. And only the truly naive believe that the goal for any college hooper is anything other than getting to the NBA. Also note that Stauskas’ father said there’s a “good possibility” he “might be able” to enter the draft. Nothing definitive, meaning, to me, it read more like a boastful father proud of his son than a dad announcing that his kid is entering the draft.
There was no need to Nik to apologize or clarify the comments, but he did.
“I apologize for my father’s comments, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Stauskas said after the Wednesday’s game. “I haven’t really thought anything about that yet and we’ll just address that after the season.”
If you don’t want your dad to say it, Nik, I’ll say it for him: if Nik Stauskas keeps playing the way that he has been playing since Mitch McGary went out, there’s a really good possibility that he’ll be able to go pro and get picked in the first round.