For the second straight season, Michigan is losing two of its top players — and maybe more — to the NBA draft. A year after Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. left early and became first-round draft picks, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III are forgoing their final two years, they announced Tuesday. Mitch McGary, who was a preseason All-American but injured his back in the offseason and played only eight games before season-ending back surgery, hasn’t announced whether he will return next season. "In a very short period of time, these two young men have had a very positive impact on the Michigan basketball program," coach John Beilein said. "From day one, Glenn and Nik have had the right attitude and work ethic that has helped us enjoy so much of our recent success. "They both understand that they will need to continue to work even harder in the years to come to accomplish their goals in the NBA. We will continue to do whatever we can to assist and guide them as they take this next step in their basketball careers. We are excited for Glenn and Nik as they pursue this next stage of their life and begin their professional careers." ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford projects Stauskas as the No. 19 overall prospect in the draft; in his mock draft, Ford has Stauskas being picked 15th by the Milwaukee Bucks. "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," said Stauskas. "Following some heartfelt discussions with my family, Coach Beilein and the rest of the coaching staff, I am ready to pursue my goals and begin my NBA career.” Neither Robinson nor McGary is among Ford’s projected first-round picks. All three players requested evaluations of their draft projections from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Council and have received their feedback. As a role player during a freshman season, Stauskas averaged 11 points and 1.3 rebounds, complementing Burke and Hardaway. This season, Stauskas improved to 17.5 points and 3.3 assists and was selected Big Ten player of the year, as well as a first-team All-American by the NABC. He scored in double figures in all but four games this season, including 24 in the loss to Kentucky in the Elite Eight. At 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, Stauskas diversified his game to include more driving and scoring inside the arc, as he shot 47 percent from the field and 44 percent on 3-pointers. Stauskas finishes his career with 1,060 points — ranking him 43rd in school history — in 75 games during two seasons. “He is going to be phenomenal NBA player,” ESPN analyst Tim McCormick said on WDFN. “This year he came back and surprised everybody with his athleticism, to put the ball on the floor and finish at the rim.” Robinson, at 6-6, 220 pounds, played out of position as a power forward at Michigan but likely would be a small forward as a professional. He averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 rebounds this season and shot 49 percent from the field and 31 percent from beyond the arc. He started all 76 games in his career and finished with 912 career points. “After talking with my mom, my dad, my grandma, Coach Beilein and the coaching staff, I feel the time is right for me to begin my professional career and declare for the NBA draft,” Robinson said. “I am confident I have the work ethic, the talent and maturity to pursue this path successfully. As excited as I am about my future, I will always be grateful for this wonderful two year experience at the University of Michigan.” Robinson improved down stretch of the season, including hitting a game-winning shot at Purdue. He scored in double figures in 12 of the last 13 games and made two 3-pointers in the final minutes before the last-second shot by Kentucky.
Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III leaving Michigan for NBA
Detroit News | Apr 15