Michigan head coach John Beilein joined 1130 The Fan's Matt Shepard Wednesday morning to talk about not three, but four of his Wolverines preparing for the NBA Draft. Beilein will be in New York tomorrow to join Nik Stauskas and his family in what's known as the green room.
"It's not really a room, but wide open, roped off a little right in front of the stage," Beilein said in noting he'd be at Stauskas' table. "I'm thrilled for Nik and all our guys that have an opportunity to be drafted, Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson. Jordan Morgan has had four or five tryouts, so you never know.
"There are two things they need to focus on now. One is can they understand the process of building; the other thing is how good they'll be after they get paid. When you start getting the money, do you lose that desire? That's huge with all NBA players. You've got to keep fighting all the way through to help your team win and improve because things seem like they are going pretty well."
Stauskas enters with the right mindset, and perhaps nobody has risen faster up the board in recent weeks. He's 8-1 odds to be a top 10 pick, has worked out for the Celtics (who have the No. 6 pick), Lakers (No. 7) and Hornets (No. 9) at their facilities and in Chicago for the Warriors, Nuggets, Kings, Bulls and Timberwolves.
He reportedly recorded a 40-inch vertical for the Lakers.
"He's going to go in there with the right mindset," Beilein said. "When you're going on 20 years old like Nik and Glenn, that's why it's important to sustain as long as they can. They're not used to losing, in high school or anything, but if they're going to a team that's rebuilding, they can't change that.
"Teams all understand Nik is more than just a shooter. He led us in assists. The fact we used him so much in ball screens and an awful lot in the last minutes of close games, they love that he is multidimensional, made big shots, had the ball at big times in games. He's extremely athletic, and that obviously always helps, and he has great size. You're not in that position without people uncovering every rock for weaknesses, but they're not going to find many with Nik."
Robinson III, meanwhile, is the youngest player Beilein has ever sent to the NBA Draft.
"It's difficult for some to understand during those ages, from 18 to 19 to 20, basketball development can go so quickly. Last year at this time Nik Stauskas wasn't on anybody's draft board. There are stages you go through, and Glenn went through a stage assimilating to the backcourt more and doing some things. Frankly, expectations were so high they were unfounded in some ways. Just let the young man grow as he gets better.
"I have a lot of confidence he's going to be a great pro. It's all part of the process, learning to play different positions, more on the perimeter, shooting more threes, driving and doing some things. He's made good progress. He played as good as anybody on our team in the NCAA Tournament."
He was also very good down the stretch in Big Ten play.
"He made big, big shots, road shots," Beilein added. "Purdue, Ohio State was a huge one for us when he was in a little shooting slump. The young man is developing - he's a model citizen, does things the right way and has an extremely high ceiling. We're really happy for him."
Robinson is projected as a late first-round pick. McGary, too, seems to have worked his way into the first round after recovering from a bad back.
"His motor is what stands out to me and just about everybody else," Beilein said. "One thing that is extremely important for him going forward and I believe he is right now, is to be in great shape. When he is he can play all day long.
"I'm really happy for him right now. He's rebounded and put himself in position that he can be first round draft choice. Mitch takes charges, he understands angles pretty well, but he can hedge a ball screen three or four diff ways. That will make him very attractive as a power forward or a big man. He can also switch out and stay in front just enough. It's a challenge guarding a stretch four of guarding the perimeter, and we never got to that. Over the summer, people didn't see him, he was terrific before the injury, absolutely terrific. That's who is as an NBA player, and I think he's going to have a great career."
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