It appears Michigan won't be without freshman shooting guard Nik Stauskas for long. The 6-6 sniper, sidelined for most of U-M's 58-57 win over Michigan State after taking an early elbow from the Spartans' Branden Dawson, returned to practice Monday, head coach John Beilein reported on his radio show.
"He's got a pretty good gash up there and he's got some stitches, but he practiced today," Beilein said. "He looked good, too."
Beilein cited privacy laws earlier in the day and wouldn't elaborate on Stauskas' health other than to say he'd been examined by three doctors and cleared to go home. Stauskas returned to the bench in the first half but spent the second half in the team locker room.
"He walked out of the arena and he had his friends with him and some family," Beilein said.
Stauskas lost a lot of blood and his eye was clearly swollen following the incident. He reported Sunday night via social media that he was feeling okay and would be back in action sooner than later.
Freshman Caris LeVert played 30 minutes and performed well, scoring eight points and adding two steals in the win.
"Caris is a very young player who is learning a lot and he's one of our better defensive players," Beilein said. "I thought he did a really good job when he was matched up with [MSU's Gary] Harris."
Beilein said he didn't care whether Michigan won by 23 points, as the Spartans did in East Lansing over U-M, or one. He was just pleased with the victory. He added he had never experienced a season without ups and downs.
"We've had a lot more up than down, and we embrace that part," he said. "Whenever we have moments of adversity, we embrace it because it's the best chance of getting better. We're one of the younger teams in the country and have 24 wins, five losses. You embrace that more than any adversity."
The Wolverines might continue to play two big men together, but Beilein isn't committed to it for any specific period of time.
"Whatever it takes to win," he said, adding he wants U-M to remain flexible and play different ways at different times during a game.
Beilein quipped the Wolverines were 32-1 at home since getting new lighting - and a nice new scoreboard - installed. The Wolverines could cap a perfect home season with a win over Indiana Sunday night.
Beilein on box outs at Michigan State in the first meeting: "They were basically we went, stood next to them and said 'how ya doin?' "
He added they've been working on transition defense starting with sophomore point guard Trey Burke on the ground, saying, 'that's how often he's down there.'"
The Wolverines held a recent players only meeting at Pizza House prior to the game, led by Corey Person. Former U-M captain Zack Novak also helped Burke with leadership, telling him to hold guys accountable following a disappointing loss at Penn State.
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