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Quick Q&A with former Michigan star Nik Stauskas

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Former Michigan guard Nik Stauskas was the 2014 Big Ten player of the year and the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft by the Kings.

Stauskas returned to Crisler Center for last week's rivalry game against Michigan State, and addressed the players before the game.

Question: What did you tell the team before the game?

Stauskas: "The message was simple: just go out there and have fun. That's the main thing for me coming back here and being in this atmosphere. It brings a smile to my face and I remember how much fun I had playing basketball here in enjoying the rivalry and taking pride in being a Michigan Wolverine."

Question:What do you think of Jim Harbaugh?

Stauskas: "Michigan fans are going to hate me for saying this ... he's got to get some time to get his recruiting classes and get things right. People can't just expect him to come in and turn around the way things are. Over time, he'll pull things out."

Question:Your class had similar high expectations. How hard is it to make an immediate impact (in football)?

Stauskas: "The difference is there are 12 or 13 guys on a basketball team and over 100 guys on a football team. Bringing in five freshmen is like half our team. In football, it's different. There need to be a lot of other guys to make an impact."

Question:What's your advice to Caris LeVert?

Stauskas: "Just explore all your options, talk to the right people, make a lot of calls, talk to your family — the ones who you trust most — and follow what feels right for you after that. With a guy who's as talented as him, there's no right or wrong decision at that point in time — whatever he feels best."

Question:Were there any moments of hesitation about coming back to Michigan for your junior season?

Stauskas: "None at all. I see how hard I worked and I see what I'm able to do every day in practice against NBA players. At the end of the day, it's just hoops and I'm confident in my abilities and I have a feeling after my career is over, I'm going to take a look back at these first four or five months of my career and I'm going to laugh at it and say that those were some tough times I went through. I'm sure things are going to get better from here on out."

rod.beard@detroitnews.com

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