Michigan freshman Nik Stauskas turning Crisler Center into his own Canadian backyard
ANN ARBOR -- Nik Stauskas estimates that over the course of his life, he's taken roughly one million jump shots.
That's right, one million.
And, asked if he's ever not had confidence in his ability to shoot the basketball, the Michigan freshman guard quickly says "no way."
In his mind, he's still putting up one of those million shots at his house in Canada.
"(That comes) from my backyard, just shooting," Stauskas said Tuesday after dropping in 20 points to pace No. 3 Michigan in a 79-72 win over No. 18 North Carolina State. "I've probably taken a million shots in my life, that's pretty much all I did when I was a kid.
"This is what I do."
Stauskas' ability to calmly knock down just about everything he touches was on full display again Tuesday, as he calmly went 4 of 7 from behind the 3-point line to push his season total up to a staggering 58.3 percent (14 of 24).
In fact, one of his misses Tuesday came when he was actually too open -- a problem he won't likely have for the remainder of the season.
"He's done that everywhere we've ever seen him," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "If he's open, he believes the ball's going in.
"He has as clean a stroke as you can have. He really picked us up there in the first half, and I love what he gives us."
What Stauskas gives Michigan, to be exact, is instant offense.
Beilein continues to use the 6-foot-6 freshman off the bench, and indicated that he'll continue to do so in the near future. And not only does he expect to get 3-point shooting from Stauskas, but he also sees his Canadian-born freshman as another player who can create his own shot and battle on the glass.
Stauskas had a breath-taking behind-the-back dribble to the basket that resulted in a 3-point play early in the game, making everyone on the N.C. State bench realize that if they overplay his 3-point shot, he can take them off the dribble as well.
But at the end of the day, his biggest asset is his deep ball -- something Trey Burke called the best he's ever seen.
"That's probably the best shooter I've ever played with," Burke said. "He shoots like a pro, I just got to be honest.
"I told him, 'If you got the shot, shoot it. That's what you do.' "
While Stauskas continues to turn heads in Ann Arbor, he's hardly surprising himself.
He's a throwback shooter, for sure.
His confidence rarely wavers, his arm never gets tired and the basket always looks big when the ball is in his hands.
In his eyes, this is what he was built to do and something he'll continue to do.
At least one million more times.
"(Beilein) is giving me the green light to shoot and do what I want," Stauskas said. "I can't ask for anything more than that."