Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/19/13
Michigan Basketball is off to a 2-1 start and despite the small sample size, we have learned a lot about this team and the players that will play prominent roles on it. Nik Stauskas will be a go-to guy Nik Stauskas The sophomore sniper leads Michigan in scoring at 17.3 points per game. He looks stronger, more explosive and very confident. In the loss at Iowa State, Stauskas showcased his all-around skills with a team-high 20 points, he drained four three-pointers, dished out 6 assists, pulled down 4 rebounds and threw down one thunderous dunk off a dribble-drive. When the Wolverines have to have a big bucket, Stauskas will be a prime option to take the shot. Not only can he bury a clutch three-pointer, but he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the rim. Mitch McGary is the key I think we all knew this already, but it’s abundantly clear that Michigan needs McGary if they are going to make a run at a Big Ten Championship and a second straight Final Four appearance. After being held out of the pre-season, and the first two games of the regular season, McGary made his season debut at Iowa State. He logged 22 minutes and notched 9 points, 6 boards and 4 steals. He is a monster on the boards, towering over the opposition and making the basketball look the size of a softball in his giant hands. McGary’s relentless effort is contagious and often results in him recording a steal or knocking the ball away from the other team. He is outstanding at triggering fast breaks with long outlet passes or simply by driving the ball up court himself. Without McGary, Michigan would be a strong team. With him, they are a championship contender. Caris LeVert will play a prominent role We saw flashes of LeVert’s great potential last year. This season that potential will start to be realized. LeVert is a highly-skilled player who can do everything for John Beilein. He is one of Michigan’s best defenders, a very good ball handler and has a lightning-quick release to what can be a deadly accurate shot. LeVert struggled at Iowa State, but will be a key component for the Wolverines all season long. A new point guard Derrick Walton, a true freshman, has started all three games at point guard. He is averaging 10.3 points, 2.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 turnovers per game. He is also shooting an even 50% from the field. He is, however, shooting just 20% (2-10) from beyond the arc. Walton has displayed good speed as well as an ability to get to the rim and finish. The point guard position appears to be in good hands and he should get better as the season progresses. Final thoughts The loss at Iowa State, while disappointing, was not entirely surprising. The Cyclones and their fans both performed at a high level and it was a tough road test for a young team, in just their third game of the season. Michigan will have a chance to get back on the winning track starting on Thursday at the Puerto Rico Tip Off. The Wolverines will open that tourney against Long Beach State then play either VCU or FSU the next day. There are more opportunities for resume building wins when Michigan plays at #6 Duke (Dec 3) and hosts #5 Arizona (Dec 14). This team is deep, talented and has great size. They are, once again, a young team and will likely experience some growing pains. However, when the calendar turns to March, Michigan will be in high-gear and they’ll be a tough team to beat. For more Michigan Basketball news, recruiting updates and opinion, visit our Michigan Basketball page. If you would like to receive an email notification each time a Michigan Basketball story is posted you can fill out the Email Notification Form.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL shows off every Super Bowl MVP in history

Jordan Norwood breaks off longest punt return in Super Bowl history

Beer company trolls Seth Rogan after Super Bowl commercial

Levi's Stadium's field problems continue in Super Bowl

Kevin Durant credentialed photographer for Super Bowl

Brady would be 'very jealous' if Manning wins Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Elway takes swipe at John Fox

Jets DT: I won't watch a Super Bowl 'until I play in one'

Hall of Fame coach: Stephen Curry is the best of all time

Reggie Bush on NFL future: ‘I’m not retiring’

Derek Fisher blasts Rondo over triangle offense criticism

Report: Marshawn Lynch hasn't spent any playing money

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

WATCH: Panthers' Jonathan Stewart leaps over pile for TD

Aqib Talib commits three awful penatlies in first half of SB

WATCH: Broncos score TD after Von Millers sacks Cam Newton

WATCH: Luke Kuechly sacks Peyton Manning

WATCH: Lady Gaga goes over on National Anthem betting

WATCH: Tom Brady booed during Super Bowl 50 MVP ceremony

Cam Newton's cleats have 'MVP' and stats written on them

Concession prices incredibly high at Super Bowl 50

Wolverines News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker