Nik Stauskas blasts Michigan basketball: 'No respect or understanding of what it means'

On3 imageby:Andrew Graham01/24/24


Following a blowout on the road at the hands of No. 2 Purdue on Tuesday night, Michigan men’s basketball might’ve hit it’s on-court nadir under Juwan Howard. And the apparent lack of juice in the program isn’t lost on alumni, including Nik Stauskas.

Stauskas, who played for the Wolverines in the early 2010s and was a key player on the 2012-13 team that made a run to the national championship, sounded off on social media. His appraisal was scathing.

“These kids have no respect or understanding of what it means to put on that M,” Stauskas said on social media. “Haven’t felt any kind of passion or love for the game from Michigan basketball in years.”

Since winning 23 games and making the Elite Eight in Howard’s second season at the helm, things have trended downward for the Wolverines. After 19- and 18-win campaigns in 2021-22 and 2022-23, Michigan is sitting at 7-12 more than halfway through the season. And currently, Michigan has lost seven of it’s last eight games.

The latest loss was a 99-67 drubbing by the No. 2 team in the country, a blowout that had Stauskas sounding the alarm.

Howard discussed Michigan’s effort in another recent loss

After an 88-73 loss to Illinois that sunk the Wolverines to 7-11, Howard assessed the effort from his team.

Howard didn’t bash a lack of effort from his squad, per se, but noted a stretch where some improved focus and intensity might’ve kept them in the game longer. Instead, the Illini went on a 17-2 run that blew the game open.

“And with that 17-2 run, it was deflating to the group. But then I was proud of how our guys, toward the last seven minutes, continued to fight and show some level of fight. But if we had that level of fight during our 17-2 run, that 17-2 run would’ve never happened,” Howard said.

Howard also highlighted a different stretch of play where lapses caught his team out, even leading into the 17-2 run.

“Effort was there, just at times based on mental mistakes, whether it was fatigue or lack of communication. I would say both. Just the fact of, as I recall, there was one 3 by Coleman Hawkins in transition where we had two guys that didn’t communicate and allowed an open three,” Howard said. “And that was one of the big buckets that keyed their run. Then there was a Coleman Hawkins 3 in the corner that, of course [he made it]. And then there were finishes in the paint, whether it was by Ty Rodgers or by Marcus [Domask] that ignited the confidence.”