With two sons of former NBA players and a preseason All-American on Michigan's roster, it would be easy for Nik Stauskas to keep a low profile. Instead, he keeps moving toward the spotlight.
Stauskas will try to provide another spark off the bench when the third-ranked Wolverines visit Bradley on Saturday.
Instead of Tim Hardaway Jr. or Glenn Robinson III leading Michigan in scoring its last time out, it was the freshman reserve Stauskas, who had 20 points and made four 3-pointers in a 79-72 home win over No. 18 North Carolina State on Tuesday.
"I'm not amazed at all," said preseason All-American Trey Burke, who had 18 points and a career-high 11 assists. "That's probably the best shooter I've played with. He shoots like a pro.
"It's a good thing for us because it opens up the inside and outside."
Stauskas' career-best scoring performance was his fifth straight game in double figures and lifted his average to 13.0. He's recorded most of his points by going 14 of 24 from beyond the arc.
"I've probably taken a million shots in my life. That's pretty much all I did when I was a kid, just go outside and shoot. That's something I'm confident doing," he said.
With Stauskas' help, the Wolverines (6-0) are on the verge of matching their best start since 2006-07, when they opened 7-0 for the second straight season.
That attempt will come in their first visit to an opposing team's floor in 2012-13. Michigan beat Pittsburgh and Kansas State in the final two games of the NIT Tipoff in New York last week.
"The coaches do a great job of preparing us," Burke said.
With 12 points, the sophomore guard helped give the Wolverines five starters in double figures in a 77-66 home win over Bradley on Dec. 22. Hardaway had 16 points.
The Braves went 7-25 in 2011-12, coach Geno Ford's first season, but are 5-1 in his second for their best start since a 5-0 opening in 2006-07.
Bradley is averaging 76.3 points - 15.2 more than last season - and limiting opponents to 65.0 points and 39.0 percent shooting. Bradley held Central Michigan to 35.6 percent from the floor in an 82-65 victory Wednesday.
Tyshon Pickett and Jordan Prosser each scored 17 points while Walt Lemon Jr. contributed 14. Lemon had 16 points in last season's matchup with Michigan.
The Braves have dropped six of seven all-time meetings with the Wolverines but took the only game in Peoria 63-58 on Dec. 8, 1997.
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