In a press conference today, Michigan's top two leading scorers for 2014, Nik Stauskas and Glen Robinson III, announced that they plan to enter the 2014 NBA Draft. Both players talked about how they will miss their teammates and coaches, but after consulting with the NBA Advisory Committee and their families, they feel like now is the time to make the jump to professional basketball.
Here are Stauskas's remarks from the Michigan press release:
"For as long as I can remember I have had a goal of playing in the NBA, whether it was on my backyard court or winning the Big Ten title at Crisler Center," said Stauskas. "Following some heartfelt discussions with my family, Coach Beilein and the rest of the coaching staff, I am ready to pursue my goals and begin my NBA career.
"What cannot be understated is how the University of Michigan has helped prepare me for this moment both on and off the court," continued Stauskas. "This great university took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to achieve my college basketball dreams. I hope in some small way, I was able provide some lasting moments. As I move forward into this next stage of my life, it cannot be said enough how thankful I am to the Wolverine fans for embracing me. I will always be a Wolverine at heart."
"I have thought a lot about the next step in my career over this past year," said Robinson. "After talking with my mom, my dad, my grandma, Coach Beilein and the coaching staff, I feel the time is right for me to begin my professional career and declare for the NBA Draft. I am confident I have the work ethic, the talent and maturity to pursue this path successfully.
"It has truly been a blessing to have had the opportunity to attend to the University of Michigan and be part of this basketball program," added Robinson. "The Wolverine fans and U-M alumni are the best in the world. I have developed many relationships and created so many positive memories that I know will last a lifetime. As excited as I am about my future, I will always be grateful for this wonderful two year experience at the University of Michigan."
Stauskas is expected to be a borderline lottery pick this June, while Robinson could slip into the second round. For more on the Wolverines' draft prospects, check out our draft breakdowns: Here for Stauskas, here for Robinson.
Almost no one predicted that the Wolverines would finish at the top of the Big Ten in 2014 after they lost their top two scorers from 2013, Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., to the NBA. After seeing another pair of key players leave for the pro ranks, Michigan will need to regroup again under John Beilein.
After Stauskas and Robinson, Michigan's top scorers in 2014 were Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton Jr., and Zak Irvin. All three are expected to be major factors on next year's Michigan team, in addition to Mitch McGary, if the sophomore big man decides to stick around.
McGary missed nearly all of the 2014 season with a back injury, and he's currently undecided about whether or not he wants to declare for the NBA draft.