ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Coming off an injured ankle, Nik Stauskas was held in check by the Blue Devils defense on Tuesday, as the Wolverines lost at Duke 79-69.
Stauskas, who was held to a season low four points on 0-for-2 shooting, is practicing and is expected to play against Houston Baptist on Saturday, said U-M coach John Beilein.
“He practiced yesterday,” Beilein said on Stausakas, who leads the Wolverines in scoring 18.0 per game. “I’m sure there is no way to have an ankle injury like he had. There was significant swelling. And that you come back and play and you can push with confidence and the whole thing. There’s got to be some pain involved.”
While Stauskas’ injured ankle wasn’t and excuse for his play at Duke, Beilein said he expects most defense’s to match their best defender on his leading scorer moving forward. He also noted that Duke wasn’t going to let Stauskas beat them on Tuesday.
“They were just sitting on him and saying ‘we’re not going to let you get the ball’,” Beilein said.
“Nik is going to see every team’s best defender every game. … that’s going to be a common thing – they are going to try to take him away.”
Despite Duke taking Stauskas out of the game offensively, Beilein said Michigan is too “talented” not to get other guys involved in the offensive game plan.
“We have many talented players,” Beilien said. “Let the other guys play in space. And it didn’t work out as well as we would like it to. But next time we will be better.”