Q&A: Nik Stauskas

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Tuesday, December 09, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of Aaron Faulk 

Q: What’s the mindset of the team right now going on without DeMarcus Cousins for the next little while?
Stauskas: "Obviously it’s tough when your best player is out. But it’s the NBA. Guys are going to get injured. Guys are going to get sick. It’s the next-man-up mentality. Guys are ready. Guys roles are going to be increased. You’ve just got to stay ready and make the most of it."
Q: What have you seen from this Jazz team on tape?
Stauskas: "They’re talented. They’ve got a lot of young guys who are very skilled. I think their bigs are extremely aggressive and same with their guards too. Their guards are trying to get to the basket so we’ve got to make sure we’re closing out and keeping them under control."
Q: What will it be like to play against Trey tonight?
Stauskas: "Trey is one of my good friends. I really enjoyed playing with him at Michigan and he’s had a really solid start to his NBA career."
What were your impressions of him in college as a teammate and a leader?
Stauskas: "He was more of a leader by example. He was more quiet, but he would speak up when he needed to. And we all trusted him that he was going to do the right thing out there."
Q: Do you stay in touch during the season?
Stauskas: "Yeah. Occasionally."
Q: What has been the biggest leap you’ve had to make to play at this level?
Stauskas: "Probably just the physicality of the game. Guys are really strong. First of all, defensively, I get posted up a lot and it’s kind of tough to hang with guys that are 10-15 pounds heavier than you. That’s been a tough adjustment for me. Also, I’ve been struggling with my jump shot. I’m in a little bit of a slump. Just trying to play through that and stay aggressive while i’m missing my shots has been tough."
How much harder is it to get a shot off in the NBA?
Stauskas: "It’s tough. You think you have an open look but guys are so quick and they’ve got long wingspans. They close out real quick and you don’t have a lot of time to get that jumper off."
Q: Is there any sort of rookie hazing you have to endure?
Stauskas: "Just little chores pretty much. Getting guys towels. Getting guys water. If they have any requests for food or anything like that I have to get it for them. Nothing too bad."
Q: I saw the picture Cousins posted of you with your per diem. Did you know he was taking that?
Stauskas: [Laughs] "I didn’t know. He caught me off guard with that one."
Q: Are you still having those kind of "wow" moments as a rookie?
Stauskas: "We’re a couple months in now, so I’m starting to get adjusted to it. But I wake up every morning and this really is a dream come true."
Q: This will be a reunion for Ty Corbin and some of these guys. What’s it been like to work with him?
Stauskas: "I love Ty. He’s always been the guy that pulls me aside when I’m struggling or pulls me aside when I’m doing something wrong. He tells me what I need to do and he’s always really honest with me. I appreciate that from him."
Q: I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ty as outwardly excited as he was in the video of you guys in the locker room after the summer league title.
Stauskas: "Ty was pumped. We had a good time in Vegas."