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Basketball Season Review: Isaiah Livers played best basketball of career prior to injury

Prior to a season-ending injury, Livers dominated for stretches.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The choice by Isaiah Livers to return to school for his senior season was a surprise to many last offseason. It was certainly welcomed by all, though. The 6-foot-7 forward out of Kalamazoo went on to lead the Wolverines to a regular season Big Ten Championship and was eventually named to the second-team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and the media. Livers’ presence was undoubtedly missed during the NCAA tournament and will be missed in the future given that he was a vocal leader of the team. However, his many thunderous dunks and chase-down blocks leave quite a lasting impression in many minds.

Livers started the season hot by averaging 20 points per game through the first three contests of the season. After a down game against UCF, Livers then went on to score in double figures in 13 of the next 15 games. This stretch included double-doubles at Indiana and at Purdue. He led the team in three-point shooting at a remarkable 43.1 percent all while being much more than just a spot-up shooter. He possessed an uncanny ability to knock down shots early in many second halves, as games were still up in the air.

Isaiah Livers Stats

Season Pts Reb Ast Blk FG% 3P%
Season Pts Reb Ast Blk FG% 3P%
2020-2021 13.1 6 2 0.7 45.7 43.1

Torvik gives Livers the highest offensive rating on the team this year. He also shot an excellent 87 percent at the free-throw line. All in all, Livers had no glaring weaknesses. He was a consistent shooter who was able to get to the rim, hit free throws and excel defensively. You can’t take these types of players for granted in your program.

Unfortunately, Livers’ season was cut short due to a stress injury in his right foot. This caused him to miss a majority of the Big Ten Tournament and all of the NCAA tournament. It’s hard not to think of the what-if’s with this team if only Livers had stayed healthy. Livers has since had successful surgery and is expected to fully recover in around six months.

Pro Potential

Last week, Michigan announced that Isaiah Livers will not be using his extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA so that he can pursue his professional career. Given how his career ended, this is not a major surprise. While any Michigan fan would love to have him back, he turns 23 this year and was playing his best basketball before the season being cut short. NBA teams tend to shy away from players with injury histories which Livers now has.

With that being said, most mock drafts have him being selected in the mid-to-late second round. This seems like a bargain for a player with such potential but I expect his recovery to take some time. Hopefully, he can become more than just a “3 and D” type of player that has become very common throughout the NBA. Either way, it appears that he will be sticking around in America, either in the NBA or the G-League.