John Beilein addressed the media today to preview Michigan’s Big Ten trip to Illinois (Thursday, 8:00 p.m., FS1, tickets).
Here are the five most important things that the Wolverine head coach said ahead of Thursday’s game (and why they matter).
On Isaiah Livers’ health:
“Yeah, he had a little practice yesterday. To some degree, we’re very hopeful. He was much different yesterday in practice. I can’t tell you if he’ll go, but he’s out of a lot of the pain that he was in before.”
Why It Matters: Though Livers’ absence hasn’t stopped Michigan from comfortably winning against Indiana and Penn State, his ability as jack-of-all-trades that can switch and space the floor from the 3, 4 and 5 is vital to Michigan’s depth and flow on both sides of the ball. Without him, the Wolverines will have to rely more on players like Brandon Johns and sophomore center Austin Davis. Against an Illinois team that pressures the ball and isn’t afraid to go small, Livers’ presence on the floor is critical to the Wolverines.