When Isaiah Livers gets asked about Duncan Robinson playing in the NBA Finals, when he mentions John Beilein helping his jump shot and Luke Yaklich with his transition defense, it all serves as a reminder. On a Michigan team that’s undergone surgery during this offseason, Livers remains the constant — not just from last year, but from another era.
He chose to come back for this year, his senior year, because of all the uncertainty, yes, but also because last year didn’t go as planned. The 28-30 NBA teams he met with told him to stay healthy. A career 40.4 percent shooter from 3-point range, Livers has the range to play at the next level, and at 6-foot-7 with the ability to guard multiple positions, his skill set fits in the modern NBA even if he won’t be a 2021 lottery pick any more than he would be in 2020.
In the 21 games Livers played last season, Michigan was a wholly different team than the 10 in which he sat. That’s why, as he sits on a Zoom call and says with conviction that he’ll stay healthy, it makes you think what the Wolverines could be if he makes good on it.
“Man, you’re gonna see a different Isaiah, man,” Livers said. “I don’t have any injuries coming into the year, I’m just trying to stay healthy. … I feel like I let my team down last year when I got hurt. I know it’s just because of a freak accident injury but it’s just gonna be something I focus on every day is my treatment and my recovery. No matter what, if I’m feeling 100 percent or not, I’m still gonna go see (trainer) Alex Wong, make sure everything’s OK.”