Well he was billed as a stretch 4 with a high basketball IQ. If he has any defensive skills he might be able to give them some spot minutes.
@JBlair52 Not likely for Hibbitts. In the presser, JB mentioned that Hibbitts was considering a transfer because the outlook for minutes was not good. Not a sure thing, just that Hibbitts was weighing his options. JB stated it in a matter of fact way, not disputing that Hibbitts was unlikely to play a bunch.
I don’t think he’d be ready for next year. I obviously agree though. Carter , Williams , and Stewart should all be major targets imo.
Who ever said that Teske should redshirt I do not agree with that premise. All of our bigs will have to play this year and need to be ready to play solid to big minutes.
I wouldn’t call Livers “undersized” at the four - 6-8 is about right. He was a monster rebounder in high school, he blocked a lot of shots, he’s got a college ready body, and he was a far better HS three point shooter than DJ. I think he’s going to step right in and be very solid. Would not surprise me at all if he can match DJ’s regular season 11/5.5 averaged.
This coming year?
I definitely think it is also reasonable to say Livers should be a lot better than DJ as a freshman/redshirt freshman. A lot of excitement for him
Why not? If the minutes are there for him - and they will be if he plays well - 11/5 isn’t exactly earth shattering. DJ did that after playing almost not at all last year.
Could Livers crack the rotation? I think that’s feasible. Will he be a 10/5 guy? Seems like that is pushing it. That’s basically what GRIII averaged as a freshman and he was playing 34 minutes per game. Tough to figure out math that gets Livers to that # based on the rest of the rotation.
10/5 is on the very optimistic side but I would note that GR3 was the 3rd or more likely 4th option on a loaded team of high usage scorers. Simmons, MAAR and Matthews aren’t Burke, Hardaway and Stauskas. Thinking next year, I expect Moe’s usage rate to increase. Simmons will probably be high but he’s also a guy who averaged 8 assists per game at Ohio…could he replicate that to the benefit of our wings? Hopefully…
Unless MAAR makes a big jump (unlikely) or Matthews blows all expectations out of the water, there will be opportunity for a wing scorer out of Duncan, Poole, and Livers to assert themselves as a 10 PPG option. I’d bet on Duncan if I had to, but if the freshmen prove they can play, they’ll have a shot.
Side note, Duncan averaged 11 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 28 minutes a game his first year in the rotation as the starting 4. I’m assuming in the scenario @LosAngelesWolverine1 described, Livers would beat out Duncan for the starting spot. IMO its not unreasonable at all to project 10/5 from whoever plays that role.
I guess my point is that Charles Matthews and Duncan Robinson are on the roster – they are going to play a lot of minutes. Even if Isaiah Livers is really good, it is hard to imagine him pushing 30 minutes per game with those guys in the rotation.
Agree that those guys are the expected minute eaters on the wing. But a year ago I was adamant that Duncan would play 30 minutes and DJ would be an afterthought. Livers or Poole being good enough for a wing spot would only be as unexpected as DJ’s rise was last year.
Well, GR3 was what, the fourth or fifth option on the team, with at least three future NBA players getting touches ahead of him?
I mean, DJ came out of nowhere to do what he did this year. Not sure why Livers couldn’t do the same, especially since Walton and Irvin were high volume guys who graduated.
Hard to say. I think Duncan’s role this year was perfect for him. If Livers is a capable rebounder and defender, and can knock down the open three, I think JB would probably prefer his defense in the starting lineup and Duncan coming off the bench as instant offense.
I could only hope that this is the scenario that unfolds. I have high hopes for Livers as JB took him over Cain, Johnson? and others. It would be good for him to come out of the gate in the rotation and productive especially on defense.
Overall, I believe the biggest thing to look at is the battle between Poole/Robinson/Ibi/Livers for the last starting spot and who backs up. I think it most likely will be Robinson starting and anyone of those other guys can spell backup minutes
GR3 was also the only option at the 4 really and played heavy minutes all year.
Could Livers be a stud and make an instant impact if the opportunity is there? Sure. Does the fact that DJ Wilson made an improbable breakout make it more likely that Livers will make an improbable breakout? Not really.
As I noted in the story earlier this week, last Michigan freshman to avg > 21 minutes per game was Derrick Walton. Been a while.
I think this is a good class with good pieces, but I don’t really see any of the freshmen playing that sort of 30 minute per night role.
I also think the need for Robinson in the starting lineup could be increased by having questionable shooters in the lineup (Matthews certainly, Simmons to an extent, MAAR is up and down).
Well, Walton being the last freshman to average big minutes also coincides with him really being the last freshman who was an elite recruit - other than Chatman, who averaged big minutes early but couldn’t keep the job.
I just see Livers being a great option at the four. He’s got a college ready body, his jump shot looks way better than DJ’s at a similar age, he’s plenty athletic, and he rebounds well. Robinson is a defensive liability, and far better suited to do what he did this year.
Describing Livers as a good rebounder may not be accurate, in fact, Coach Beilein described Livers’ rebounding as an area of concern. OTOH hand Beilein practically gushed when describing Livers’ talent and upside.