Four-star 2017 Kalamazoo Central forward Isaiah Livers, who picked up offers last month from Michigan and Michigan State, committed to the Wolverines this afternoon.
Excited to announce that next year I will be attending the University of Michigan pic.twitter.com/YFMeZPvWql
— Isaiah (@_isaiah_35) August 7, 2016
Livers is the third commit in the 2017 class, joining point guard Eli Brooks and shooting guard Jordan Poole. Listed at around 6'8", 205, he projects as a 3/4 in John Beilein's system.
|3* SF||3* PF, #114 Ovr||
4*, 84, #10 PF,
3*, 89, #31 PF,
4*, #24 PF,
Livers is towards the tail end of four-star territory on the 247 Composite, and is in fact considered a four-star only by ESPN, which ranks him considerably higher than the other three sites. He did touch four-star status on Rivals at one point and is only three spots away as he currently stands there.
ESPN's evaluation was updated a couple weeks ago. It sure makes Livers sound like a Beilein four:
Livers is a undersized stretch power forward with very good perimeter shooting skill especially from 17-20 feet off the catch or rhythm dribble. He is versatile and can be a difficult match up on the perimeter for less mobile power forwards.
In addition to adding strength Livers to become more of a physical presence he will also need to put together a low post scoring package to go along with his perimeter scoring ability.
Livers skill and shot making on the perimeter make him a major college forward. He must continue to add to his game but he has excellent upside.
Rivals bumped him into four-star territory in March, noting his ability to run out and finish on the break:
Of the new four-stars on our list, Livers is one of the least known outside of his home state. We haven’t seen him as much as some other players, but he’s capable of knocking down a 15-footer, can finish with the best of them in transition and he checks all the boxes of a guy who could have a huge breakout this spring.
TodaysU posted a brief report from this spring's EYBL praising Livers's motor:
Playing on a loaded Mean Streets team, Livers made a great impression in the Nike EYBL Brooklyn showcase. He works extremely hard at both ends of the floor and is active in the post. His stock is most certainly on the rise.
Minnesota was one of the programs making a push for Livers, and their Scout outlet posted an extensive scouting report from July's Vegas Classic:
Livers is a long 6-foot-8 player that has been working hard on his perimeter touch. He’s hit 37 plus percent from the arc in EYBL and against UBC the long forward sunk a trey in the corner and another at the top of the key. Livers is becoming a more confident shooter with his feet and his one-dribble pull-up jumper looks strong as well. Also had a passing lane jump that he pushed the other way moving through traffic and producing a finger roll.
Isaiah looks like a defender that can defend multiple positions. First off, Isaiah has really good length and he uses that length well. Players had trouble getting looks over the top of him and his hands up in the passing lanes led to three deflections. Also, this is a guy that seems to love to make strong box-out hits. Once a shot goes up Livers turns to locate, makes a stiff forearm contact, and then holds his man well after making the initial hit. Also does a very good job getting over in help to use that length.
There's a lot to like here. Livers looks like a better, more natural outside shooter than most of the players Beilein has brought in at the four, and quite possibly a better and more versatile defender too. While his ballhandling isn't really mentioned, he shouldn't need to create off the bounce too often given the talent around him. There's a lot to like here.
Livers had previously planned to take officials to Butler, Cal, and Michigan State before his Michigan commitment. Each of those schools offered, as well as Akron, Boston College, Cornell, Creighton, DePaul, Detroit, Kent State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Oakland, Toledo, VCU, Western Michigan, and Xavier. New assistant coach Saddi Washington, who'd recruited Livers when he was at Detroit, played a significant role in landing this commitment.
Livers played with the Illinois-based AAU squad MeanStreets alongside fellow M targets Brian Bowen and Nojel Eastern this spring, and he posted strong numbers. In 20 games on the Nike circuit, Livers averaged 9.4 points and 5.2 rebounds (1.1 offensive) in 23 minutes per game with 18 assists, 30 turnovers, 17 steals, and 12 blocks; he shot 57% from two, 37% from three, and 54% from the line.
Nike EYBL highlights:
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
While Livers could potentially defend both threes and fours (which function the same in Beilein's offense), his combination of length and rebounding should keep him mostly at the four at Michigan. Livers should find his way into the rotation at that spot early on in his career. Even if DJ Wilson emerges as a viable option at the four this season, Livers could see plenty of time as a backup before stepping into the starting lineup as a junior—Beilein will find minutes for a wing with scoring touch who can guard opposing power forwards.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
If Michigan sticks to the current roster, which lists Mark Donnal as a senior even though he has two years of eligibility remaining, then they still have one scholarship open for the 2017 class. They'll most likely look to add another wing, and they currently have offers out to Brian Bowen, Kris Wilkes, Jamal Cain, and Nojel Eastern, with Justin Smith possibly in line to get an offer. Livers's commitment likely takes Kyle Young, who holds an offer and projects as a four in Beilein's system, off the board.