17 BBall Commit Isaiah Livers - Defensive Scouting Report/Film

Submitted by matt D on March 26th, 2017 at 11:41 AM

Part 2 of the Livers detailed scouting report and film. This time, we'll take an in-depth look at the defensive side.


Like yesterday, I broke the film up into segments:


a) Perimeter Defense - beginning to 1:47 mark

b) Post Defense - 1:48 to 2:09 mark

c) Rebounding/Box Out/Ball Pursuit/Motor, etc - 2:10 mark to end




Isolation Defense on Wing

Fluid defender that turns hips and moves feet well for a prospect of his size. Has ability to beat  wings of similar and larger size to the spot when taking multiple dribbles. Has potential to be above aveage/good perimeter isolation defender at next level with continued development

Switching on Screens

Makes hard, quick hedges and shows ability to stay with smaller guards for 2 and perhaps 3 dribbles depending on quickness.


Conistently communicates with teammates when getting screened so that offensive player is always accounted for.

Helpside Defense/Rotations

Inconsistent. Shows ability to make proper rotations at times, but too often is caught stagnant and doesn't rotate at all. Needs to improve reaction time on helpside rotations, has ability with athleticism and size.




Does a good job of playing 3/4 defense and moving his feet in order to deny the post entry pass from the guard. Also jumps passing lanes when entry pass has air on it to get steals and deflections. Sample size too small to make evaluation for post defense once he actually has to defend the post upon entry pass being completed. 



Will box out when already engaged with another player in the post or the perimeter and then pursue the ball. Rarely finds a man to box out when not engaged with a particular player, far too much standing around and lack of ball pursuit in those situations. Often caught flat footed and staring at the action as teammates pursue the ball. Rarely grabs rebounds outside of his frame. Does not give multiple jumps for rebounds. Not nearly physical or energetic enough on the glass for a prospect of his size and athletic ability. Motor and reaction time needs a lot of work when rebounding and pursuing the ball.





March 26th, 2017 at 12:34 PM ^

He should be good enough to play right away, but with an 8 man rotation and Robinson able to back up the 3 & 4, do we really need him to play next year?
What is the likelihood of a redshirt?

matt D

March 26th, 2017 at 12:41 PM ^

Ideally, I think we'd all like Isaiah to RS to give him a year to develop both his skillset and physically. But we only have 6 known commodities that will no doubt receive significant time in X, MAAR, Matthews, DJ, Wagner and Duncan off the bench. One of Teske/Davis will get PT by default, and my bet is on Teske. Depth is really thin, and I think Livers gets some spot minutes early on to see what he can do. I definitely think he'll have a better freshman campaign in relation to Ibi Watson.

matt D

March 26th, 2017 at 1:06 PM ^

I was never a huge fan of Ibi Watson at the time we offered, but I'm hopeful he can develop at some point, but I'm not overly optimistic that he'll ever be a major contributor for the team.

I think Isaiah has more long term upside and is a better shooter as soon as next year.


March 26th, 2017 at 1:19 PM ^

I'm not ready to write off Ibi quite yet. I think he will be able to contribute by the time he is a junior, I think his upside is basically MAAR 2.0. Keep in mind that MAAR had the luxury of playing significant minutes early in his career due to injuries. We did not need Ibi this year due to Irvin playing so well down the stretch. Beilein has developed a lot of great guards, he will get the most out of Ibi.

matt D

March 26th, 2017 at 1:23 PM ^

There was a very large stretch where Zak Irvin was just downright awful this year, and we most certainly needed someone to step in and produce during that period. As bad as Zak was during that stretch, I'm inclined to believe Watson would've been a healthy downgrade based on what I've seen in practice and when he was in high school.

I'm not going to write Ibi off either, but I'm just not terribly optimistic that he'll be a major contributor any time soon. Ibi is best utilized as a catch and shoot guy in my opinion, as his handle needs a lot of work. Problem is that he isn't a very good shooter, and wasn't a very good shooter in high school either. MAAR is a guy that can get to the rim off the dribble and finish, but has developed a nice shot from distance in college.

For what its worth, I generally think ballhandling/playmaking skills are much harder to develop in relation to shooting.


March 27th, 2017 at 1:47 PM ^

In which we really missed Kam Chatman. Irvin and Wilson ran out of gas in OT at Iowa, Irvin was too ill to play a full game at MSU, maybe one more fresh body could have stopped the collapse against Va Tech. If Ibi could have played 5 productive minutes, those losses might have been prevented. I have no doubt that Chatman could have done that much. And I still wonder if he'll make a jump like Wilson has. Oh well...


March 26th, 2017 at 1:17 PM ^

18 three point shots on the year, I don't think his 3 pt percentage is terribly informative. But yeah, even with the small sample size, 1-18 on threes is exceedingly bad. I wouldn't count him out yet but I certainly wouldn't count on him as a significant comtributor next year. It's probably best to assume that he won't be part of the core rotation and be pleasantly surprised if he exceeds expectations.

matt D

March 26th, 2017 at 4:45 PM ^

as a general rule. He's notorious for giving 'coach speak' quotes like that.

Through the years Jordan Morgan was one the best athletes in the B10. Mark Donnal was going to have a breakout season. Johnny Dawkins was the most improved player on the team. Duncan Robinson was more than a shooter. Xavier Simpson had similarities to Trey Burke.

If Coach Beilein really thought Davis was that good in January he would've played him IMO. Coach has never backed away from giving freshman playing time when warranted.


March 27th, 2017 at 1:54 PM ^

So he does make a lot of very kind statements about his players.

That said, Davis will be the widest body on the team next year, so there will surely be minutes available for him against certain teams. He'll have to prove he's ready for those minutes during practice and the non-conference schedule.

Charles Martel

March 27th, 2017 at 11:47 PM ^

I thought we were going to get suckered into a 6'9" 250 pound workhorse who can defend, block shots, and rebound. 2017 will find us looking for a point guard and someone to get a stop and/or a rebound.