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The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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24 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2020 BY AUSTIN FOX J unior forward Isaiah Livers re- vealed March 30 that he would be entering his name into the 2020 NBA Draft, but he did not hire an agent to aid him during the process, allowing him to retain his NCAA eligibility. "Following the cancellation of the season, my family and our coaching staff have had several discussions on my future as a basketball player," Livers posted on social media. "After much reflection and prayer, I have decided to enter my name into the 2020 NBA Draft and start the full evaluation process. "The University of Michigan has done so much for me and helped me get to a position where I might be able to reach my goal of playing professional basketball. While this is only the start of the evaluation, I have appreciated your encourage- ment and will continue to need it as this process moves on." The 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled to occur June 25 in Brooklyn, N.Y., but the Kalamazoo, Mich., native has until June 15 to potentially withdraw and return to Ann Arbor for his se- nior season. Players are now also allowed to return to school if they remain in the draft but go unselected, but only if they participated in the NBA Combine (which is slated to run from May 21-24 in Chicago). Livers' junior campaign saw him tie senior point guard Zavier Simp- son for the team lead in scoring (12.9 points per game), while pulling down 4.0 boards per outing and con- necting on a team-high 40.2 percent of his three-pointers. He also hit the 20-point plateau on three separate occasions, despite missing 10 games with injury. "We know Isaiah has had the de- sire to reach the next level of play- ing professional basketball, and go- ing through the NBA Draft process will give him the information he is looking for to make the proper deci- sion," head coach Juwan Howard said. "Even with everything going on with COVID-19, myself and our staff will continue to work closely with Isaiah and his family to gain as much information as possible in the weeks ahead before he reaches his final decision." FRANZ WAGNER WILL RETURN FOR HIS SOPHOMORE SEASON Michigan guard Franz Wagner announced April 23 he would re- turn to Ann Arbor next year for his sophomore season. Many believed the Berlin, Germany, native would join junior forward Isaiah Livers in at least testing the NBA Draft waters after he averaged 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game last year, but he ultimately decided against it. "It's important for me to thank Coach [Juwan] Howard and the staff for not only giving me the time to think about this decision, but also helping me gather as much infor- mation as I could," Wagner said. "Returning to Michigan is the right step for me not only as a basketball player, but as a person too. "This first season was a transition, competitive, fun and one of growth. I am very much looking forward to getting back to Ann Arbor and living that again." Wagner earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman team after finish- ing third among conference rookies in scoring. He also took home the league's Freshman of the Week award three times, while scoring 10 or more points on 17 different occasions. "Franz and I have had many won- derful conversations since the end of the season," Howard noted. "He really took the opportunity to look into everything he could before mak- ing his final decision — a decision we are elated for. "His leadership, work ethic and desire to make not only himself, but his teammates better is incredible. I have said Franz is an emerging bas- ketball talent; however, it is his de-   MICHIGAN BASKETBALL Isaiah Livers Enters His Name Into The NBA Draft, But Will Not Hire An Agent Livers tied to lead the Wolverines in scoring (12.9 points per game) and paced the squad in three-point shooting (40.2 percent) this season. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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