The Wolverine

March 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 78 of 91

MARCH 2021 THE WOLVERINE 79 HUNTER DICKINSON LANDS ON NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LISTS Freshman center Hunter Dickinson, a six-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree (out of 12), has landed on two different watch lists for na- tional player of the year awards. The 7-1, 255-pounder earned spots on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 and the Naismith Trophy Midseason Team, which consists of 30 players from across the nation. He is also one of 10 on the list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, presented each season to the best center in the nation. Two other Wolverines, senior for- ward Isaiah Livers and sophomore guard Franz Wagner, have also been included on award watch lists during the course of the year. Livers was named to the watch list for the Julius Erving Award, handed out annually to the nation's top small forward, and the Senior CLASS Award Top 30, presented to seniors who have notable achievements in the community, classroom, charac- ter and competition. Livers was on the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award watch lists to begin the year, but did not make the cut for either in the latest updates. Wagner was one of the top 10 candi- dates for the Jerry West Award, which goes to the nation's top shooting guard. Often lauded by head coach Ju- wan Howard as a "two-way player," Wagner has also been honored as one of 16 on the watch list for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. — Clayton Sayfie 2021 BIG TEN TOURNAMENT MOVED FROM CHICAGO TO INDIANAPOLIS The Big Ten conference announced Feb. 9 that it is relocating the 2021 Big Ten Basketball Tournament, which will be held March 10-14, from the United Center in Chicago to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The decision was based on "the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, officials and conference con- stituents," the league's statement read, adding that hosting both the men's and women's tournament in the same city "allows for cohesive testing and medical protocols for both events, as well as centralized accommodations surrounding the competition venues." — Clayton Sayfie Superlatives From Michigan's 67-59 Win At Wisconsin Feb. 14 Because of the athletic department's two-week pause, Michigan played only one game from Jan. 23 to Feb. 16. Here's the best of the best from that contest: Three Best Players 1. Senior forward Isaiah Livers: He was the offensive catalyst against the Badgers, scoring a game-high 20 points and con- necting on 4 of 7 three-point attempts. Livers also pulled down seven rebounds and drilled a crucial triple with just 2:37 remaining that put U-M on top for good. 2. Freshman center Hunter Dickin- son: He tallied his fourth double-double of the year, scoring 11 points and tying his career high with 15 rebounds. Dick- inson's presence around the glass was especially prevalent in the second half, with 11 of his 15 boards occurring in the game's final 20 minutes. 3. Sophomore guard Franz Wagner: His 14 points were the second most of any Michigan player in the win, while his 38 minutes tied Livers for the team lead. Wagner's biggest play occurred with just 1:01 remaining, when he nailed a running floater in the lane that extended Michigan's lead to 63-59 at the time. Key Play With 2:54 left in the contest and Wisconsin leading 57-56, senior guard Eli Brooks fired up a wide open three-pointer from the right wing as the shot clock expired. It bounced hard off the back iron and down into the arms of Dickinson, who had boxed out Badgers senior forward Nate Reuvers beautifully along the baseline. Dickinson immediately fired the ball to Livers on the left wing, who didn't even bother to dribble before hoisting up a three-pointer. The shot never hit the rim, splashing through the net and putting Michigan on top 59-57 with 2:47 remain- ing. The Wolverines never trailed again from that point on. Best Highlight With 9:55 left in the first half and Wisconsin holding a 20-14 lead, Livers re- ceived a short pass from Wagner on the left wing with Badgers sophomore forward Tyler Wahl guarding the senior tightly. Livers then dribbled quickly to the top of the key with Wahl still draped all over him. Once he took a step inside the three-point arc, the Kalamazoo, Mich., native then faked like he was going to drive toward the basket. Instead of attacking, however, Livers stopped on a dime and took a step-back three-pointer from the top of the key. Wahl wasn't able to recover defensively and saw his momentum carry him all the way to the free throw line, giving Livers a wide-open shot. The senior drained the triple, marking one of the four he converted on the afternoon. Bold Prediction Michigan will pick up a key victory at No. 4 Ohio State Feb. 21. The Buckeyes won nine of their 10 games from Jan. 9 through Feb. 13 and developed into one of the hottest teams in the nation during that span. OSU has lost only once at home all year (a two-point setback against Purdue Jan. 19), and Michigan has not picked up a victory at Value City Arena since 2014. Though the odds are seemingly stacked against U-M in Columbus, the Wolver- ines will nevertheless come away with the victory. Many observers thought the two-week shutdown would slow down Michigan's momentum, but the 67-59 victory at Wisconsin in the club's first game back proved the Maize and Blue are picking up right where they left off. — Austin Fox Senior forward Isaiah Livers knocked down 4 of 7 three-pointers en route to a game-high 20 points in U-M's 67-59 road win over the No. 21-ranked Badgers. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - March 2021