The Wolverine

January 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JANUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 61   BASKETBALL RECRUITING at the Horatio Williams Tipoff Classic at Detroit Edison Academy Dec. 10. He also added a few highlight dunks,'s Braden Hunter reported. "Livers was matched up with Western's 6-7 Tray Jackson, who had the height to defend him, but the skill level difference was apparent," Hunter noted. "Livers dominated whenever he got the ball in the paint and showed what he was able to do with the ball in his hands, hitting a couple of long-range jump shots." reported it was the "best we've seen him on a basket- ball court. "His improvement in terms of ball handling was quite evident early on. He was able to create separation against defenders with change of di- rection dribbles in a way that he has not displayed on prior occasions," the website added. "The 6-8 wing consistently knocked down contested midrange jumpers off the bounce us- ing his verticality and tremendous length. Livers was extremely im- pressive in transition as well, using a nifty behind-the-back dribble to blow past a defender before showing great body control when finishing on an up-and-under scoop layup with nasty English on it. "His impact was not limited to of- fense … he tallied five blocks that saw him chase down defenders in transition, and provide help-side shot blocking and perfectly timed blocks when defending in one-on- one situations." In Pennsylvania, point guard signee Eli Brooks (6-1, not cur- rently rated) scored 31 points to lead Spring Grove High to a 71-46 win over Lower Dauphin in his school's opener. He added 16 rebounds and eight assists, he told us, noting, "It was a good start." Brooks made a pair of triples in the win, as well. MICHIGAN IS STILL IN THE RUNNING FOR FIVE-STAR MOHAMED BAMBA Westtown (Pa.) School by way of Harlem five-star center Mohamed Bamba (6-11,'s No. 4 se- nior nationally) still has Michigan on his short list of schools heading into winter. He visited Ann Arbor for a football game this fall and has also seen Texas. Bamba has three more official vis- its remaining, and while some be- lieve Kentucky might lead, others like's Evan Daniels think Texas, UK and Michigan are his top three. Whoever gets him might only have him for a year. He's already in the top five on most 2018 NBA Draft boards, and is a super-intelligent player with physical skills to match. His 92-inch wingspan from hand to hand would reportedly be the second longest in the NBA right now, behind only Rudy Gobert (92.5 inches) of the Utah Jazz. "In my opinion, Mohamed has become a position-less player who happens to be 6-foot-11," Westtown coach Seth Berger told re- cently. "Mo is tall and long, athletic and coordinated, super intelligent and unselfish. "If he were 6-foot-1 you'd say, 'Let that guy be your point guard.' Be- cause he's 6-foot-11, there's nothing on the floor that he can't do." He's also become a leader on the court heading into this season, Berger added. "When he was a sophomore, he was smart enough to know what plays should happen," Berger said. "When he was a junior, he would point to where people should go and let other people take the lead." Bamba is not one to talk much about his recruitment, and those close to him insist he's not the typi- cal five-star. He's sincerely interested in a school beyond its basketball pro- gram and told re- cently he's more focused on improv- ing his skills than recruiting. "In October, I visited the Univer- sity of Texas, which was awesome," he wrote in his online diary. "My whole family got together, and it was a solid visit. It was great to experi- ence the warm weather of Austin in an otherwise cold October up north. "I have three official visits left and hopefully if the timing is right, I'll be able to get those done when I don't have school or basketball commit- ments here." He's already taken the ACT, ad- mitting it was a huge weight off his chest. There had been rumblings that Bamba would be in Ann Arbor for an early December game between Michigan and Texas, two of his fa- vorites, but that didn't happen. U-M won 53-50. "My main goal for this season is to find three new things to teach and three new things to learn every day," Bamba said. "That's just me wanting to learn more about the game, which I truly love. I don't really have goals as far as stats or numbers. "Those will take care of them- selves if I do what I need to as a team leader." ❏ On The Web For regular reports on Michigan basketball recruiting plus videos of U-M commitments and targets visit Westtown (Pa.) School's Mohamed Bamba — a 6-11 center who is rated as the No. 4 overall prospect in the nation by — has taken visits to both U-M and Texas, and reportedly is also high on Kentucky. PHOTO COURTESY JON LOPEZ/RIVALS.COM

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