The Wolverine

February 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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10 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2018   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS Michigan freshman forward Isaiah Livers is now in the starting lineup and playing well in Big Ten action, scoring in double figures in his first three January conference contests. He's also provided a presence on de- fense and energy on the glass. Livers answers questions in this month's sit-down session: The Wolverine: Head coach John Beilein said it took you a while to get comfortable and you started slowly, but you've picked it up. What's been the key? Isaiah Livers: "Confidence is as high as it's ever been for all of us freshmen. Coach B makes sure we're all positive going into every practice and every game. He's really stressed defensive rebounding to me lately, as well — I need to hit the glass more. "Diving on the floor is something I do every day in practice, though, and he loves that." The Wolverine: You said fellow freshman Jordan Poole made eye contact with you before throwing you an alley-oop on one play against Illinois Jan. 6 … how much have you two developed a rapport? Livers: "Believe it or not, we don't practice those alley-oops that much. Our scout team doesn't let us get any — they've seen enough of those and have stopped them. "I was asked last spring by [direc- tor of player personnel] Chris Hunter who I'd like to room with, and I said Jordan Poole. I guess Jordan said he'd like to live with me, too, so that's how it all played out. "He's definitely not messy to live with, but I'm not messy either. He's a cleaning freak — he's always clean- ing. It would take me a day to do that." The Wolverine: How much of adapt- ing to this level of play is overcoming the nerves? Livers: "I haven't been ner vous since, shoot, my first football game as a kid. I just think of it as … myself coming [in], staying calm and playing my game, playing with confidence. "My dad preaches that a lot. Even though you're star ting, it doesn't make a difference. You go out there and play your basketball and ex- ecute." The Wolverine: You said Coach Beilein is teaching you through steps you may have missed in your develop- ment … what are some of those? Livers: "He wants me to be strong in the paint. He wants me to land on two feet, and he loves pivoting. Pivoting with our right foot, I think that's mostly what we've been working on a lot. "He wants me to do that a lot more, and I'm looking to do a lot more, too." The Wolverine: The season started with fifth-year senior Duncan Robinson at the four and you backing him up, but you've been on the court with him now. How has that played out? Livers: "We love that. He's put me in a lot more minutes at the four, and Dun- can more in his true position, at the two or the three. "I like it. It spreads the court a lot more." — Chris Balas Livers scored a career-high 13 points in U-M's 75-68 win at Iowa Jan. 2. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL Sitting Down With Michigan Freshman Forward Isaiah Livers

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