Isaiah Livers, Austin Davis won't return to Michigan for extra season
Michigan’s Isaiah Livers and Austin Davis will not be returning to Ann Arbor for another season.
A program spokesperson confirmed Thursday that Livers and Davis will both be moving on instead of using the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA to all winter athletes because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier Thursday, Livers posted a farewell tweet that indicated his decision.
“Thank you Michigan,” Livers wrote, including a yellow and blue heart at the end.
The move was widely expected for Livers, who declared for the NBA Draft and went through the pre-draft process last year before coming back for his senior season. The 6-foot-7 forward from Kalamazoo appeared in 119 games with 69 starts over his four-year career and finished with 987 points.
Livers, a two-way threat and one of the team’s three captains, averaged a career-high 13.1 points, six rebounds and two assists and shot 43.1% from 3-point range in 23 games this past season, earning All-Big Ten second team honors. He didn’t get a chance to shine in the postseason after suffering a season-ending foot injury in the Big Ten tournament, which sidelined him for Michigan’s final five games.
Livers recently had surgery to repair the stress fracture in his right foot and is expected to be out for at least six months. The injury — one of several Livers had endured during his time as a Wolverine — will prevent him from participating in the NBA combine or pre-draft workouts and likely will impact his draft stock. He’s projected as a second-round pick in some mock drafts and is consulting with an NBA agent about his next professional steps.
Davis, a 6-10 center from Onsted, appeared in 88 games with five starts and primarily served as a backup during his career. As a fifth-year senior and reliable bench piece last season, he averaged a career-best 5.4 points and 2.8 rebounds and shot 70.5% from the field in 23 games. He also played a key role in mentoring and preparing freshman center Hunter Dickinson for the college level.
Davis is on track to graduate with a master’s degree in movement science and will explore opportunities to play professionally overseas. If that doesn’t work out, he could potentially return to work with Michigan strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson.
Davis and Livers will leave Ann Arbor with an impressive list of achievements that includes more than 100 wins, a national title game appearance, three Sweet 16s and a Big Ten regular-season and tournament championship.
Fellow scholarship seniors Mike Smith and Chaundee Brown also passed on the extra season to enter the NBA Draft, meaning the Wolverines will have to replace four pieces from a team that won the conference title and reached the Elite Eight. However, they’ll return one super senior in starting guard Eli Brooks, who accepted the additional year and will be back in 2021-22 for a fifth season.
According to the program spokesperson, senior walk-ons C.J. Baird and Luke Wilson won’t take advantage of the extra season, while Rico Ozuna-Harrison is not expected to and Jaron Faulds is still deciding.
The Wolverines also are awaiting NBA Draft decisions from sophomore wing Franz Wagner and Dickinson.