Isaiah Livers returning to Michigan for senior season

Michigan forward Isaiah Livers announced Friday he is withdrawing his name from the NBA draft and will return to school for his senior season.

"What a crazy couple of months," Livers said in a release. "However, I have learned a great deal from this process, and I'm extremely excited to return to Ann Arbor. My family and I are so appreciative of Coach Howard and all the staff for letting us really explore my dream of playing in the NBA. While it was a limited process due to COVID-19, I want to thank all the NBA teams who took the time to talk to me. The information I gathered is going to be invaluable moving forward. But now, we have unfinished business in Ann Arbor. I cannot wait to do everything I can and help lead this team to great things."

Livers had until Aug. 3 to make a decision, but with the NBA draft combine not happening until after the deadline and no team workouts for the foreseeable future, there is limited feedback from NBA teams during the draft process.

"It was a great afternoon when Isaiah stopped into my office and told us he would be returning," Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. "The opportunity for Isaiah, and his family, to take a deep dive and learn as much as they could about professional basketball is a blessing. Now, he has even more information to know what he needs to do to reach that next level and fulfill his dreams. For us, we not only get a skilled and experienced veteran back, we get a true leader and one of the best young men I have met."

Livers' return to Ann Arbor is critical for Howard entering his second season at the helm. Michigan is already replacing Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske from last season, and Livers leaving would have left the Wolverines without their top three scorers from last season. Livers had an injury-hampered junior season, but Michigan was 13-6 with a fully healthy Livers and just 6-6 when he was out or left a game early due to injury.

He averaged 12.9 points and 4.0 rebounds last season, while shooting better than 40% from 3-point range and 95.7% from the free-throw line.

Michigan will be a borderline preseason top-25 team entering the 2020-21 season, with three returning starters and one of the best recruiting classes in the country -- led by three ESPN 100 prospects. Howard is also bringing in Columbia graduate transfer Mike Smith (22.8 PPG) and Wake Forest transfer Chaundee Brown (12.1 PPG), the latter of whom could pursue a waiver to play immediately next season.