On Sunday, Michigan hosted Oakland University in a game that was supposed to get ugly early and often as the No. 25 Wolverines were a 31-point favorite over the Golden Grizzlies.
Well, things did get very ugly but not in the way most expected as Michigan turned the ball over 20 times and needed overtime to pull out an 81-71 win.
During the first half of the game, with the Wolverines leading 29-25, head coach Juwan Howard was talking his team during a timeout when he and senior forward Isaiah Livers went toe-to-toe.
Check it out.
Following the conclusion of the game, Livers and Howard both spoke to the media about the exchange.
Via Wolverines Wire:
“Yeah, he was holding me accountable,” Livers said. “In the midst of the game, you’re emotional, take it the other way. Actually, I wouldn’t even say I took it the other way. He (was) just challenging me. That’s how me and Coach Howard, weirdly enough, that’s how we communicate. We argue at practice, we go at it during games, we go at it during scrimmages. It doesn’t matter. He just wants me to be a great player, and I respect him for that.”
“First, that’s between Isaiah and I,” Howard said. “Secondly, you look at his box score: 8-for-12, 5-for-7 from three, finished with 22 points, had four blocks, plus-minus was seven — I think it was a nice little spark plug he needed to respond with the performance he did tonight. It’s great, man, that I get an opportunity to empower young men, to go out there and be the best version of themselves. And Isaiah rose to the occasion.”
“He told me to play harder, get on the ground, grab the 50/50 balls, rebound,” Livers said. “Little things like that. I guess in the middle of the game, got challenged, that’s how we go at it. I said, ‘I got you coach!’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Wassup?’ ‘Yeah, I got you.’ ‘Trust me.’ Stuff like that. I know he trusts me a long ways, wants me to be a great basketball player, that’s it.”