The guess here is that Livers doesn’t start in such a hostile environment, but that Beilein won’t hesitate to turn to his freshman forward even quicker than normal against Michigan State’s big, talented frontcourt of Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson, and Nick Ward.
Wagner had to this to say about his foot: “It’s more mental to be honest with you. You have something to think about on the court, one thing more, which is obviously not a good thing. It’s kind of a distraction. You calculate every movement a little more. You’re a little more alert about your body, which can be good but when it’s about moving it’s not good. It’s a little annoying, but I guess it’s part of it.”
Beilein was asked if there was a new injury and responded, “I’m not at liberty to say.”
“We’re not going to judge our season’s success whether it’s one game or two games,” Beilein said. “We’re going to judge it on, ‘Did we compete for the Big Ten championship? Did we make the NCAA Tournament? And who’s playing last at the end of the year? Are we one of the Big Ten teams?’ … We’re not going to judge it on, ‘Did we beat this team or beat that team?’ In basketball I think that would be the wrong way to judge your season.”
Beilein said he believes Michigan State is the best team in the country. On top of that, the Breslin Center can be a powerful sixth man. Beilein called it “one of the more festive atmospheres in the Big Ten” and he’s interested to see how his younger players handle it. “If those three freshmen are out there playing, how are they going to react?”