The Wolverine

February 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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62 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2020   COMMITMENT PROFILE J uwan Howard didn't need much time to make an impression as Michigan's first-year head coach, leading the Wolverines as high as No. 4 in the Associated Press poll in the non-conference portion of the season. His team's run to win the championship in November's Battle for Atlantis Tournament in the Baha- mas opened eyes across the country, including those of several recruits. One — 7-1 standout Hunter Dick- inson of Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha — became more intrigued with every win. He finally pledged to the U-M Dec. 20 after weeks of speculation that he would, choosing the Wolver- ines over Duke, Florida State and Notre Dame. Dickinson said this fall he wanted to see how the Wolverines fared un- der Howard, and he got more than he expected. "Their fast start was really impres- sive," he said. "Add in the fact that their big man, Jon Teske, was playing great in the offense … it definitely caught my eye. I was able to see how they play, and I can definitely see myself fitting right into the offense." Rivals.com's No. 5 center and No. 38 overall prospect nationally added to a haul that included four- star signee Zeb Jackson (6-2, No. 59) of Montverde (Fla.) Academy and 6-10 Isaiah Todd (No. 10) of Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Academy. Jack- son has already signed, while Todd is waiting for the April period and still exploring professional options overseas. Since Dickinson's pledge, Michigan has also secured a verbal from his longtime friend and fellow four-star prospect Terrance Williams. Dickinson has been with DeMatha his entire career and with the Team Takeover AAU program since his freshman season. He posted per- game averages of 13.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 blocks on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit this summer, while shooting 59 percent from the floor. Rivals.com national basketball re- cruiting analyst Corey Evans called him one of the most polished back- to-the-basket big men he'd seen come out of high school in the last handful of years. "I think Alex Harris at Evolution basketball helped me a lot with my back to the basket game when I was really young, and it just continued to grow," Dickinson said. He is an immediate go-to weapon down low that can pass, score, re- bound and alter shots, Evans said, and could provide immediate help down low when Teske graduates. "He's just so polished … so proven," Evans said. "He's done it at the highest level since he was practi- cally a freshman in high school at DeMatha Catholic, playing EYBL as a freshman. He's proven. "He knows how to score in the half-court, can score, rebound, alter shots, pass, play in various schemes. There are a whole lot of things you can definitely take from what he does on the floor." Howard will love coaching him, Evans added, though it's clear Dick- inson has already received plenty of great coaching. "He's got one of the best in the na- tion on the high school side in Mike Jones," Evans continued. "Team Takeover playing on the travel cir- cuit, it's pretty proven that a lot of those guys go on to great success in college and beyond. "If you're talking about having a strong background and pedigree and all that, it doesn't get much better than what he's had so far." Size alone will lead to comparisons between Teske and Dickinson, and there are some similarities. There are differences, too, Evans noted. "Teske is more perimeter oriented, was better facing the bucket early," he explained. "What Dickinson does with his back to the bucket is some- thing else. He's one of the best back- to-the-bucket post players I've really covered in the last five, six, seven years. He's so skilled in the post. "There are definitely going to be some comparisons to Teske just cause because of the size, mobility, half- court stuff, but it's night and day at the same point in their careers. Teske has really developed, but I think at the same stage there's really not a comparison." Dickinson isn't an above-the-rim talent, and he's not overly quick or athletic. U-M strength coach Jon Sanderson should help him improve in those areas, but his skill set, IQ and feel for the game really make up for any athletic deficiencies according to Evans. On the defensive end, his size alone makes him tough to score over. "He's a shot alterer for sure, and I know everyone wants that big- time shot blocker who throws shots away from bucket as a momentum changer," Evans said. "But he defi- nitely does a good job being in the right spot at the right time and not fouling." U-M fans will get a chance to see it first hand next season. — Chris Balas Four-Star Center Hunter Dickinson Commits To Juwan Howard And U-M Dickinson, who is the nation's No. 5 center and No. 38 overall prospect according to Rivals, picked U-M over Duke, Florida State and Notre Dame. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Corey Evans "What Dickinson does with his back to the bucket is some- thing else. He's one of the best back-to-the-bucket post play- ers I've really covered in the last five, six, seven years. He's so skilled in the post."

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