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The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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52 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2020 BY CHRIS BALAS D on't lament the ones that got away … appreciate the ones you got. If there were an official basketball recruiting mantra, that one would fit the bill. For every recruit that spurned former Michigan head coach John Beilein over the last several years, for example, there were others who stepped up to take their place. Tim Hardaway Jr. was one, a three-star prospect down the list be- hind former four-star in-stater Trey Ziegler, who opted to play for his dad at Central Michigan — now he is an NBA multi-millionaire, while Ziegler never sniffed the league. None of Trey Burke, Caris LeVert or D.J. Wilson were "first choices," yet they went on to great college careers and the NBA. Second-year head coach Juwan Howard will have his chance to find his own Plan B recruits, having al- ready suffered some high-profile misses on the recruiting trail in losing a pair of five-stars in former pledge Isaiah Todd (6-10,'s No. 14 senior nationally) out of Ra- leigh (N.C.) Word of God Academy and Josh Christopher (6-5, Rivals. com's No. 11 player in the country) of Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair. Todd chose to go professional and will pursue an NBA G-League contract, while Christopher stunned most pundits in opting for Arizona State. H o w a rd ' s c o n s o l a t i o n p r i z e , though? The Big Ten's top recruiting class. Howard signed Montverde (Fla.) Academy four-star combo guard Zeb Jackson (6-3,'s No. 76 re- cruit in the land) last November and then in the spring officially inked his son Jace Howard (6-7, three-star prospect) of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University, four-star center Hunter Dickinson (7-2,'s No. 34 prospect in the nation) of Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha and four-star forward Terrance Williams (6-7,'s No. 100 senior nationally) of Wash- ington (D.C.) Gonzaga. tabbed the group No. 13 nationally, three spots ahead of Illinois and 14 ahead of Big Ten No. 3 Wisconsin. "The addition of these four young men to the Michigan basketball family is another important step in the growth of this program," Howard said. "Yes, all four bring tremendous basketball skill and talent; however, it's their maturity, growth mindsets and desire to get better as people which makes us proud to have them represent the Block 'M.' Our staff cannot wait to have them get to Ann Arbor. "With these signings, and the ad- dition of Zeb in the fall, we are truly excited for the direction we are head- ing. Talent is one thing; however, we always want to make sure we bring the right players into this program — 'Michigan Men.' We are confident we have done that." Dickinson is the headliner, having finished as the all-time winningest player at DeMatha Catholic with 119 victories. He was named the 2020 Washington Catholic Athletic Confer- ence (WCAC) Player of the Year after averaging 16.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per game, was selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic (which was canceled due to COVID-19), and earned Gatorade's Maryland Player of the Year and All- Met Player of the Year awards. "Even though he appears to be a quiet and gentle giant, Hunter is going to make some noise for us down low," Howard said. "He is patient in the post and allows for plays to develop before he attacks — especially with his left-handed hook shot. He is a space eater and really takes pride in defense. "The successes he had at DeMatha allow him to bring a winning mental- ity to Ann Arbor." Like Dickinson, Williams was a three-time All-WCAC first team se- lection. He helped Gonzaga claim WCAC Tournament titles in 2017 and 2019, and finished his senior season averaging 17.9 points and 9.9 re- bounds per game while leading the Eagles to a 25-10 record. "Terrance is part of the new breed of collegiate basketball players — a hybrid who can play many different positions," Howard said. "He is effi- cient with his play and is skilled both offensively and defensively. He is not afraid of contact, so it stands a chance that he has an opportunity to come in and be a major contributor." Dickinson and Williams were AAU teammates on Team Takeover on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) Circuit, winning the Peach Jam Tournament to finish No. 1 in the league in 2018. Dickinson averaged 13.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in 2019, earning All-EYBL honorable mention recognition, while Williams posted 15.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. "It's special to have two players from the same area go to the same college   BASKETBALL RECRUITING Still No. 1 Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic center Hunter Dickinson — the headliner of U-M's 2020 class that was rated as the best in the Big Ten and No. 13 nationally — received several hon- ors this spring, including being tabbed as Gatorade's Maryland Player of the Year. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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