Hunter Dickinson made it official on Friday when he announced his commitment to the Wolverines, giving them another player to build around in Juwan Howard’s first full recruiting class as head coach. Michigan beat out the likes of Duke, Florida State and Notre Dame for his services and now add a critical piece to the puzzle moving forward for as long as he stays in Ann Arbor.
Dickinson, a fellow southpaw, will not be someone you miss walking into a room, as he stands at 7-foot-2 and 255 pounds before even getting into a college weight program and working with Jon Sanderson at Michigan. 247Sports’ Composite ranks him as the No. 34 overall player in the country and the sixth-best center in the class.
One of the biggest changes that we have seen with Michigan basketball, at least in doses so far in Howard’s debut season, is that they are willing to run the offense through a big man and Jon Teske has had some of his best performances as a Wolverine this year under Howard’s guiding hand. Dickinson fits the Teske mold perfectly and probably is more of a refined product at this stage of his career with a little bit more consistent range on his shots from the perimeter. From watching his film, his ceiling is probably a bit higher, but many of the same types of traits are there. He’s a good rebounder and should be a good defender even if he is not the athlete that some of the other centers in this class may be.
I really like his game around the rim. Some guys have size but not the skill to match. In a lot of ways, Dickinson is a throwback center that is capable of hitting a mid-range jumper. He has soft hands and a soft touch inside and looks very at ease with himself and how he plays. There can often times be an awkwardness that has to be worked out of a young big, but that does not seem to be a problem with him. He also is not soft inside and shows a good competitive nature. He just looks the part of a college basketball big man and someone who is ready to contribute right away.
Whether he starts or not right away remains to be seen and a lot of that might depend on the development of Brandon Johns and Colin Castleton next offseason. But he will most certainly factor into the rotation and his minutes may depend on how he performs defensively (especially as it pertains to ball screens) and if he can give Michigan that rim-protecting presence inside.
He joins a class now that includes a five-star forward in Isaiah Todd and four-star guard Zeb Jackson. This is another really good prospect to add to the mix and it would not be a shock at all to see him play a major role quickly.