After missing Friday’s game against Illinois because of COVID, Michigan Wolverines’ star Hunter Dickinson returned to the floor last night against the Maryland Terrapins. After a 7-7 start to the season, Michigan was desperate for a win, and Dickinson helped out in a big way going for 21 points, six rebounds and six assists in just under 30 minutes.
“It was great to have him back healthy on the floor,” Juwan Howard said after the game. “His presence out there, he just makes his teammates better. He’s going to get doubled, he’s been able to make plays for others when he gets doubled. He also is skilled enough when he’s playing against his man one-on-one in the post or when he’s making shots on the perimeter, whether it’s mid-range or threes, he’s found ways to impact the game, not just with the ball going in the basket, but just being out there, altering shots on the defensive end, he had a couple blocks.”
Caleb Houstan also had a big game, which was huge for him as he had been struggling most of the season. Houstan was near perfect from the floor, going 6-of-7 overall and 3-of-4 from 3 with 16 points.
“It was great to see Caleb have the game that he had,” Howard said. “As you can see, he made some really good plays. Whether it was driving to the basket with the finish and the and one, or shooting his shot — and with that, the confidence is there. I don’t want him, or any of his teammates to overthink it or overanalyze when you go through a shooting slump. There’s a lot of season to be played, a lot of games left, you’ll have your opportunity again.”
Dickinson added that a win like this is one that can give the team momentum as they try to turn this season around.
“When we’re playing like that, we’re a really hard team to beat,” Dickinson said. “I think that team out there is probably the reason we were ranked so high to begin the season. I think we showed flashes of what we can become. When guys are just playing good, it’s just a great feeling to be out there, super happy for the guys. We all enjoy each other’s success, so when guys like Caleb Houstan, DeVante’ are hitting their shots, Moussa’s doing his thing down low, it’s nice to see and I’m happy for those guys.”
This win was a step in the right direction. If Michigan can keep playing like it did against Maryland, Dickinson is right, this team will be tough to beat. The next opportunity for a big win comes Sunday in Bloomington as the Wolverines square off with Indiana.