Michigan basketball center Hunter Dickinson decided to return to Michigan for two key reasons.
In an interview with Sam Webb and Tim McCormick, Dickinson mentioned the ability to earn money through NIL played a factor, and that fine-tuning his game at Michigan another year will help his NBA aspirations.
“With me, I want to be as ready as possible,” Dickinson said. “However ready I’m going to be after this year is as good as I can get. Hopefully with the teachings of Juwan, being with Sandman (Jon Sanderson) another year, I feel like another year of developing my game and my body will definitely pay dividends for me next year.”
When it comes to what areas he thinks he can improve on the most, Dickinson said that he wanted to get more efficient from three and get better anchoring the defense. Last season, the big man shot 32.8% on 64 attempts and averaged 1.5 blocks per game.
“I’d like to see myself above 35 percent at least, hopefully in the 40 percent range, that’s a big goal of mine” Dickinson said regarding his three-point shot. “Offensively, just continuing to fine-tune things, getting more moves on the low block, being more advanced with that, and then, and you know with the mid-range jump shot, I see a lot of good bigs utilizing that a lot, it’s just an easier way to score without doing so much banging — it’s a nice way to get extra points without having to work too hard.”
“And then defensively, I think the thing I need to work on is being a rim protector, I think last year in the beginning of the season I was a little more passive with being a rim protector,” Dickinson continued. “I think towards the end of the season, I tried to focus more on it and I was able to get more blocks and be more disruptive down there, so that’s something I’m going to focus on from the jump and make big improvements, try to get at least, I’d say 2.5 blocks per game is a good goal for me.”
Dickinson also predicted that Kobe Bufkin will have a breakout sophomore season in 2022-23. In his first season with the Wolverines, the Grand Rapids native appeared in 31 games and averaged 3.0 points and 1.1 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game.
“One guy that I think everyone on the team and on the coaching staff is expecting to make a leap is Kobe,” Dickinson said. “Obviously, you can see the potential that he has, the skill set, he’s got it all. I think another year in the Big Ten, you’ll see him get a lot more comfortable in his own game. I think the game will really slow down for him like it did for me. As a freshman going into my sophomore year, I could tell the game was a little bit different of a speed. It all slowed down and made it a lot easier for me. I think a similar thing will happen for him, and I’m expecting a big sophomore campaign for him.”