If Hunter Dickinson had waited 24 hours to make his stunning announcement, Michigan fans might have taken it for a cruel April Fool’s Day joke. Instead, the 7-foot-1 center decided to enter the transfer portal on March 31, informing Stadium’s Jeff Goodman of his intentions.
Dickinson is leaving Juwan Howard’s program after three seasons. Projected as a late second-round pick or to not be selected in the 2023 NBA Draft, Dickinson is looking for a new school with two years of eligibility remaining.
He instantly becomes the top player available in the portal. During the 2022-23 season that ended with a loss at Vanderbilt in the second round of the NIT, Dickinson started all 34 games and averaged 18.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.8 blocked shots and 1.5 assists per game. He made 56.0 percent of his field-goal attempts, 42.1 percent of his 3-pointers and 72.7 percent of his free throws.
In 2021-22, Dickinson averaged 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 blocked shots per game. As a true freshman in 2020-21, he averaged 14.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots per game.
Michigan finished the season with an 18-16 straight-up record and a 19-14-1 against-the-spread mark. The Wolverines were on a three-game winning streak both SU and ATS before losing 91-87 at Illinois in double overtime on March 2. Then they lost 75-73 at Indiana in overtime in their regular-season finale three days later.
In the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, Michigan lost 62-50 vs. Rutgers to eliminate all hope of earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Howard’s team beat Toledo 90-80 as a 5.5-point home ‘chalk’ in the first round of the NIT. Dickinson had 19 points, nine rebounds, two blocked shots and one assist without a turnover against the Rockets in his final game at Crisler Center.
In his last game wearing the maize and blue, Dickinson had 21 points and 11 boards against the Commodores.
As a four-star recruit in the 2020 class out of DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, MD., Dickinson chose Michigan over Duke, Louisville, Florida St. and Notre Dame. Other potential suitors could include Maryland, Gonzaga, Illinois, Michigan St. and Georgetown.
Howard is also losing his son, Jett Howard, who has entered the NBA Draft and is expected to be a mid-first-round pick. As a true freshman, Howard averaged 14.5 PPG.
Michigan has added a piece to its 2023-24 roster with a commitment from Nimari Burnett, who is transferring in from Alabama. Burnett, a former McDonald’s All-American who began his career at Texas Tech, averaged 5.6 points and 2.0 RPG for the Crimson Tide in 2022-23.