Hunter Dickinson returns to Michigan basketball for junior season
In an age when college basketball players change teams on a whim and can test the NBA waters before returning to school, the task of reshaping a roster is harder than ever for coaches nationwide.
But for Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard, assembling his team for the 2022-23 season became significantly less awkward on Sunday night when star center Hunter Dickinson announced plans to play a third season in Ann Arbor.
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“I’m not done yet,” Dickinson said in a graphic shared on his social media platforms.
Michigan’s leading scorer and rebounder had remained silent about his future in the weeks following the Sweet 16’s loss to Villanova. In the aftermath of that game, Dickinson said he would need time to sort out his options before deciding whether to return or enter the draft for the second year in a row. Dickinson tested the waters after earning All-America honors in his freshman season, but NBA executives told him he would be a pick midway through the second round — an assessment he was neither confident with. agreed nor appreciated.
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NBA Draft is 11:59 p.m. Sunday, and Dickinson was one of three UM players for whom that option was viable. Small forward Caleb Houstan and power forward Moussa Diabate – two former five-star recruits who were due to be selected in this year’s draft before spending their first season at Michigan – could be intrigued by the possibility of navigating the same process. that Dickinson experienced last spring. .
Neither Houstan nor Diabate had made their decisions public at the time of Dickinson’s announcement at 6:30 p.m.
Dickinson’s return is a boon for Howard, who faced the possibility of another major roster rotation after the departures of shooter Eli Brooks, point guard DeVante ‘Jones, forward Brandon Johns Jr. and combo guard Zeb Jackson. If Dickinson had decided to turn professional, Wolverines would have gone into next season without their top three scorers from the 2021-22 campaign.
After a year in which he averaged 18.6 points per game (fifth in the Big Ten) and 8.6 rebounds per game (fourth in the Big Ten), Dickinson will be considered among the best players in college basketball. and someone who can guide the Wolverines to a sixth consecutive Sweet 16 trip.