It’s no denying that Michigan basketball has had a really up-and-down offseason.
The Wolverines lost probable starter, Frankie Collins, to the transfer portal, and the maize and blue lost both five-star freshmen Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate to the NBA draft after one season in Ann Arbor. That’s on top of losing Eli Brooks after he played his fifth season for Michigan this past year.
With those losses, the Wolverines did gain Jaelin Llewellyn as a graduate transfer from Princeton — who should help with the shooting woes that haunted the Wolverines this past season. But the biggest talking point was the return of Hunter Dickinson. After his freshman season, Dickinson really looked into the NBA draft and went through the process before deciding to come back to Michigan for his sophomore season. But this time around the All-Big Ten center didn’t hesitate and came back to Ann Arbor for his junior campaign.
The Wolverines have a solid recruiting class coming in for the 2022-2023 season with the likes of Jett Howard and Tarris Reed — who both should see minutes right away. With that being said, this roster is far from finished. With Houstan and Diabate staying in the NBA draft, the Wolverines have two scholarships up for grabs. Michigan is still looking to fill those via the transfer portal.
Obviously, the return of Dickinson has had the talking points that go with an enormous announcement, and college basketball analyst, Andy Katz, came out with a ranking of the top 25 returning players for the 2022-2023 season.
Katz has Dickinson ranked No. 6 on his list and here’s what he had to say about the Michigan big man.
6. Hunter Dickinson, Michigan
height/weight: 7-foot-1/260 pounds
2021-22 stats: 18.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.5 bpg
Dickinson was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore, as voted on by the media members who cover the conference, one season after he was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. After missing all four of his 3-pointers as a freshman, Dickinson shot almost 33 percent on 2.5 attempts per game as a sophomore, when he improved his scoring average by 4.5 points per game.
If Dickinson can continue to improve his 3-point shooting to go along with his dominant post-game, he may be talked about as one of the best in the game next season — especially if he leads the Wolverines back to another Sweet 16 birth.