The No. 7 Michigan Wolverines will host the No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers tomorrow night in a marquee matchup within the Big Ten conference. Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard met with the media yesterday and couldn't say enough about Michigan freshman Hunter Dickinson.
"He doesn't play like a freshman," Gard said. "He doesn't get rattled by double teams. He's big. He obviously finishes at a high rate. He's a handful."
He's been a big handful. Dickinson is averaging 18 points and 8.1 rebounds per game on the season and is even better in conference play. He's been in double digits in all 10 contests and has brought home four Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards with a fifth likely on the way.
Dickinson is certainly a known man in the Big Ten and he's starting to become a household name nationally. ESPN recently put together a list of the top freshmen in the country and Dickinson was among those mentioned.
Several times during his high school career, I (and others) mentioned how Dickinson would have been considered an elite prospect 10-15 years ago. At 7-1, Dickinson is more of a throwback big man who rarely ventures to the perimeter. But he’s been a revelation for the Wolverines this season. Dickinson has been a dominant interior presence, tallying three double-doubles — including 26 points and 11 boards against Maryland on New Year’s Eve. He’s also been one of the more efficient scorers in the country, shooting 74.4% from 2-point range while averaging 16.9 points and 8.1 boards.
Just 10 games into his college career, Dickinson finds himself at the top of every team's scouting report. It's not just his scoring either. The 7-footer has also been phenomenal passing out of double teams allowing his sharp-shooting teammates to knock down open jumpers and keep the ball moving around the perimeter. Mix all of that together with an elite culture created by Juwan Hoard and you have an undefeated Michigan team looking for win No. 11 agains Wisconsin tomorrow night.