Prized 7-footer Dickinson transfers to Jayhawks

Michigan star big man Hunter Dickinson, the best player in the transfer portal this spring and arguably the most sought-after transfer in the portal era, announced his commitment to Kansas on Thursday.

Dickinson, a junior, entered the portal in late March and was immediately the No. 1 player on the market. In addition to the Jayhawks, the 7-foot-1 center also visited Villanova, Kentucky, Maryland and Georgetown.

He made his announcement in a video posted to Twitter.

He explained on the “RoundBall” podcast this week how difficult the decision-making process has been.

“If I knew where I was going, I would have happily made the decision sooner,” Dickinson said. “I really am struggling trying to pick a school. The good thing about all this is, [for] all my options, I feel like if I went there, I would succeed. But it’s just trying to figure out which one out of them is the best and the one I’m most comfortable at, stuff like that.”

A return to Michigan was also considered a potential option, but Dickinson released a statement Wednesday night officially announcing his departure.

“The initial decision for me to enter the portal was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” Dickinson said. “The thought of potentially leaving the place I love and called home for 3 years, was and is extraordinarily difficult to process. After conversations with my family and a lot of time in thought, I realized entering the portal was the best decision for myself and my future.

“I’ve grown and learned so much in my 3 years at Michigan, and if I could do it all over again out of high school there is no doubt in my mind I would make the same choice. That being said, it’s time for me to move on.”

Dickinson has been one of the most dominant centers in the country over the past three seasons. As a freshman in Ann Arbor, he helped lead Michigan to a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament and an appearance in the Elite Eight. Dickinson earned second-team All-American honors in 2021 and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection after averaging 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds and shooting nearly 60% from the field.

During his sophomore season, Dickinson averaged 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists while helping lead Michigan to the Sweet 16.

This past season, Dickinson put up 18.5 points and a career-high 9.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks while making strides as a face-up player, shooting 42.1% from 3-point range on 57 attempts. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after being named to the second team as a sophomore.

In 94 games with the Wolverines, he averaged 17.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks and shot 57% from the field. He ends his Michigan career with the sixth-most double-doubles in program history and is the 31st player with more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.

With Dickinson in the fold, Kansas vaults into the preseason No. 1 and national championship conversations. The Jayhawks return Dajuan Harris, one of the nation’s best point guards, and fellow starter K.J. Adams from last season’s Big 12 championship team while adding a top-10 recruiting class and Towson transfer Nick Timberlake, one of the best shooters in the portal.

Kansas also remains in the mix for top-10 recruit Mackenzie Mgbako, who recently decommitted from Duke.

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