Allegany Radio Corporation Sports
The highly anticipated Hunter Dickinson announcement on Tuesday was, “I’m not sure yet.”
So, there you have it. Although, it is expected the big announcement as to where he will continue his college basketball career will come today, as Dickinson said on The Roundball Podcast he wants to decide “sooner rather than later” because this whole thing is beginning to get on his nerves.
According to the podcast, Dickinson will make a live announcement today at 4:45 p.m., supposedly on Barstool Instagram.
For those of you who have no idea who Hunter Dickinson is, he is a 7-foot-1 college basketball center who was named consensus second-team All-American at Michigan last year, and who decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal to see which college basketball program could make him the happiest and provide him with the very best NIL (Name Image Likeness) deal.
The former star center at DeMatha Catholic, Dickinson said the final four schools he will choose from are Kentucky, Kansas, Villanova and, yes, Maryland, the same school that is just 20 or so minutes from his home, and the same school at which he became Public Enemy No. 1 over the past two years because of his constant bellyaching about former Terps head coach Mark Turgeon not recruiting him, or any other DeMatha player, hard enough.
Which … seems to have been the case, since after having never seen a DeMatha kid in College Park on Turgeon’s watch, current head coach Kevin Willard immediately brought in former DeMatha guard Jahmir Young through the transfer portal and a year later hired former DeMatha head coach Mike Jones to be his associate head coach.
Nobody knows where Dickinson will end up because, unless he’s a great actor, he doesn’t seem to know himself. But say this for the lad: He has certainly known how to market himself and this process since making the announcement he was entering the transfer portal.
The Roundball Podcast alone, on which he would air his grievances with Turgeon before he even thought of entering the portal, added almost 2,000 subscribers in the hour before it was believed he would announce his new-school choice on Tuesday, to go along with the 2,000 already watching on YouTube.
This hype and portal intrigue surrounding Dickinson is curious, for if the reported values to the NIL money are close to being true, a $2-to-$4 million deal, it may seem to be entirely too much, yet is just a harbinger of things to come in college athletics.
Dickinson has done nothing but help himself through this process. He’s played it perfectly in taking his time, whether that was intentional or not, and while fans from all of the schools he visited on the Hunter Over America Tour, would like for him to hurry up and announce, keep in mind, it is his life. Plus, it is very smart marketing, because the NIL money keeps increasing.
Hunter Dickinson is a really, really good player. Is he a great player? That remains to be seen, at least to the naysayers, which there will always be, who insist if he were a great player he would have helped a Michigan team with two first-round NBA draft picks get into the NCAA Tournament. From the outside looking in, though, I believe there have been more pressing issues in Ann Arbor than Hunter Dickinson, but that’s just me.
Last time I checked, it was on the head coach to put the pieces into place for a taste of March Madness. But, again, just me …
Dickinson plays a position – center – that is getting closer and closer to becoming a dinosaur in college basketball, yet he is a player who plays the position in a manner that every college basketball coach covets, including Maryland’s Kevin Willard.
The team that lands him will immediately become better, beginning with my personal favorite, Maryland, but Dickinson doesn’t seem to be a player who will single-handedly carry a team to a national title. Of course, as we found out with Purdue on the very first day of March Madness, there don’t appear to be any of those players out there anymore, because there are simply so many great players.
Say this for Hunter Dickinson, though: He doesn’t appear to have a peer when it comes to marketing.
Thus, as my sainted mother used to say, “We shall see.” Stay tuned.
Mike Burke writes about sports and other stuff for Allegany Communications. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984, serving as sports editor for over 30 years. Contact him at [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT