There is no love lost between junior center Hunter Dickinson and Maryland.
Although Dickinson attended DeMatha Catholic High School — located just 2.4 miles from College Park — the Terrapins overlooked his abilities, putting almost no effort into recruiting him. Throughout his collegiate career thus far, Dickinson has made a point of showing Maryland what they missed out on when the Michigan men’s basketball team faces it. On Sunday, that was certainly clear.
“Maryland fans would probably think that this (matchup) is all I live for,” Dickinson said. “To be fair, it did lose a little bit of juice with the (coaching) changes and everything. But it still is Maryland, still the hometown team. It was like two miles away from my high school, so it still has it.”
Although Mark Turgeon, the Terrapins’ previous coach who seemingly discounted Dickinson and gave him this chip on his shoulder, is no longer at Maryland, the hometown connection was enough fuel for Dickinson to play his best game of the season.
And in the wake of two straight losses where Dickinson’s play lacked the aggression and physicality that usually defines his dominance, it came at the right time to get things back on track.
At times in the Wolverines’ previous two games, Dickinson seemed to disappear on the court, despite his towering 7-foot-4 presence. Against the Terrapins, though, he was always front and center.