Michigan freshman center Hunter Dickinson has been named the 2020-21 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday.
Dickinson’s debut campaign was one full of a plethora of highlights for the big man. In addition to averaging 14.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest, he also tied the Wolverines’ program record for Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors with seven, tying guard Trey Burke’s mark in the 2011-12 season.
Dickinson proved to be a major factor in many of Michigan’s signature wins this season. He notched 11 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks in a road win over Wisconsin on Feb. 14 following a 23-day pause, scored 22 points against Ohio State in a top-five matchup on Feb. 21, and limited National Player of the Year frontrunner Luka Garza to a season low 16 points in a Feb. 25 win over Iowa. In the nation’s toughest conference, Dickinson never looked the part of a freshman for the Wolverines.
Much of Dickinson’s success can be attributed to Michigan coach Juwan Howard. The two frequently work together on one-on-one film sessions, and Howard’s past as a former big man at both the collegiate and professional level have helped Dickinson.
“It takes freshmen a little longer to figure it out, but Hunter has this high basketball IQ because of his passion for the game and the way how he’s accepted learning,” Howard said following the win over the Buckeyes. “A lot of guys don’t want to be coached. Hunter wants to be coached.”
Dickinson becomes the eighth Wolverine to take home Freshman of the Year honors, joining forward Ignas Brazdeikis, guard Trey Burke, guard Daniel Horton, forward LaVell Blanchard, forward Mo Taylor, forward Chris Webber and guard Gary Grant.