Juwan Howard reacts to Hunter Dickinson entering NCAA transfer portal

Michigan basketball received unexpected bad news on Friday, one day after getting great news.

With it appearing that shooting guard Kobe Bufkin is NBA draft-bound, the Wolverines brought in Nimari Burnett. The combo guard was ranked No. 34 nationally in his recruiting class and was once upon a time the maize and blue’s top recruiting target. He originally spurned Michigan for Texas Tech before transferring to Alabama.

With Burnett in the fold, it appeared Michigan was on solid footing entering the 2023-24 season — if everything else remained the same.

That optimism didn’t last long.

In a shock, star center Hunter Dickinson, the team’s centerpiece the past three seasons, entered the NCAA transfer portal.

Michigan basketball head coach Juwan Howard issued a statement lamenting the news while remembering the good times Dickinson brought to Ann Arbor.

“Today is bittersweet,” Howard said. “While Hunter Dickinson’s departure is unfortunate, there are so many reasons to be thankful for and celebrate. This young man has accomplished so much in his three seasons. Statistics aside, Hunter helped us to a Big Ten title, back-to-back Sweet 16s, as well as a memorable Elite Eight run. These are memories that will last a lifetime. What I love most is he was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, twice. That says so much about his character and maturity. As much as I tried to instill in him, he was a guide and inspiration for me. We wish Hunter and his family all the best in the future.”

With Dickinson gone, Michigan will either stand pat with Tarris Reed taking over his role or seek more depth in the transfer portal.

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Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire