Dickinson, Williams, Howard, Smith Join Michigan For 2020-21 Season

Howard also announced the addition of graduate transfer Mike Smith from Columbia, who signed a financial tender.

97.1 The Ticket
April 17, 2020 - 12:11 pm
Hunter Dickson

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan David and Meredith Kaplan Head Men's Basketball Coach Juwan Howard announced Thursday (April 16) the signing of three additional players to National Letters of Intent to join the Wolverines for the 2020-21 academic year.

Howard also announced the addition of graduate transfer Mike Smith from Columbia, who signed a financial tender.

The late signees include:
• Hunter Dickinson, 7-foot-2, center, Hyattsville, Maryland (DeMatha Catholic)
• Terrance Williams, 6-foot-7, forward, Washington, D.C. (Gonzaga College)
• Jace Howard, 6-foot-7, guard/forward, Miami, Florida (University School)
• Mike Smith, 5-foot-11, guard, Chicago, Illinois (Fenwick HS/Columbia), financial tender

Dickinson is listed as the No. 36-rated player in ESPN's Class of 2020 after finishing as the all-time winningest player at DeMatha Catholic High School with 119 wins. The 2020 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) Player of the Year earned his fourth straight All-WCAC selection -- and third straight first-team nod -- after leading DeMatha to the WCAC regular-season and tournament titles with a 31-5 record and final prep ranking of No. 3 before the remainder of the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dickinson closed his senior campaign averaging 16.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. He was selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic and earned Gatorade's Maryland Player of the Year and All-Met Player of the Year awards. While at DeMatha, he helped the Stags to the 2019 WCAC regular-season title and the 2018 WCAC tournament title.

Williams joins Dickinson on ESPN's Top 100 list with his No. 79 ranking. A three-time All-WCAC first team selection, he helped Gonzaga College claim the WCAC Tournament titles in 2017 and 2019. He finished his senior season averaging 17.9 points and 9.9 rebounds, leading the Eagles to a 25-10 record.

Williams capped off his career with a 112-30 record, scoring 2,154 points (15.1 ppg) and grabbing 1,090 rebounds (7.6 rpg). Earning Gatorade's District of Columbia Player of the Year honor, he was also a three-time All-Met selection (first team; 2019, 2020), third team (2018).

Dickinson and Williams were AAU teammates on Team Takeover on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) Circuit, winning the Peach Jam Tournament in 2018. Dickinson averaged 13.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in 2019, earning All-EYBL honorable mention recognition, while Williams posted 15.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Howard comes to Ann Arbor after averaging 10.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists as a senior at University School, helping the Sharks to a 27-5 record and the regional semifinal of the Class 5A playoffs. Despite missing eight weeks with a fractured tibia in his junior season, he returned for the postseason and helped University claim the 2019 FHSAA Class 5A State title. He began his prep career playing at Gulliver Prep, where he averaged 7.2 points and 7.8 rebounds as a sophomore.

After a four-year career at Columbia, Smith joins U-M as the program's second graduate transfer (Jaaron Simmons, 2017-18). A two-time All-Ivy League second team selection (2008, 2020), Smith started 91 of 92 career games for the Lions and closed with 1,653 career points, which is fourth all-time, while his 393 assists is second all-time. Before the remainder of last season was canceled, he ranked sixth nationally in scoring at 22.8 points per game, including scoring a career-best 38 points in a double-overtime game at Harvard (Feb. 28).

With the fall announcement of the signing of 6-foot-4 guard Zeb Jackson (Toledo, Ohio), the Wolverines have inked five new players for next season. Jackson, who signed with U-M in the fall, spent his senior season playing at Montverde Academy after transferring from Maumee Valley Country Day (Toledo, Ohio). He helped the Eagles to a 25-0 record, a No. 1 prep ranking and the prep national champions before the remainder of their season was canceled.

Howard talks about his newest Wolverines

On today's signings ... "The addition of these four young men to the Michigan Basketball family is another important step in the growth of this program. Yes, all four bring tremendous basketball skill and talent; however, it's their maturity, growth mindsets and desire to get better as people which makes us proud to have them represent the Block M. Our staff cannot wait to have them get to Ann Arbor.

"With these signings, and the addition of Zeb in the fall, we are truly excited for the direction we are heading. Talent is one thing; however, we always want to make sure we bring the right players into this program -- Michigan Men. We are confident we have done that."

On Hunter Dickinson ... "Even though he appears to be a quiet and gentle giant, Hunter is going to make some noise for us down low. He is patient in the post and allows for plays to develop before he attacks -- especially with his left-handed hook shot. He is a space eater and really takes pride in defense. The successes he had at DeMatha allow him to bring a winning mentality to Ann Arbor."

On Terrance Williams ... "Terrance is part of the new breed of collegiate basketball players -- a hybrid who can play many different positions. He is efficient with his play and is skilled both offensively and defensively. He is not afraid of contact, so it stands a chance that he has an opportunity to come in and be a major contributor."

On the relationship between Dickinson and Williams ... "It's special to have two players from the same area go to the same college and play. Hunter and Terrance have had many battles in the Catholic league (WCAC) the last four years; however, the friendship and respect that they have for each other on and off the court gives them an unbelievable chemistry."

On Jace Howard ... "Without question, this a special day for my family and I that I will be able to coach my son. Words cannot express how proud I am of him for all the work he has put in over the years to get to where he is now. He will bring a passion like no other to this program. He wants to get better, and with his skills we know he will be a valuable asset."

On Howard's scholarship offer ... "Originally, we had some discussions about Jace walking on. After some attrition this offseason it opened up opportunities for us to explore different scenarios. After discussing several options with the staff, we were excited to extend a scholarship to him. We know, and myself first hand, his work ethic and growing ability will only help us."

On the addition of Mike Smith ... "When we looked at our roster, we wanted to make sure we had some depth, as well as experience, at the guard position. Mike had a sensational career at Columbia, and we are thrilled to have him join us. He will be an extension of the coaching staff to our young guards and, having been through the battles on the floor, his experiences will be invaluable."