HYATTSVILLE, Md. – The whole “marked man” concept is new for Hunter Dickinson, but after a dominant summer which included helping Team Takeover (Washington, D.C.) win the prestigious Nike Peach Jam title and an even stronger showing at USA Basketball Minicamp in October, Dickinson has become the guy other players use as a measuring stick.
“I definitely feel like more of a target,” said Dickinson, a center at DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, Md.). “But I feel prepared for it.”
That seemed to be the case Saturday night in the No. 5 Stags’ 75-68 loss to No. 2 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) at the ARS Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest.
Dickinson, who is ranked No. 18 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2020, pumped in nine points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in the loss.
Dickinson said that one of the biggest factors that have elevated his game is that he’s finally bought-in to the concept of playing lower.
“That one little change has helped in every way,” Dickinson said.
College coaches seem to agree; Dickinson said Notre Dame, Purdue, Michigan, Oregon, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Kentucky, Syracuse, Louisville, Florida State and Maryland are all “coming hard” at him.
“It’s cool to have all of these big schools recruiting me,” Dickinson said. “I wanted to get out to some college games this season, but it’s too hard. I’ll take more visits in the spring. I’m just focused on my high school season right now.”
That will help if the Stags are going to fulfill their main goal.
“We want to win a national title,” Dickinson said. “We all feel like that’s a reachable goal for us.”
Makes sense since the Stags are defending WCAC champs and were on a shortlist for GEICO Nationals last season.
“We felt like we would’ve had a great chance to win the national title,” Dickinson said. “That goal will keep us hungry.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY