COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, Md.) center Hunter Dickinson won’t go as far as to say that it’s a dealmaker, but when the college coaches recruiting him take it a step further by prioritizing him, “It stands out.”
“That’s different,” said Dickinson, who is ranked No. 20 overall in USA TODAY Sports’ Chosen 25 for2020. “Of course you want to be where you’re wanted, so to hear something like that is definitely something that I take notice of.”
Purdue is one of a handful of schools that fall into that category, along with Notre Dame, Gonzaga, Louisville and Kentucky. Duke is also in the mix but has yet to offer Dickinson.
He said the Boilermakers’ pitch is simple: They’re a big-man factory, capable of developing frontcourt talent into NBA players.
“They talked a lot about Isaac Haas and how they developed him,” Dickinson said. “They said that I’m a lot more skilled than he was so they feel like they could take me even further. They play a lot through their bigs and that would, obviously, be good for me.”
Dickinson certainly proved he’s worthy of being a team’s centerpiece in the paint at the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Minicamp over the weekend, finishing with both hands, rebounding and blocking and changing shots.
“I feel like I’ve played well,” Dickinson said. “It’s a little harder for big guys like me to stand out in this kind of setting, but I feel good about how I’ve played.”
In July, Dickinson helped Team Takeover (Washington, D.C.) win the Nike Peach Jam title, averaging 10 points and five rebounds a game. He pumped in 16 points with eight rebounds a game at DeMatha last season.
“Ever since Peach Jam, the schools that were recruiting me just came harder at me,” Dickinson said. “I take more notice of the schools that are coming out to my practices and are constantly trying to get me on campus for a visit. Playing well here gives me even more confidence because everyone here is pretty much a five-star player. If I can play well here, I can play well against anyone.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY