Thursday’s trip to College Park to battle Maryland marks not only a pivotal conference showdown for Michigan, but also a homecoming for three of its starters. Hunter Dickinson (DeMatha), Terrance Williams II (Gonzaga) and Dug McDaniel (Paul VI) all starred as high school prospects in the DMV area.
Wednesday, Phil Martelli downplayed the significance of their return home.
“The three of them in some ways are blessed in that they have families that are able to get out and see them play at other places,” Martelli said. “So it’s not the first time going home. The way the trips are organized, it’s not like they’re going to wander around. You’re not gonna get a report that Hunter is in the cafeteria at DeMatha on Thursday afternoon. We keep that part tight.”
Still, this will be McDaniel’s first trip home as a college player. And while Dickinson and Williams have played at Maryland before, they did so in December 2020, inside an empty Xfinity Center because of pandemic-induced restrictions. The presence of fans should only add to Dickinson’s motivation, considering he has repeatedly expressed his desire to perform well against the Terrapins, who hardly recruited him.
“The two older guys, Terrance and Hunter, have a pretty good sense that it’s going to be quote-un-quote business as usual,” Martelli added. “With Dug we will continue to take his temperature. But he is excited about going home, which is nice.”