NBA Profile: Michael Dunigan

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Michael Dunigan's world will change drastically on Aug. 1. The center out of Chicago needs a workable solution to a situation with his recruitment.

On August 1, the something the NCAA feels is a good idea will dramatically affect the recruiting life of one 6-foot-9, 240 pound Michael Dunigan. The Chicago Farragut center, ranked No. 20 by Scout.com, will be forced to adjust to the next NCAA mandated ban on text messages.

Our conversation with Dunigan on Wednesday was the most prolonged dialogue we've had with him in two years. A good text messager, getting him on the horn has always been difficult. As it turns out, there's a reason: he's not a phone guy. He prefers texting over talking, even with the college coaches.

"I talk to them but I'd rather text them," Dunigan said. "You're not going to sit me on the phone and hold me hostage. When they call they want to ask you all these different questions. They say they don't mean to hold you up but they hold you up."

So the big question is what happens on Aug. 1? "Then they're in trouble," Dunigan said. "Hey, I'll tell them they got 2 minutes because I gotta go."

By the way, he's serious. A phone guy he's not, a good player he is.

Illinois, Purdue, Kansas, Oregon, Iowa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Kentucky and Kansas are on the list. He's been to Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin and Oregon. Everyone, Dunigan says, refers to him as "our guy." He knows the deal and listens (or reads) but that doesn't mean he buys the jargon hook line and sinker.

"(I) probably (believe) Purdue and Illinois," Dunigan said. "There's really no big men there that are able to play the position that they want me to play. They may be saying its true but you never know."

Duke (Coach K called), Cincinnati and Connecticut are the most recent entrants and have blown in phone calls to his coach and mother.

At this stage, the team that has the most interaction with him is Purdue. "They talk to me like almost everyday," Dunigan said. "It's not even basketball related most of the time."

On the court at NBA Camp, Dunigan has been his usual solid self. Not ready to be "the man" quite yet he plays his role. The improvement from season to season has been noticeable and his role will continue to expand.

Dunigan began thinking – and believing in himself as a player – only this spring. "I guess you can say after the fist two tournaments we played in. After that it seems like everything is going up hill. Out of the blue I started working harder and playing harder. I wanted to get seen by everyone else.

"Last year I guess I could say I wasn't as good as I am right now. I wasn't doing this. I've come a long way. I didn't play much as a freshman and sophomore."

Because he's playing more and much better he's had to deal with the increased communication between himself and college. Six weeks from now he'll need a workable solution to the text message ban.

In all seriousness, this could be an issue because texting is the style Dunigan prefers and for some it's really working well. Plus, it doesn't sound like he's given much thought to changing his communication style.

"I don't like talking on the phone. I'll text message all day though."


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