Aubrey Dawkins to transfer to Central Florida

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan sophomore wing guard Aubrey Dawkins will transfer to Central Florida to play for his father, Johnny Dawkins.

“While we certainly did not wish for this to happen, it is quite understandable,” John Beilein said in a statement. “I was able to coach my son and see him grow as a person and player and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Aubrey is a wonderful and thoughtful young man who has a bright future in front of him. We wish him well.”

Dawkins started 22 games in Ann Arbor and averaged 6.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. He lost his starting spot in the lineup during the non-conference season to Duncan Robinson and played a sixth man role off the bech.

“This was not an easy decision, however, the chance to play for my father is a special opportunity for me and my family,” said Dawkins. “Coach (John) Beilein and Michigan took a chance on me and that is something I will never forget. I want to thank all the coaches, staff and especially the U-M fans for making my time in Ann Arbor truly special. Go Blue.”

Dawkins will have to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules and will then have two years of eligibility remaining.

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  • Joe


  • Chris De Sana

    So are there any wing players out there available?

    • michaeltheoriginal

      Josh Jackson?

  • ChiMan

    Hoping this means we’re going to get that kid from Columbia. Sadly, I think Spike is probably out but we shall see.

    • Matt Williams

      It might but that doesn’t help us next year. He’d have to sit out.

      • robpollard

        Grant Mullins (from Columbia) has already graduated — he missed a year due to an injury two years ago. He can play immediately, for one year, next year.

        • CJK5H

          So can Alec Peters of Valpo.

          • robpollard

            Exactly. There are options out there. I’m not counting on Peters, now that his coach has also left Valpo, but who knows?

    • robpollard

      Why would you replace a backup 6 foot 6 SG/SF with an oft-injured 5 foot 11 PG? The kid from Columbia is a much better option.

      Spike is a good player, when/if healthy. We don’t have a spot for him on the team.

      • ChipperFliet

        Why? Because Spike was the heart and soul of this team. And a great leader!
        I say bring him back!

        • robpollard

          That doesn’t answer my question, beyond pure emotion, but OK.

          Let me ask it this way: why would Spike want to come back? Unless we have a significant injury to Walton, MAAR or Simpson, Spike wouldn’t play more than 10 minutes a game. As I said, Spike is not going to get Aubrey Dawkins (limited) minutes that are now available.

          If Spike’s healthy (a big if), I assume he’d want to play more like 20-30 minutes a game. And sitting on the bench, relying on an injury for someone else for playing time, is not how I’d want to spend my 5th-year .

          • Slim33

            exactly, hard to understand how people cant grasp this idea that Spike wants to play his last year of college ball being on the court more than not.

          • ChipperFliet

            Well, I hope JB does just that, leaves it up to Spike if he wants to return. I feel he owes him that after what he went through during his Jr yr. Playing through pain the entire year for the sake of the team.
            Also, if healthy, Spike is and always was, a better point guard than DW.
            Maybe its DW whose minutes should be reduced. Also, as we have seen, injuries do happen. Can never have to many good pg’s.
            And leadership is what this team was missing last yr.

        • Lanknows

          He was the heart and soul of last year’s team – which didn’t make the tournament. Spike was an awesome backup but with bringing Simpson in he has no role. Also he deserves a chance to start somewhere. Mutually beneficial for him to play elsewhere. While I would hate to see him end up there, Purdue might be a great fit.

          • ChipperFliet

            I just think he deserves to have the option. Let Spike decide. (See below for other reasons).
            Also I believe Spike wants to coach some day. He would be the perfect graduate assistant the following yr.

  • gobluemd16

    Talk about horrendous roster balance. We will have one guy off the bench that can play the 2 or 3 positions. One. And he is a freshman.

  • Champswest

    Good luck to Aubrey. I expected this to happen. If Beilein can make good use of this opening, it will be a win win situation.

  • Slim33

    not surprising at all and smart choice by Aubrey IMO

  • Fab 5 Legends

    doesnt suprise me at all…he was lost in the rotation and he regressed imo from his freshmen year…

  • Mattski

    Wish the young man well; still a little bumfuzzled about why he looked so good his first year and struggled so much this year!

  • Chris De Sana

    Not sure if I agree that Aubrey went backwards or not, had always been a streaky shooter and less than good defender. His instant offense will be missed that is for sure because no matter how you slice it Chatman nor Wilson have that skill set.

  • gobluemd16

    I think Aubrey had originally intended to come back. Via his instagram, he made a post of members of the team with a “to be continued..” a few days after the loss to ND. His dad mustve done some convincing.

  • bobohle

    I also could see this coming. I’m assuming Coach B. has a plan and not leave the scholarship open for next year.

  • Mark Worthley

    In an article about Bryce Drew taking the Vanderbilt job, it said that Alec Peters is going to graduate from Valparaiso University, and would be eligible to transfer and play immediately. He’s an excellent player, and maybe he only wants to transfer and play for Bryce, but he would be an excellent addition to Michigan’s roster. Really strong player.

  • Nick


    Instead of a graduate transfer or bringing back Spike, how about finding the next Spike/Aubrey/MAAR? In other words, a later bloomer who is being under recruited.

    • iBleedBlue

      Our depth is now non-existent; we need someone who can immediately provide 10-15 minutes in the rotation

      • Bob

        depth is better. last year/next year Dakich/Xavier Wagner-Doyle/Donnal

        • AA7596

          He means at the other three positions. Right now U-M has 5 scholarship players for SG, SF and PF. (Wilson could play more at the 4, but that would require both progression on his part and willingness on Beilein’s to play two bigs at once.)

  • mikey_mac

    What’s missing from this story is the fact that Johnny Dawkins was just hired a couple weeks ago as coach at UCF. Any theories about Aubrey transferring because of his place in the rotation seem just completely unwarranted — this looks to be just about a pure a motive as possible: he gets to play for his father, who just became a head coach again.
    Now, that said, this is a big loss for UM. Dawkins’ role as instant offense will be hugely missed, especially with such upside left to attain as he figured out defensive schemes.

  • mikey_mac

    Also, I think the idea that he regressed or struggled this year are largely just in comparison to our expectations of growth, fueled in large part by summer reports from the staff. If you look at Aubrey’s numbers, he actually improved incrementally in offensive efficiency, but logging fewer minutes. If anything, he just didn’t progress, and was exactly the same player this season as he was as a freshman — a real offensive weapon off the ball, terrific shooter, and significant defensive liability.

    • Fab 5 Legends

      big time defensive liability who looked lost the majority of the time he was out there….he was a Streaky shooter at best….it seemed he had great athleticism but just didn’t translate into gametime….i honestly could only see him getting playing time in his senior year…this way he will be a starter on a mediocre team which his father is the coach, more minutes – more acceptance to make mistakes and still play, weaker league

      • mikey_mac

        Streaky? He played just 15 minutes a game, with about 3 3PT attempts. What sort of game-by-game consistency are you expecting out of that sample size? He managed to shoot 44% from 3PT. How much better do you expect?

        • DawkinsHater

          with limited time, he did a terrible job – don’t blame me, just ask Beilein – he had he chance, but didn’t take his opportunity even with Caris out…he was lost out there, even if your statistics

    • rlcBlue

      This is accurate, and shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise to us. Dawkins was already 19 when he arrived at Michigan; after a year of prep school and a lifetime of coaching by a former pro and longtime college coach, he had already been well exposed to high-level concepts. Although we hoped he was going to make great strides forward, it turned out he was pretty much a finished product, capable of making a lot of noise in Beilein’s offense – especially against Rutgers.

      Along these lines, it’s impressive that MAAR has improved as much as he has, since he’s almost a full year older than Dawkins. For this reason, though, I don’t expect him to make any great leaps next year – he’ll make incremental gains, but nothing dramatic.

  • Fab 5 Legends

    playing for your father = MORE minutes, regardless of how he develops LOL think of Tubby Smith son Saul Smith LOL im sure there are plenty other examples of sub-par players getting a bunch of minutes as a role-player just because….I have no problem with him leaving – he regressed this year…and only by Senior year could i see him play more often in this Beilein offence…

  • Fab 5 Legends

    I hope Chatman can make the jump this year and be a contributer – now that he will be a big option off the bench for us, especially with these transfers…that BIG SHOT against Indiana basically changed everything…i thought Chatman would be on his way out…but after that no way! LOL

  • gobluemd16

    This is extremely pessimistic, and I obviously would never want this to happen, but I feel like with our injury luck, a PG will get hurt next year. In which case, we will be desperately wishing we had Spike back.

    • Joe

      this is exactly right.

    • mikey_mac

      This was the case I made for Max last year, although he isn’t quite the difference maker that Spike can be. For all we know, though, Spike would decline or has declined third-string minutes, if asked to return. If he’s healthy, he deserves more.

    • robpollard

      I’ve posted this elsewhere, but I’ll say again — that’s great for UM. Why would Spike want to be the #3 PG here, where he’d only get significant playing time if someone got hurt, instead of being the #2 PG at many other Power 5 conferences, or perhaps even a starter at a mid-major?

      Spike is an actual person. He doesn’t just exist for us to plug him into our dream UM lineups.

      • gobluemd16

        Why is it automatically assumed that he is worse than Xavier, or even Derrick? While I agree that we will need Xavier to play for our future success, if we want to be as successful as possible next year, maybe Spike is the best option. Also consider the actual changing of schools, basketball programs, and off/defensive systems. It is a big adjustment for many people. Maybe Spike loves Michigan, believes in his ability as a player (trusts he is good enough to get on the court), and would love the opportunity to stay in Ann Arbor with his friends, teammates, etc.

        • robpollard

          Coaches don’t just coach for one year. Otherwise, they’d have no program.

          You’re John Beilein. You just recruited Mr. Basketball in Ohio (i.e., he’s very likely to be pretty good right off the bat and very good eventually; no guarantees, but you like your odds). He’s a PG. You’ll need him, at a minimum, to play a ton of minutes as a sophomore in 2017-2018.

          So as you construct your roster for 2016-2017, do you have Mr. Basketball a) play just a few mop up minutes here & there or b) play him 10-20 minutes a game so he can help you not only this year, but like Trey Burke & others before him, get ready for the following year?

          Walton is the starter. He’s not coming off a major, career-threatening injury like Spike is, and Walton is a better player — not by a lot (I think Spike is a bit better offensively), but defensively and rebounding it is not close.

          This isn’t rocket science. I like Spike. I hope he contributes to some non-B1G program next year in a major way. But there is no room for him unless even more people leave *and* we strike out in the grad transfer market. There is no room for him here next year, unless he only wants to play 5-10 minutes a game.

          • gobluemd16

            Fair enough. I see your points. I just think from a program continuity and public-facing perspective, losing someone to transfer who has done so much for the program is a bad look when there is a space available.

          • robpollard

            I understand people being sensitive to “bad looks”, but I can’t say it’s a “bad look” to have your #3 PG transfer when he wasn’t supposed to be here next year. It’s nobody’s fault — the injury majorly screwed things over.

            And, frankly, it was a “bad look” for (recently off probation) Syracuse to play (massive academic cheater) UNC in the Final Four. The amount of digital ink spilled about a single grad transfer, one of literally hundreds of transfers that will occur this year, is crazy.

  • Harbaugh Effect

    Beilein Tranfers (Smotrycz, Horford, Brundidge, Beilfeldt, Spike, Doyle, Dawkins) he lost 4 to tranfers at WVU in 3 years. No other coach in the power 5 has had more then 4 in that time span O.o thats something to think about js.

    • No coach has had more than 4 transfers since Brundidge left?

      • Harbaugh Effect

        Counting is days at WVU

      • Harbaugh Effect


      • rlcBlue

        Thad Matta’s had 4 transfers since he last checked his voicemail.

        • Chillax

          hahahahaha…i was bummed about dawkins leaving but that comment made my day

    • robpollard

      I know people love to get hysterical about backups transferring, but can we please not post out and out falsehoods? And then label them, “something to think about”?

      I mean Louisville (they are a power team, right? We lost to them in a national championship) had four in one FREAKIN’ year! So did Missouri. So did Pittsburgh. There are plenty more.

      The only good thing about this situation is it is (apparently) waking up people to how NCAA basketball works in this decade.

      • mikey_mac

        And OSU just lost 3 in a week, just a couple weeks ago.

        • Harbaugh Effect

          And they still have better players then us O.o

      • Harbaugh Effect

        And how many has Pintino had before that? Exactly, and they are leaving because of the Escort scandal. Plus Mizzou or Pittsburgh didn’t play in National Title gm we did.

      • Harbaugh Effect

        And another thing, Louisville will be ranked in pre season top 25, will Michigan be ranked? Exactly

  • Harbaugh Effect

    No matter what anyone says about Beilein on how good of a job he’s doing, we are going backwards since our Title appearance.

  • rlcBlue

    I thought during the season that Robinson and Dawkins were the two most redundant players on the team – same eligibility, same strengths, same weaknesses – and that that would make one of them a likely transfer. Ever since Aubrey’s dad got the job at UCF I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    This does not create a problem at the 3; it creates an opportunity at the 4. The more Chatman and/or Wilson contribute at the 4, the more run Robinson will get at the 3, which will allow Irvin to play more at the 2, which will result in more rest for Rahk and Zak and Duncan. So the key will be whether the two highest-ranked recruits of the 2014 class can out-produce the now-departed lowest-ranked member. I don’t think anyone expected Watson to get huge minutes right off the bat, but he may get a few more than expected, especially if he follows Caris’s example and focuses on his defense as a freshman.

    • Leslie Hoerwinkle

      Irvin isn’t a good enough ballhandler to play anything but spot minutes at guard. Hope Beilein can bring in a grad transfer shooting guard.

      • MaizeAndBlueLoyal

        Agree. Not to mention he shoots from his hip..easy to block