The latest buzz regarding huge Duke basketball target

Recent chatter suggests the Duke basketball staff will not reel in its only remaining 2020 target, but it's important to consider where the rumors are primarily coming from.

Michigan fans on social media are now spreading talk that DeMatha Catholic (Md.) senior center Hunter Dickinson is no longer considering the Duke basketball program, despite the Blue Devils being among his four finalists (the other three are Michigan, Florida State, and Notre Dame).

But they aren't the only ones who believe this to be the case. Most experts -- including the only two to have entered a Crystal Ball pick -- see the 7-foot-2, 260-pound four-star winding up in Ann Arbor. And it seems everyone is wondering when exactly Dickinson will announce his college choice.

"It's actually somewhat of a surprise that Dickinson hasn't announced a decision yet," Rivals' Eric Bossi wrote on Friday, "and for a while, it seemed like he had a new leader every few weeks. He's seen the four remaining programs and has been mulling a final decision for a few weeks now. The expectation is that he should choose early."

Dickinson -- who ranks No. 34 on the 247Sports 2020 Composite due in large part to his massive frame in addition to his old-school hook shot, strong footwork, smooth 3-point stroke, and decent speed relative to his size -- has said on several occasions that he intends to have his recruitment behind him before his senior season begins.

This timeline led most folks to assume Dickinson would unveil his decision in time for the early signing period (Nov. 13-21). Upon closer examination, though, it looks as if DeMatha's first game is not until Nov. 30, possibly suggesting the 18-year-old actually intends to announce later this month and then sign in the spring.

While Dickinson has offered little hints as of late to when fans should expect to know his answer -- his birthday is on Nov. 25, and birthdays oftentimes coincide with announcement dates -- Bossi sees Michigan coming out on top, whenever that may be:

"Coming down the stretch, Michigan looks to have the upper hand, and he could be the first high-end traditional big man to pick [first-year Michigan head coach] Juwan Howard."

Right now, though, there is no solid proof that Dickinson has ruled out joining #TheBrotherhood. In fact, it appears as if all Michigan fans and experts are basing their speculation on is the fact that Duke recently landed Mark Williams, a fellow 7-foot four-star center.

ALSO READ: Duke adds yet another 2020 commit, so now what?

But the addition of Williams may not have scared off Dickinson at all. Considering the Duke staff is expecting no bigs from the current roster to return next season, the big man should be able to foresee plenty of playing time next season should he become a Blue Devil. Besides, Michigan recently landed a big man of its own in five-star Isaiah Todd.

So until the public receives either a hint or decision straight out of the mouth of Dickinson, we'd all be wise not to pay much attention to the narrative that Michigan fans are trying to spin into reality. After all, these could be the same Michigan fans who were twice convinced the Fab Five would destroy Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, and Christian Laettner.

Dickinson's last official visit was to Durham and coincided with Countdown to Craziness on Oct. 18. The trip came three weeks after he received a late offer from Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Shortly after the offer, which came as a result of former Duke target Walker Kessler suddenly and unexpectedly picking UNC in late September, Dickinson trimmed his list to his current four and included the Blue Devils (not on his previous list).

Duke's six 2020 commits to date are Williams, five-star combo guard D.J. Steward, five-star small forward Jalen Johnson, four-star power forward Henry Coleman, four-star power forward Jaemyn Brakefield, and five-star point guard Jeremy Roach (Dickinson's teammate on the Nike EYBL circuit).

ALSO READ: Stacking up the six 2020 Duke commits

Dickinson is currently the only uncommitted 2020 recruit holding a Duke basketball offer.

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting updates, analyses, opinions, and predictions.