Finding diamonds in the rough has become a bit of a habit for the Michigan basketball program. From under-the-radar talents like Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III, and Nik Stauskas, to those that were totally obscure like Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht, the Maize & Blue brass has shown it can identify talent both early and late. They believe they done so again in the form of their newest commitment, Allentown (Pa.) Central Catholic guard Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman.
The Keystone State star admittedly is still getting use to his new reality. The sudden offer during his official visit may have dazed him a bit, but that feeling didn’t last long. He wasted little time taking his new coaches up on their invitation to their program.
“When you feel it’s right and you know it’s right then you act upon it,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “Opportunities like this don’t come around often.”
“It was love at first sight. It kind of resembled my hometown, so I felt like I was at home. The coaches seemed like they really cared about me as a person and a student first, which was important to me and my family. And being with the guys was the best part of the visit to me.”
The feeling was obviously mutual. The players have a significant role in the in the vetting of their prospective teammates. In the aftermath of Abdur-Rahkman’s commitment it’s clear they felt he fit right in.
“My host was Caris,” he said. “He was great. He was a good guy and (all) the guys were fun to be around.”
“I didn’t play (in open gym), but I watched and I was pretty impressed with all the players. They’re all good.”
Rounding out that roster of good players has been John Beilein’s primary objective in recent weeks, and especially since the announcement that Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III were leaving for the pros. Abdur-Rahkman got him one step closer to that.
“I averaged 23 points, four assists, and six rebounds per game (and) broke the boys school record for career points with 2136,” he told GoBlueWolverine earlier this week. “I’m more of a facilitator… get in the lane, drive and kick (and) find the big guys inside. I can play defense. I’m a good defender. I can shoot a little bit, (but) I need to get better. Dribbling better, but need to get better. Midrange is pretty good.”
“(The Michigan coaches) said I would be a two/one combo, but I have to get a lot better, so I would probably come off the bench.”
He’ll likely being doing so for LeVert, who coincidentally was charged with improving in many of the same areas when he arrived at Michigan.
Abdur-Rahkman’s journey will officially begin when he reports to Ann Arbor June 20th.