ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan coach John Beilein said Derrick Walton Jr. remains limited with a high ankle sprain and sat out Monday’s practice he tries to rehab his injury.
So if Walton Jr. is unable to go, that means sophomore guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman will step in his place for the second straight game when U-M travels to SMU on Tuesday, a role he filled last year when Walton Jr. went down with a similar ankle injury in U-M’s stretch run of Big Ten play.
And that experience alone, has fellow teammate Aubrey Dawkins believing that Abdur-Rahkman can fill in for the ailing Walton Jr.
“He is obviously very talented, very athletic,” Aubrey Dawkins said of Abdur-Rahkman. “From last years experience to now, I’ve seen growth. Guarding payer like Caris (LeVert) and Derrick only helps him. I know what he’s capable of, he can definitely guard the best of them out there.”
Adding: “He knows he has to step up for us to win. With Derrick, I don’t know his situation, with him being out and not playing as much as usual, it’s his time to step up and do what’s best to contribute and carry what Derrick is unable to carry right now. And I think he understands that.”
Michigan (6-2) plays at No. 19 SMU (6-0) at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.