DAYTON, Ohio – Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman knows Michigan's offense doesn’t necessarily run through him, but just needs to score when opportunities come his way.
On Wednesday night, however, U-M needed his offense in a big way.
With starting point guard Derrick Walton Jr. in foul trouble throughout the second half, Abdur-Rahkman took over as Michigan’s floor general and also sparked the Wolverines offensively, scoring 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half in U-M’s First Four 67-62 win against Tulsa.
Afterwards, the sophomore guard admitted he drew from his freshman experience a season ago that helped him play a crucial role in U-M’s win.
“Last years experience played a big part into today’s game,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “I just had to go out there and run the team while he was on the bench.”
Abdur-Rahkman shot 5-of-16 from the floor, while leading the Wolverines with 38 minutes played, all while showing a non-stop motor of attacking the rim.
“You just got to have that relentless mind-set,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “Getting to the basket at all cost. And finishing with contact or without contact.”
But even with the win, Abdur-Rahkman says his emotions never really change -- if at all.
“I’m an even keeled type of person,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “I don’t like to show too much emotion. I smile sometimes. I just think that helps you out on the court, when everyone else may be raddled or so, they can turn to you and see that you’re calm and cool.”
On Wednesday he was definitely cool enough for the Wolverines.
No. 11 Michigan (23-12) next plays No. 6 Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this Friday in Brooklyn, N.Y.