April Hot Board: Prospects and transfers on the radar

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan already lost Jon Horford and could face more attrition to the NBA Draft in the coming days and weeks. April recruiting is something akin to the Wild West and things move quickly. With fifth-year transfers, decommitments due to coaching changes, late-bloomers and other transfers – there are plenty of opportunities available.

The Wolverines have been active on the recruiting trail and have been evaluating a number of prospects that could fill needs in the late signing period, which begins on April 15th.

Ryan%20Taylor-X[1]Ryan Taylor

2014 Wing – 6-foot-5 – Uncommitted
Consensus Rank: N/A – St. John’s Northwest Military Academy
Ohio U, Michigan

Michigan has watched Ryan Taylor multiple times and has been in steady contact with the Northwest Indiana native, who visited in February. Taylor has the connections – he played for the same SYF program that four current Wolverines played for – and he appears to have caught Michigan’s eye during his postgraduate year at St. John’s Northwest Military Academy and a couple of big games at the National Prep School Invitational in February.

Scouting Report: Taylor is a lengthy wing shooter that would fit the Michigan mold fairly well. We talked to one scout that saw Taylor play in February and he felt Taylor fit the mold of some other recent Wolverine wings “that lack strength, yet can shoot it a bit and aren’t afraid of scoring in traffic.”

1250434[1]Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman

2014 Wing – 6-foot-4 – Uncommitted
Consensus Rank: N/A
Schools: Rice, VCU, Drexel, Harvard, Lehigh

Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman is a 6-foot-4 guard out of Allentown, PA best known for his strength and athleticism. Abdur-Rahkman averaged 23.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game and led his Central Catholic squad to a 29-0 start this season.

The majority of Rahkman’s recruiting looks thus far have been from the CAA level or below including VCU Drexel, George Mason, Harvard, Lehigh and Bucknell. He visited Rice over weekend and the Owls’ new head coach, Mike Rhoades, recruited Abdur-Rahkman when he was an assistant coach at VCU. Michigan was reportedly in to watch Abdur-Rahkman last week and Virginia Tech and Boston College have reportedly reached out.

Scouting Report: Abdur-Rahkman put up big numbers by using his strength and athleticism to get into the lane. Scouts have praised his dribble drive game, but questioned his outside shot. He’s also noted as an above-average preimeter defender, which could be a welcome addition to Michigan’s backcourt.

MarialSHAYOK_Canada_[1]Marial Shayok

2014 Wing – 6-foot-7, 205 pounds – Marquette Decommit
Consensus Rank: 165 – Blair Academy
Schools: Rutgers, Virginia, Michigan and Marquette,

The internet lit up with an erroneous report that Michigan had offered Marial Shayok on Friday afternoon. There’s no offer yet, but Michigan has has reportedly shown interest in the powerful wing forward from Canada. Shayok received his release from Marquette late last week and Rutgers, Virginia, Michigan, Indiana and Marquette have all been mentioned.

Shayok was initially drawn to Marquette by former assistant coach Jamie McNeilly, who is also involved in Canadian basketball. McNeilly hasn’t been hired to follow Buzz Williams to Virginia Tech yet, but it’s a possibility.

Scouting Report: Strong and athletic, Shayok is projected as a player that can play the three and four spots. He’s a big time athlete and at 6-foot-6, 205 pounds he has the body ready to make an immediate impact at the college level. He seems like a natural fit at the four spot in Michigan’s offense with his athleticism and developing skillset.


Eron Harris West Virginia v Baylor HRDmX2DaZd0l[1]Eron Harris

West Virginia – 17.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg
6-foot-3, 195 lb sophomore

Harris is an Indianapolis native that wants to transfer closer to home after two years in West Virginia. He won’t be released until he completes his semester at West Virginia, but he’s one of the top transfers on the market when he does. Harris would have to sit out a year but would have two years to play, making him almost like a class of 2015 prospect.

Scouting Report: Harris shot 42% on threes and 45% on twos last year and over half of his shots were three-point attempts. He’s a true shooting guard as his assist numbers aren’t overly impressive, but he’s about the best scorer on the market.

Nolan Cressler Cornell v Notre Dame G573EE9jG6al[1]Nolan Cressler

Cornell – 16.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.6 apg
6-foot-4, 198 lb freshman

Cressler managed to put up big numbers for a Cornell team that went just 2-26 last season. He’s another pure shooting guard that would sit for a season before having three years of eligibility.

Cressler visited Vanderbilt over the weekend and added an offer from Notre Dame on Sunday. Michigan, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Dayton are other schools that have been linked.

Scouting Report: Cressler doesn’t have the ball screen abilities of some of Michigan’s recent guards, but he has the shooting ability to make a difference off the bench. Spotting up on the wing, curling off screens — Cressler has the offensive talent. His questions would be on the defensive end, where his athleticism lags behind.

SEAN.OBI_-300x300[1]Sean Obi

Rice – 11 ppg, 9 rpb
6-foot-9, 265 lb freshman

Obi is one of the few high quality big men on the transfer market. He averaged almost a double-double for a Rice team that went just 7-23 last season. He’s also in high-demand. Obi is visiting Vanderbilt this weekend and is planning to visit Duke next week, per Jeff Goodman.

Michigan actually watched Obi in 2011 so there’s at least reason to believe that there could be some interest.

Scouting Report: Obi is a true back-to-the-basket big man. He is one of just 60 players in Division I basketball that accumulated at least 200 post-ups this season, per Synergy Sports. He scored .927 points per post-up (including pass outs) which ranks in the middle of the pack among high-volume post up players. Obi also grades out as an above-average post defender.

  • Tiben

    Here a full video Of one RyanTaylor’s games . He looks more athletic than I expected. Good slasher and decent finisher from what I can see. There wasn’t much defense on display in this game. Might be able to contribute next year is Nik makes the jump. RT is number 10.


    • Guest

      Muhammad Ali Abdur Rahkman is really really good. He’s actually a very good outside shooter but he does have a bit of a slow release. Not terribly slow but it could be improved. He’s a blur with the ball in his hands on fast breaks. There are really no weaknesses in his game. Offensively he does it all. 3s, mid range, floaters, pull ups, fade aways, dunks, finishes with left or right hand. He could start right away. Watch this game clip from 8:17 until 13:59. He scores 10 points in a few minutes against the #1 team in the state and every shot was nothing but net. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmUF2Luo-Aw#t=8m17s

  • Indiana_Matt

    What is Nick Stauskas’ field of study? Can his major tell us anything about what his decision will be?

    Yes. I am bored.

  • guestavo

    GR3 is gone

    • guestavo
      • kam

        ya. pretty sure Nik is gone too. What do u think mitch will do?

        • guestavo


          • kam


          • Mark Worthley

            why so sure?

          • guestavo

            where smoke there is fire

          • Mark Worthley

            What’s the smoke?

            Horford said he knew McGary’s decision. He also said that McGary’s decision didn’t influence his decision to transfer, but I don’t buy that. Horford leaving suggests to me that McGary is coming back because Horford sees another year of five minutes a game.

          • guestavo

            Sam Webb and others have given off that vibe

          • brian coburn

            So your reason isn’t so much “where smoke there is fire” but rather “because Sam Webb said it.”

          • guestavo

            that’s smoke and 2/2 so far

    • Chezaroo

      No surprise from my view, have been predicting all three to leave for months. Time to turn the page and move on. Good luck to all three

    • Mattski

      Hope this means he’s seen encouraging signs he’ll go high.

  • mistersuits

    Well once they all make their pro announcements this week next year’s projected lineup would be


    With Spike, Doyle, Wilson, Max coming off the bench?

    This is probably why they’re looking to add more players.

    • kam

      ya. youre prolly right

    • kam

      wilson might even get playing time

    • eddieben

      I find the scariest part of that lineup is Irvin at the four (defensively).

      • kam

        chatman would play 4 taller and bigger than irvin

        • He’s a lefty too.

          • kam

            that’s going to be interesting. Not used to watching many lefties

          • Northern Blue

            Which is why I am so surprised that the staff seems to still be going after so many combo forwards that look to be 4 men most likely (Esa Ahmad, Shayok…). I wonder if there is the possibilty of Chatman being a 3 but still playing the right wing, while a right handed 4 man can play his natural side of the floor assuming he drives right from the left side predominantly.

            Anyways, next season I see Chatman getting thrown in the fire as a 4 man, and Irvin breakout big time at the important 3 man position. Looking for Chatman to do the little things, much like Walton did as a freshman. We already know hes a good rebounder, handler, and passer, and hopefully he can hit corner 3s much like GR3.

          • Mark Worthley

            Is Donnal not capable of defending the four?

          • Well, there aren’t a lot of fives left on the roster. I see him as a five in the short term, maybe a four down the road.

    • BlueRev

      I’ll bite (still hoping at least Mitch returns, but if not):
      1-3 Walton, Levert, Irvin (33 minutes each)
      4-5 Donnal, Wilson (30, 25)
      Chatman, Spike, Max/Doyle (15ish each)

      • Tyrell

        Disagree. I cannot see Wilson getting more minutes than Chatman. And I do not see Spike getting less than 20 minutes/game. Spike will have to be out 6th man and play alongside Walton.

  • kam

    Can someone tell me the chances we get a few transfers?

  • Truth

    Does anyone have insights into how Donnal’s game compares to say, Evan Smotrycz’s? Because, if I recall correctly, Smotrycz was a credible, perimeter-centric 4 who was defensively insufficient to man the 5 in the so-called “small” lineup. The lineup suggested by Mistersuits is reminiscent of the last two years in terms of height breakdown but would (likely) be defensively less sturdy at the 4 and 5 spots. And considering the 2013-2014 team’s defensive issues — even with Morgan’s stellar play — perhaps consideration should be given to a more traditional two-big lineup, even if it creates playing time issues for Irvin and Chatman. Thoughts?

    PS some of these late recruiting possibilities are intriguing, especially Abdur-Rahkman and Shayok and Obi. But I hate to get my hopes up.

    • kam

      donnal is much more athletic also has a better post game. defensively I’m not sure. I doubt you will ever see a 2 big traditional line up with a JB teambecause unless one of the bigs can really shoot it will kill his offense.

      • Truth

        But can’t most of the incoming bigs shoot it? It would be great if one of them were a Christian Watford type (tall, great shooter, can run, albeit a bit soft on D), which would nicely fit into a JB system at the 4. Putting this type of player at the 5 with an undersized 4 means that there will be a yearly refrain about how we “don’t match up well” with big teams like Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arizona, [insert B10-ACC challenge opponent here], etc.

      • Chris De Sana

        I sure hope you are wrong because it seems we are getting some length that can shoot the ball, defense will always take more time especially with big men.

  • Colby

    Really hope we get involved with Justin Martin from Xavier, eligible immediately and was one of their top players.

  • Ex Kobe Hater

    Muhammad Ali Abdur Rahkman is really really good. He’s actually a very good outside shooter but he does have a bit of a slow release. Not terribly slow but it could be improved. He’s a blur with the ball in his hands on fast breaks. There are really no weaknesses in his game. Offensively he does it all. 3s, mid range, floaters, pull ups, fade aways, dunks, finishes with left or right hand. He could start right away. Watch this game clip from 8:17 until 13:59. He scores 10 points in a few minutes against the #1 team in the state and every shot was nothing but net. The guy defending him is D1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmUF2Luo-Aw#t=8m17s

    • Northern Blue

      If he can actually shoot the 3 I would want him if I was the staff. If not, maybe not so much. i am enamoured with having 4 guys able to shoot the 3 ball consistently. Along with Beileins amazing offensive execution and the fact you can’t leave anyone on the perimeter it makes Michigan impossible to stop. If you play positions 1-4 I would prefer every one of those guys be able to shoot the 3. We now have bigs that look like they can shoot the 3 – I prefer a mobile big who can rebound and defend the heck out of the ball.

      Also, Shayok has great athletecism. If he can shoot a corner 3 ala GR3 then he would probably be a great project for the staff as well.

    • JimmyZ5

      This isn’t meant to be xenophobic in ANY way, but I do find it kind of funny that a guy named Muhammad Ali Abdur Rahkman plays for Central Catholic.

      • Ex Kobe Hater

        I also find this hilarious

  • Guest

    Another nice glimpse of Rahkman. From 54:17 to to 56:01 he has an alley oop dunk, lefty finger roll, then another dunk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuIBp_ZGZ5I#t=54m17s

  • Guest

    Another nice glimpse of Rahkman. From 54:17 to to 56:01 he has an alley oop dunk, lefty finger roll, then another dunk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuIBp_ZGZ5I#t=54m17s

  • Tyrell

    If I had my druthers I would want one of these three guards/wings:Marial Shayok, Eron Harris, and Nolan Cressler. Then I say it would be wise to add Sean Obi since we could use a powerful post player (and it doesn’t hurt that Duke has an interest in him).

  • Fresh

    aubrey dawkins (jonny dawkins kid) has some legit video out there…..athletic, versatile and seems like he could be solid

  • JimmyZ5

    Would Obi be eligible immediately? I’d love Harris as a “2015” guy, and Shayok to replace our two wings. If Mitch leaves, immediately eligible Obi would be a godsend. If he sticks around, I still might take him even if it meant we couldn’t take one of Harris/Shayok. Speculation though, there needs to be mutual interest between player and coaches. My wish list means nothing.

  • Nolan Cressler committed to Vanderbilt.

  • Wayman Britt

    Let’s get Mayok and keep the Canada pipeline open. Seems that Canada is pumping out better talent each year and UM is in good position to attract them.
    Also, the Maize Rage can keep their maple leaf flag.

    • Northern Blue

      Agreed, if he can hit the corner 3, he can do much of what GR3 did off the ball. And I have been watching a little video and he seems to be a guy that likes to drive and drive and kick. Could be great on baseline, much like GR3.

      Then in 15 focus on the guards. McQuaid and Coleman would work.

  • Ex Kobe Hater

    Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman Scouting Video