Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman sets Michigan official visit


2048x1552[1]As the spring signing period winds down and Michigan prepares to see off a significant chunk of this season’s roster to the NBA, the coaching staff continues to evaluate more under-the-radar members of the 2014 recruiting class.

The latest blip is Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, a wing from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Abdur-Rahkman had a monster senior year for his Central Catholic high school team, averaging 23.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game this past season. Before his senior year, Abdur-Rahkman held offers from mostly mid-majors: Bucknell, Drexel, Lehigh and Harvard were all in on his recruitment. But since then, he has caught the attention of some high-major schools. One of them is Michigan.

Abdur-Rahkman has been hearing from Boston College, who he thinks is “going to offer” soon, and places Penn State in the same category. He holds an offer from Rice after the coach who was recruiting him to VCU, Mike Rhoades, became the head coach of the Owls.

Out of all the schools going after him at this late period of his recruitment, Abdur-Rahkman said it was Michigan and Rice whom he was hearing from the most.

“Coach Beilein calls me at least three times a week,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “He just talks about how I play and I have a great feel for the game, stuff like that. And he wants me to come on a visit.”

The Allentown, PA native said he has been in contact with Michigan for a few weeks and confirmed that he plans to visit Michigan officially this weekend after speaking with John Beilein tonight. 

Michigan assistant coach Bacari Alexander was at one of his workouts at Central Catholic last Thursday. There they talked about an offer, but Alexander said the coaching staff was still waiting for NBA decisions from Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary. Stauskas and Robinson are expected to declare for the NBA Draft on Tuesday.

Abdur-Rahkman would be a slight departure from the prototypical Michigan recruit in that he isn’t known for his shooting. In fact, the graduating senior said that while his shot has improved, he made his living getting to the rim and playing great man-to-man defense.

RELATEDScouting Video & Evaluation: Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman

Even so, Abdur-Rahkman still believes he would fit nicely in Michigan’s offensive scheme. His brother is a Michigan fan, he said, so they often watch Wolverine games together. Abdur-Rahkman noted how Michigan plays as a team.

“That’s definitely something I look at,” he continued. “They seem unselfish and they definitely like to play with each other. It’s definitely something I want to be a part of.”

There is clear interest on both sides of this recruitment. Abdur-Rahkman likes the coaching staff and especially enjoys chatting with John Beilein — even noting Beilein’s coaching style as one of the reasons he would want to go to Michigan.

“He holds everybody accountable and doesn’t let just let one player be selfish or anything,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “So everybody knows how to play together and plays well together. And they develop players.”

Player development has been a key for nearly every recruit talking about Michigan, and it’s no different for Abdur-Rahkman. After seeing the progress players like Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert made in only one offseason, guards are itching to be coached by the Michigan staff.

“It definitely signals that they develop players all the time,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “They don’t always get the high recruits but they develop them into better players.”

Abdur-Rahkman visited Rice this past weekend and has known the Owls coach for a long time. But a Michigan visit is now planned for this weekend and at this stage in his recruitment, a visit could mean an offer. Should that happen, Abdur-Rahkman was clear about where Michigan ranked among the schools pursuing him.

“(Michigan is) definitely the top school.”

  • goblue8888

    Seems to be priority number 1, would guess he is a michigan commit by next monday.

  • Fresh

    kid putting up 30 against #1 team in the state in the playoffs tells me about all i need to know…… know this kid will be hungry, these types of kids excite me more than the top 100s ……hope he goes blue

    • Mattski


  • jblair52

    Of the high school recruits, this is the one I really see as the best option.
    Would be a great addition considering the situation.

  • Blueeverything

    Any film?

  • guestavo

    UM’s Alvin Ellis III?

  • FL Wolve

    I thought his film was a little better than Ryan Taylor’s film but I do think that Taylor might be a better fit for UM. I’d be happy with either guy.

  • Tyrell

    One of the pages on this site said he is suspect from beyond the arc, or something along those lines. Plus he is only a 6’4″ wing; that is small in comparison to the wings we have been getting. I would rather we go after the Canadian 3/4 and the Hoosier native transferring from WV (Harris) even though he too is smaller than what we have been getting in recent years and he will probably have to sit out a year.

    • Kenny

      wing span is also important when consider his “length”. Levert probably has a longer wing span than smotrycz.

  • jamieh2

    Beilein has realized that with the change in the block/charge rules, a guy who can get to the rim can have a field day in college ball now. Look at how Kentucky played. Just charge the rim on every possession and dare the refs to call a charge. The charge is gone.

    A guy like Abdur-Rahkman whose game is all about getting to the rim should be able to be quite successful under the new rules.

    • Also needs someone to try to stop it on defense.

    • Northern Blue

      Agreed. His skill set and athleticism will be a good fit with the current group. Offsets a guy like Spike well.

    • guestavo

      The Harrisons are 6-6 220 so it’s a bit different. I wonder what his length and first step is like?

  • kam

    interesting. wouldn’t mind a slasher who can defend 1 and 2 guards

    • kam

      and if he came here id call him MAAR! my shortened nickname for him because I’m not saying that whole name haha.

  • DingoBlue

    If Nik and GRIII go pro, it seems he could well be in line for an offer with the possible expectation that Caris may go pro next year. I would still be a bit worried that his presence in 2014 might scare away some of the similar guards in 2015 (read: Jalen Coleman). That said, his skillset seems pretty different from the rest of the class and I think that could work to his and UM’s benefit.

    • jblair52

      if Levert goes pro after next season, our only “wings” would be Irvin and Muhammad. (+ Chatman who will probably play next season at the 4).

      Any 2015 guy could walk in and get big minutes just out of necessity.
      Playing time will still be a big seller.

  • hehateme

    This post made me think about how weird college sports recruiting is…”Coach B calls me 3x per week and just tells me how good I am”.

    • kam

      what do u expect them to say? he’s trying to convince players they’re good enough to play for michigan and that they really want them.

  • Chezaroo

    Good chance that Mitch comes back according to Sam Webb on his show this morning! That is his OPINION!!

    • tgio24

      I thought just a couple days ago he said his gut feeling is all 3 will be leaving..?

      • Chezaroo

        Gut feelings are just that, gut feelings. If he knows something that we don’t about Mitch changing his mind, than hopefully we can have another year of a healthy Mitch. But hey, who knows? At least a glimmer of hope perhaps.

  • rick dunaway

    mitch is back

    • Tyrell

      Knock on wood

  • jkuofm27

    I like what I see from the little bit of Youtube I found on him. I wouldn’t mind Eron Harris either. Harris is a proven college scorer, but I trust the staff to turn all coal into diamonds, not that Rahkman is coal per se.

  • Jon Sohn

    that is hardly impressive video but i trust the Michigan staff.

  • GoBlueinPA

    We scouted this kid for 4 years in high school. Would be a nice fit under Beilein. He is very coachable and plays with other athletes in the state that are pretty high caliber. He’s used to winning. His shot must must must improve for him to be successful but he has a really nice build and can adjust and twist in the air like no one else. Definite slasher.

    • jkuofm27

      Manny Harris with better court vision and awareness?

  • LVFan

    I’ve watched his entire HS career and ran a scouting website before that. This kid is a terrific under the radar kid. I still can’t figure out how he’s not at least a Top 150 rated player. Last summer was his only year playing high level AAU. Even though his team lost, he outplayed Neumann Goretti’s Top 75 Miami bound recruit the state playoffs. He’s a 4X All State player and has been in the state playoffs for 4 years.

    He’s definitely a slasher/scorer first. He’s quick and crafty with the ball and athletic. He can slide through traffic and is a great finisher. While he’s not a shooter, he can shoot it and pull up from anywhere. His stroke is smooth, he’s just not always consistent with it. With more and more reps, I think he can become a good shooter. He’s a pretty good passer with good vision and is unselfish. He scored a lot because he had to. He didn’t have a lot of talent around him.

    I would see him as more of a SG, that can step over and run a little point if needed, but definitely would play off the ball first and most of the time. Physically, he has good length. Now, he can finish well with contact, but does need to get stronger. He really needs to find the weight room.

    My other question about him is that he’s kind of quiet and a kid that seems to be more comfortable taking a backseat to others, rather than being in the spotlight. Granted, he’s been in the spotlight locally and throughout his whole HS career, but I’m not sure he’s entirely comfortable with that. He plays calm and cool on the court. Doesn’t seem to get high or low. His dad has coached some lower level assistant college positions.

    He played in the same conference as Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard and both of their games are a lot alike. He’s even better than Hilliard was, so I’m not really sure why he hasn’t had the same kind of interest. I guess Hilliard does have about 2 inches on him, but I can’t believe it would be that much a difference.

    He was getting a ton of mid major interest until lately and I felt like he’d absolutely dominate at that level and I always felt he was a high major kid. There are certainly areas he needs to be coached on, but he’s capable of being a good player, even at your level. I don’t see him as an instant impact kind of kid for your program, but could be good down the road.