More Info on Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman

Submitted by alum96 on April 22nd, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Mlive has a closer look at the recruitment of MAAR; looks like there will be an in depth story later today based on a teaser on how a connection Beilein has had since 1978 in the area raised awareness of the player.  Some tidbits:

  • Yes, was named after the boxer.
  • Think of MAAR in the model of a Joe Dumars in terms of position flexibility - a 2 who can play the 1.
  • Beilein had a connection in the area from 1978.  "Dave Rooney, a 72-year-old real estate agent and former college coach. The Allentown resident has known Beilein since 1978, when the two coached in Buffalo. N.Y.  In March, Rooney called Beilein to pass along the name of an unsigned guard who fit the Michigan system. Beilein promptly followed up on the tip."
  • MAAR's dad is an assistant at a Div 3 college.
  • Throwaway line in story on how Caris is probably the closest model of a player to MAAR in terms of style of play and late signee.  [Before the "NBA" comments come out remember there is really no other choice on the UM squad to compare MAAR to other than Caris right now, as the 1s are smaller players and Irvin is a sharpshooter, so by default Caris is all that is left]
  • Normal HS coach speak of just starting to realize potential.
  • MAAR not only led HS team in scoring all 4 years but also assists.
  • Abdur-Rahkman said he doesn't "expect much" next season in terms of minutes, but will "definitely work hard and get better and eventually earn my time."  [Again remember Caris played 10 min a game and 2 ppg as freshman]

My comment/projection: With Caris set to play 33-35 minutes a night, and Walton Jr/Spike at 1 - MAAR does not have much playing time available in 2014-2015 barring an injury.  Unlike Caris he does not seem like a guy you swing out to 3 as a 2/3, but instead swing over to 1.  So with Caris set to have a monster year in minutes, outside of non conf games to the baby seals MAAR will be that guy that comes and gives Caris a breather for 2-3 minutes a half.    Best parallel I see is MAAR is to Caris what Spike was to Burke.  [Spike 2012-2013 was 8 min per game, 2 ppg; Burke 35 min per game]

Then in 2015-2016 he will have a year under his belt and most likely competing for major minutes versus a top 20-100 SG type recruit.  One would see him playing 15-20 min a night. If said recruit pops and leaves within 2 years, MAAR is ready to be a SR starter in 2017-2018 while the next hotshot top 20-100 SG recruit is a freshman.  In theory if ball handling develops he could even move over to 1 as a JR/SR or just be a combo guard as a JR/SR who rotates between the two.  Will be interesting to see how he develops and how far the staff can take him.




April 22nd, 2014 at 8:59 AM ^

Humble, hard working, coachable kids fit Beilein's system well. I'm sure coach will improve his outside shooting. Quality depth is important in basketball as a lot of those kids practice against the starters.


April 22nd, 2014 at 10:19 AM ^

And your post explains exactly why our coach is so outstanding.  This is something you won't read on a UK board:

"Humble, hard working, coachable kids fit [Calipari's] system well.  I'm sure coach [Cal] will improve his outside shooting.  Quality depth is important in basketball as a lot of those kids practice against the starters."

Mmmm Hmmm

April 22nd, 2014 at 9:07 AM ^

My attitude used to be to redshirt any player that won't contribute about the minutes that Irvin did last season (why waste a season of eligibility on under ten minutes per game and about 2 points, to use Caris as an example). But man, Beilein sure does develop his players--so much so that I'm not really that worried about missing out because of early contributions. There is no equivalent (it seems) to burning Devin's redshirt for a handful of plays or other football adventures in minimal contributions...

In other words, carry on coach Beilein, and develop MAAR like you are doing Caris and you did with Zach and Stu and Jordan...


April 22nd, 2014 at 9:19 AM ^

Won't it be tough to find any meaningful minutes at the 1 next year with DWJr and Spike at the helm?

Hopefully he replicates Caris' effort and talent, and therefore deciding FOR Coach B that a redshirt is not optimum. Hopefully.


April 22nd, 2014 at 9:21 AM ^

There were comments that with all the recruiting sites and the growth of recruiting, the hidden gems like LeVert and Burke wouldn't be found now. It looks like they are still out there. He is going to have to work hard, but I think his ceiling may be higher than we think.


April 22nd, 2014 at 9:36 AM ^

Well not sure about the gems and sites that expose them however I like having a mix of kids that will mature on your bench and lead as opposed to playing 4 Freshman at the same time with higher star ratings.  

Kentucky had a nice and very fortunate run but they can keep it as compared to the year before and playing in an NIT-too volatile.


April 22nd, 2014 at 11:14 AM ^

Burke and LeVert were in highschool just a couple of years ago, I don't think recruiting has changed that much during this time. 

It seems 'hidden gems' are usually guys who had a lot of success in highschool but for some reason they are perceived as already hitting their ceilings. Leading a highschool team to a state championship should account for something but sometimes I think it's a negative to recruiting sites. 

I think MAAR will be a solid 4-year player that will probably do a lot of things really well, but may not be a star. That's okay! I didn't realize he is a coaches son, that's a bonus.


April 22nd, 2014 at 9:30 AM ^

"The Michigan coaching staff used a tried and true gameplan to make the scholarship offer. They showed young Muhammad Ali film of the Wolverines' system, then showed him film of himself and how he fit. Once the presentation was over, the offer was presented."

I don't know precisely how common this mode of presentation is in Division I, but it is a pretty cool idea and particularly so now since this is a program that is on the rise and a perennial contender again under Beilein. It gives them an idea of how they might look in that scheme and in maize and blue - I like it. 


April 22nd, 2014 at 9:36 AM ^

I've heard of similar things in football where they cut up plays from college and splice with similar plays from HS and show them together - in fact I think someone like Taco might have said the UM football staff does it.   Not sure how common it is in basketball but in football where you can isolate on one position much easier I would think its pretty common.


April 22nd, 2014 at 9:48 AM ^

I scout the area and have seen Rahkman develop over the last 4 years.  His quote about minutes is suprising as I've heard he wanted to go to VCU (under Rhodes) then Rice because of minutes.  His dad also wanted a position with whatever team he signed.


April 22nd, 2014 at 11:50 AM ^

I really do not like this signing but I will have faith in Building and his eye for talent because it has yet to be wrong.

what I don't like though is you have to create space in college with the dribble of you're going to be a guard in college. I didn't see a lot of space created by him in his film. I saw a lot of airballs. I would have to say he isn't as quick as Spike and he has to go all out just to get the ball up the court sometimes.

also, he is older, like spike and mcgary were. I think he should be more developed at this stage especially being a perimeter player. like I would say spike is pretty developed just extremely limited by physical attributes


April 22nd, 2014 at 12:10 PM ^

He has missed in the past, and will continue to miss.  Everyone misses along the way.  He just hits more than he misses, and takes players on average farther than most assume or project.  But not all of them.   Carlton Brundidge was a higher recruit than Trey Burke - one was NPOY of the year and lottery pick; the other is a poor shooting bit player at U of D.  I don't know the rating of the Colton Christian's and Ben Cronin's (injury plagued) of the world - I imagine similar to MAAR - so no coach is perfect.  Somewhere in these classes of this year, next year, and the year after will be some misses I am sure.  Just the probability of bringing in guys not in the top 30.


April 22nd, 2014 at 12:21 PM ^

The interesting question is if JB is more likely to miss on players who don't come up as good shooters.  Vogrich was one of the few shooters that didn't exceed expectations in JB's time at Michigan.  Some of the non-shooting targets (like Brundidge but also guys JB pursued but didn't land, haven't panned out).

I'm not too worried about MAAR being bust.  When you take a guy like him you're happy to have a quality 4-year backup.  He doesn't have to be Joe Dumars (an NBA hall of famer), he can just be a high-end version of Esso Akunne.  As long as he can defend and pass, he'll contribute.



April 22nd, 2014 at 12:17 PM ^

I could see MAAR getting around 8-10 minutes per game.  I don't think you want to see LeVert or any other starter playing 32-38 minutes per game, especially if you have good depth.


April 22nd, 2014 at 12:30 PM ^

MAAR's highlight tape reminds me of D.J. Newbill on Penn State (based on my memory of playing PSU and a quick look at a highlight tape for both players).  

Newbill doesn't seem to have elite athleticism or quickness, but is very good at getting into the paint or getting just enough space to get his shot off.  At 17ppg he's a good Big Ten player.  He's more a volume scorer than shooter - his attempts are high and percentage a bit low - but he and Frasier don't have a lot of help on that front.


MAAR looks similar.  In his tapes he finds ways to score despite not elevating very high or appearing to blow by people.  His crossover is good and he seems to shake a lot of people with it.  He also seems to use his body well to get the space he needs.  He's not a great shooter but seems to be adept at scoring around the rim.  If he can improve his shot he could be dangerous.