In the months leading up to the 2016-’17 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point
In this volume of the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ we take a look at the 23rd ranked player on the list. Coming in at the spot according to the BTPowerhouse staff is Michigan shooting guard Muhammad Ali Abdur Rahkman.
‘BTP 25’ - #23 Muhammad Ali Abdur Rahkman (Michigan):
- Eligibility: Junior
- Career Totals: 65 games, 1551 minutes, 441 pts, 146 reb, 88 asts
- 2014-2015 Averages: 27.8 mins, 8.6 pts, 2.7 reb, 1.7 asts, 0.3 blks, 0.6 stls
- Positional Role: Shooting Guard
Abdur Rahkman did not come into Michigan highly touted but has developed into one of the more productive guards in the Big Ten. The Michigan faithful refer to him by his initials: MAAR. I’m sure the nickname is more than many expected Abdur Rahkman to be known for at Michigan when he came in as an unknown two star recruit in 2014.
Injuries forced MAAR into some unexpected playing time in his freshman year and the 6’4” guard ran away with opportunity. Now going into his junior season, Abdur Rahkman will be a key cog in a Wolverines back court which will look to get back into the NCAA Tournament.
Abdur Rahkman has a great combination of size and speed. Standing at 6’4”, he is able to get his shot off against almost any other guard in the Big Ten. However MAAR is at his best when he is taking the ball to the basket.
His style of play can be best described as aggressive but controlled, meaning he can go to the hole strong but also knows what to do when he gets there. Passing back out when there in not a scoring opportunity inside is definitely part of Abdur Rahkman’s skillset as well. While the majority of his points will come from within 12 feet of the hoop, so will his assists.
Areas of Improvement
Although his three point shooting has been much improved, it still leaves something to be desired. Improving his three point percentage from 29 percent as a freshman to 37 percent as a sophomore was impressive but he will need to be more consistent.
Luckily, MAAR plays on a team with Zak Irvin and Duncan Robinson so he doesn’t necessarily need to light it up from long range. Additionally, MAAR could also take a step forward from the line. Shooting only 70 percent from the charity stripe last season was disappointing for Abdur Rahkman.
Abdur Rahkman has battled against and beaten the odds since the first day he stepped on campus in Ann Arbor. In reality, his ceiling may be Second Team All-Big Ten at very best but with the loaded talent pool in the conference such a feat will be difficult.
Regardless of accolades, MAAR will be a key component on a Michigan team trying to make it to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. He will be part of a three headed monster featuring himself, Derrick Walton Jr. and Xavier Simpson. He will have a successful season if he can continue to make an impact inside and expand his game.