At about 9pm. last night On The Radar Hoops broke the news that UConn picked up their second commitment in the class of 2014. This time it’s 6’8″ and 246lbs. power forward Rakim “Rock” Lubin. He joins shooting guard Daniel Hamilton as UConn’s 2014 commitments.
The news of UConn even recruiting him had been found out just eight days before he committed. It was announced that UConn had offered him and a couple days later he decided he wanted to officially visit. The visit was scheduled for this weekend and before it was over, he and his family had decided that UConn was the right place for him.
Late last night I had the privilege to talk with Rakim’s mother. She accompanied her son on his official visit to UConn. Some of the things she said that led to Rakim committing were, “It was a good fit. A great coaching staff and developmental program.” Of the coaching staff, Rickey Moore could have had the biggest impact. He most likely worked his Georgia connections and helped UConn get a good standing with Rakim and his family for Ollie to work his magic this weekend. As for Ollie, Rakim’s mother spoke very highly of him saying, “We love the way he believes in his players. We loved the fact that his goal is to make players the best student athlete he can possibly become.”
Due to Rakim committing on his visit it is safe to say the visit had been going well, and Rakim’s mom confirmed that. She explained a little about the visit, “We love the new facility and all that it will have to offer the players. We also got a chance to watch the 1st practice. Coach Ollie was very passionate about teaching and motivating the team. During the visit he said ‘You need to be 10 toes in!’ I love it!” Kevin Ollie used one of his most famous lines so far as UConn’s head coach as a pitch to a recruit, and it worked.
Many people have been wondering why there isn’t much info about Lubin out there. This likely has to do with his injury he suffered that didn’t allow him to play this summer. As a result this caused him to lose exposure on the summer circuit, to both colleges and recruiting analysts. According to his mom he should end up being fine, “He suffered a back injury but has recovered well. His high school has an aggressive rehabilitation program for him.” His mom also said that Rakim will be fully healthy for his upcoming high school season.
The more I hear about Rakim Lubin, the more I like about him. It seems as if he’s a very underrated player and could be a diamond in the rough for UConn. His coach Julian Barfield was stating this about Rakim, “He is as gifted 17 feet and in as any big in the country scoring the ball. UConn got a monster.” He also added in, “You have to double him he’s that strong.” Lubin fills a huge need for UConn in 2014. UConn has wanted a big strong power forward that could come in and help rebound and bring toughness to the front court. His mom certainly believes that he will come in and do that for UConn. “His size and toughness will be a great asset to the program. Rakim could really make a presence in the front court,” his mom explained.
When Rakim gets healthy he will only progress his skills on the court and develop as a player. UConn is lucky to get him before he has a very good senior season of basketball and he impresses many more people.