Rakim Lubin was recovering from a back injury during the summer, when a lot of schools were scouting. As a result, he fell a little under the radar.
That changed a couple of weeks ago, when Lubin, healthy, worked out for college coaches at his new school in Buford, Ga. Marquette, Memphis, Auburn were there to watch, and so was Ricky Moore, a Georgia native, for UConn.
“Afterward, they wanted to get him up for visits as soon as they could,” said Buford coach Allen Whitehart in a phone interview this week. “He went up to UConn and fell in love with the place.”
UConn has been looking at Class of 2014 power forward types since the spring, when they landed Daniel Hamilton, more of a swingman. Several came to visit, but chose to go elsewhere. Perhaps, here, they were in the right place at the right time to get an underrated player with big upside.
Lubin, who is 6-foot-8, has beefed up to 245 pounds, Whitehart said. He is not the lanky type one often finds. “He’s ready,” Whitehart said. “He plays with a great motor, he rebounds the ball with high volume.”
Lubin had been playing at Gadsden City High in Alabama, about three hours from Atlanta, but he has family in the Atlanta area and decided last year he wanted to relocate there for his senior season. Whitehart has not coached him in a game yet, but sees the work ethic he likes. It’s certainly a good sign that Lubin decided he wanted to come to UConn after watching Kevin Ollie’s first practice last weekend – a grueling workout, it was.
“I work them pretty hard here,” Whitehart said. “And he seems to respond well to that.”
What kind of player, kid is Rakim Lubin?
“He’s a humble kid,” Whitehart said. “He does’t say much. But he is a MONSTER on the court.”