Last week, Richard Pitino and his staff extended an offer to sophomore Rawle Alkins of Christ the King High School in Brooklyn. Alkins, a four-star shooting guard, is rated No. 19 in the class of 2016 on Rivals and joins Amir Coffey as the second recruit the Gophers have offered in the 2016 class.
It’s unclear how hard Pitino has been recruiting Alkins prior to offering but he was everywhere during the AAU circuit this summer and had spent time in New York during his recruitment of Isaiah Whitehead and others. It’s always a risky move to offer a scholarship to such young athletes so Alkins must have really left an impression on Pitino.
Alkins is a very athletic wing. He’s 6-foot-4 and nearly 200 pounds and there are no indications that he’s done growing. He very well could be a small forward by the time he comes out of high school.
His style of play, not to be confused with his potential, has been compared to Lebron James. He’s very long and his ability to get to the rim is clearly his greatest strength in addition to being able to run the floor very well.
Because of his ability to get to the rim, his ability to knock down jump shots is relatively unproven. He does have a smooth release and can hit from range when left open. It’ll be important to watch how he progresses as he continues through high school.
Alkins has tremendous upside and will be watched closely by many high level coaches. In addition to Minnesota, he also has received offers from Villanova, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Cincinnati. The early offer from Pitino should count for something as Alkins starts to consider his commitment down the road.