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Appalachian State transfer Justin Abson, 'an interior force,' set for Michigan visit

clayton-sayfieby:Clayton Sayfie04/18/24


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Michigan Wolverines basketball is targeting Appalachian State forward transfer Justin Abson, and he told that he will visit Ann Arbor beginning Saturday (April 20).

Abson has already visited Georgia and Miami, and he’s set to see Xavier before heading to Michigan.

The 6-foot-9, 235-pounder played two seasons with the Mountaineers and has two years of eligibility remaining. Abson ranks as the No. 179 overall player and 43rd-best power forward in the NCAA transfer portal, according to On3’s rankings.

“The first few weeks I’ve been gathering calls from all different schools, gauging how high I am on their recruiting list and seeing how bad they want me,” Abson, who entered the portal on March 25th, told On3’s Georgia site DawgsHQ.

“I don’t have a specific time, but I’d like to commit as soon as possible to the school I feel is right. It’s not good to wait around in the transfer portal.”

Abson is a native of Pompano Beach, Fla., which is just 13 miles from Florida Atlantic’s campus, where new Michigan head coach Dusty May spent the last six years.

Abson excelled on the defensive end of the floor this past season, earning Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year honors. His 87 total blocks and 2.8 blocks per game led the conference, while the per-game averaged checked in third nationally. Appalachian State finished 41st in the country and first in the conference in adjusted defensive efficiency, per Kenpom.

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Abson started 33 of 34 contests for a 27-7 Appalachian State team that made the NIT. He averaged 7.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 24.3 minutes per game, shooting 63.1 percent on twos (101-of-160), 1-of-8 on threes and 47.1 percent on free throws (40-of-85).

Abson is a post-up (1.043 points per possession, 78th percentile nationally) and cutting (1.237; 58th) big man who played both the ‘4’ and 5′ for the Mountaineers. He made 59.5 percent of his hook shots and a whopping 67.5 percent of his looks at the rim.

“I feel like I’m an interior force on both sides of the ball,” Abson said when describing his game. “I’m also a capable passer.”

Appalachian State head coach Dustin Kerns has touted Abson’s potential.

“I think Justin could be conference player of the year down the road.” Kerns said in February, according to The Appalachian. “I think he has put himself on pace to become the all-time shot blocker in school history.

“He leads by example, He is also one of our better students so once again leading by example. I appreciate the work he puts into the classroom while also focusing on basketball.” 

Abson opened 23 of 32 appearances as a freshman in 2022-23, averaging 22.5 minutes per outing. He registered 6.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.2 blocks per game. He shot 58.1 percent on twos and was 1-of-2 on three-pointers. His free throw numbers were low — making just 32.2 percent of them on 59 attempts.

An unranked recruit in the 2022 class, Abson attended Pompano Beach (Fla.) North Broward prep.

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