Duke Dismisses Junior Guard Rasheed Sulaimon
In what is probably the most shocking move from the Duke Blue Devils this season, the team and Coach Krzyzewski announced the dismissal of Junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon. Originally a starter his first two years, the addition of Tyrus Jones and Justise Winslow put Sulaimon into a secondary role, coming off the bench as an upperclassman.
In a statement released by Coach Krzyzewski, who just secured his 1,000th win before losing to Notre Dame on Tuesday, said, “Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program. After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program.”
Sulaimon has seen his numbers decrease over the last three years: originally posting 11.6 PPG in his freshman season, it has gone down to 7.5 PPG coming off the bench — with his overall minutes going from 29.2 per game to 19.3 over the same time. But he has improved his defensive output since his decline in minutes.
This is the first player that Coach K has dismissed in his 35 years as a head basketball coach, which makes this quite shocking. According to CBS Sports, he was not previously been disciplined, at least publicly, for any transgressions and even remains in high standards academically. Many have been speculating that this has to do with his unhappiness from his reduced role in the Coach’s game plan. As ESPN pointed out, “Last season the coaching staff talked to Sulaimon about his body language… He had specifically been called out for pouting and not celebrating his teammates while he was on the bench.”
What makes this even more surprising is that Sulaimon was a top 60 recruit out of high school and was even deemed a potential high draft pick. There is no word whether he will attempt to transfer schools or declare for the NBA draft.