Rasheed Sulaimon’s career at Duke University began with such promise, but now it ends in shock.
Time Magazine is reporting that Sulaimon, a junior guard at Duke, has been dismissed from the team. The reason behind Sulaimon’s dismissal: an inability to live up to the standards expected of Duke University athletes. Sulaimon is reportedly still in good standing with the University, and he will finish his degree in the spring semester.
Shooting 41.3 percent from the field, Sulaimon has averaged 7.5 points per game in 20 games this season, as well as 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists. From beyond the arc, Sulaimon has managed a 40.4 percent conversion rate.
Since his freshman year, though, Sulaimon has seen his playing time steadily decrease. Upon first joining Duke, Sulaimon was averaging 29.2 minutes per game. That year saw him named to the ACC All-Freshman team.
This year, though, Sulaimon is averaging only 19.3 minutes per game. In the last two games, the Duke guard has scored only seven points on 2-of-9 shooting.
“Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a news release. “It is a privilege to represent Duke University and with that privilege comes the responsibility to conduct oneself in a certain manner. After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program.”
The Washington Post is reporting that there has been tension building between Sulaimon and the team, especially coach Krzyzewski. Coach Krezyzewski has repeatedly ordered Sulaimon off the floor during practice this season, and suspended Sulaimon last year for a full game against Michigan. Sulaimon also fell behind guards Tyus Jones, Quinn Cook, Justise Winslow and Matt Jones in the perimeter rotation.
Sulaimon’s dismissal represents the first time Krzyzewski has dismissed any player from his basketball program. This first comes after Krzyzewski’s latest milestone, his 1,000th victory as a head basketball coach.
Part of the tension seems to be what is perceived as Sulaimon’s moodiness. ESPN is reporting that Sulaimon was called out last year for inappropriate body language when facing adversity, constantly pouting and not celebrating his teammates’ successes while he was on the bench.
“It was an accumulation of a whole lot of residue,” one source close to the Duke program told ESPN‘s Jeff Goodman. “It had built up over time.”
“His issues didn’t outweigh his talent.”
Though he ended up coming off the bench, Sulaimon seemed to have accepted his diminished role. and he was becoming one of Duke’s better on-ball defenders.
[Image via CBS Sports.]