The number 4 ranked Duke Blue Devils basketball team has dismissed junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon from the team on Thursday. This is the first time that Sulaimon has been disciplined publicly in his 3 years at the University.
“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 press release about the dismissal. “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.”
This is the first time that any one player has been dismissed from Duke University under the tenure of coach Mike Kryzewski.
The biggest problem that Sulaimon may have displayed was some poor body language when struggling in the past. At times he was seen pouting on the bench and not celebrating with teammates.
This season though, Sulaimon had been asked to accept a new role on the Blue Devils coming off the bench, after starting 50 games during his freshman and sophomore seasons, though there have been no apparent issues with the switch.
“This was something that I had to really look in the mirror and think about and I had to come to grips with because this team is really talented,” Sulaimon said. “They’re not going to need anything too extra or out of the ordinary. If you just do simple and just play hard you’ll be successful.”
Sulaimon had appeared to have bought in to his new role and was providing decent production off the bench, and was developing his defense rather rapidly, so the dismissal comes as somewhat of a surprise.
The loss of Sulaimon will first be tested on January 31st, when the Blue Devils are set to take on the 2nd ranked University of Virginia Cavaliers.