There was breaking news from Tobacco road today, this one of the Duke variety. The Duke Blue Devils announced that Rasheed Sulaimon has been dismissed. This year’s team is extremely young, there were only a few upperclassmen that got minutes. Losing an upperclassmen is never a good thing, no matter how much talent a program may have. Especially when the young team in the discussion is going through a rough stretch in which they’ve lost several games. That’s not okay at Duke, the talent and tradition usually come together to create a winning product on the court.
According to The Chronicle, a Duke publication and several other reports, this decision came from a list of transgressions that accumulated over time. This isn’t a case where one specific incident caused the dismissal to happen, but rather a list of issues with this final one being the straw that broke the camel’s back.
‘Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program. 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.’ – Mike Krzyzewski
With his dismissal, Sulaimon made the wrong type of history at Duke by becoming the first player to ever be dismissed by Coach K during his tenure at the University.
This season, Sulaimon averaged 7.5 points, two rebounds and just under two assists per game. His impact on the court will be missed, he was an upperclassmen that had been in big games, hit big shots in big games and he’s no longer a part of the team. Duke will be alright in terms of talent, but the talent that may benefit from his departure will certainly be lacking his experience. The players that could benefit from this, would be Matt Jones and possibly true freshman Grayson Allen.
To top everything, Duke is 4-3 in the ACC and has a huge game against the number two team in the country on Saturday. They will be facing a very cohesive and experienced Virginia team that won’t take pity on them for what transpired off the court this week. The Blue Devils have to be focused and ready to play this weekend, another conference loss could erase what’s left of their championship hopes in the conference.
*Multiple reports state that Sulaimon is in good standing academically and will remain on campus to finish out the semester.
How do you think this will affect the Blue Devils? Can they beat UVA this weekend? Share your thoughts below in the comment section!