The best team in college basketball in 2015 very well could be the Maryland Terrapins. Not only are Mark Turgeon’s Terps adding a top-40 recruiting class—including the No. 1 center prospect in the country—to a team that returns just about everyone from last year’s 28-7 squad, but today it was announced that former Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon will play his final year of college basketball in College Park.
Sulaimon was dismissed by the Blue Devils in January because Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski claimed he “has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program,” and it is believed that his dismissal stemmed from multiple sexual assault allegations.
Former Duke Blue Devils guard Rasheed Sulaimon told ESPN he has committed to Maryland and will spend his final season in college with the Terps.
“For everything I’ve been through, my family and I wanted me to be at a place where I trusted everyone,” Sulaimon said. “I’ve known Coach [Mark] Turgeon and [assistant coach Dustin] Clark since I was 13. I trust them.”
Sulaimon, who was dismissed from the Blue Devils program in January, took a visit to College Park over the weekend and met with athletic director Kevin Anderson, president Wallace D. Loh and the Maryland players.
“We did our due diligence,” Turgeon told ESPN. “We were extremely thorough and talked to a lot of people and vetted the entire situation. I’ve known Rasheed and his family since he was 13, and I believe in him. There’s a trust factor, and we’ve had a strong relationship.”
Sulaimon said he is on track to graduate in early August. Due to the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule, he will be eligible next season — his final one in college.
His addition makes Turgeon’s team a legitimate candidate to cut down the nets in April.
“They have a chance to be a special team,” Sulaimon said. “They are great guys off the court, and they embraced me. At the end of the day, I wanted to go somewhere to have the opportunity to be part of something bigger than myself.”
Said Turgeon: “He wanted a chance to win at the highest level. He’s a piece that fits what we’re doing here — both personality-wise and on the court. He’ll add leadership. We had other options, but we felt like Rasheed was the best one.”