Sulaimon Expands Recruiting Roll

The Duke Blue Devils are on a roll on the recruiting trail. With the news of a verbal commitment from Rasheed Sulaimon, that roll just expanded to a whole new area.

Realistically speaking the Duke Blue Devils will only have the services of Austin Rivers for one year. Barring either a change in the NBA Draft rules or him and Andrew Luck having a brain transplant, Rivers will only be around one season in Durham. That will leave the Blue Devils with a hole to fill at the scoring guard position and they filled it on Thursday evening with Rasheed Sulaimon.

Along with the Kentucky Wildcats, the Duke Blue Devils have been on an epic roll recently on the recruiting trail. With a few exceptions, it seems like who Duke wants, Duke gets. Sure they have missed on a kid like Rodney Purvis, but the hit rate of Mike Krzyzewski and his staff is off the charts right now.

The latest on their hit list is Sulaimon. A 6-foot-3 scoring guard out of Houston, Sulaimon shows just how far the Duke reach is going right now on the recruiting trail. Up until Sulaimon's commitment, the Duke recruiting run had simply been on the Eastern Seaboard. The Blue Devils were no doubt cleaning up, but it was simply in the Eastern Time Zone.

On January 1, Duke decided to try and expand that roll by offering Sulaimon a scholarship. Literally it was Coach K's first scholarship offer of the 2011 calendar year, and it didn't take Sulaimon long to pull the trigger and make the decision.

A Duke fan growing up, Sulaimon was very visible sitting behind the Blue Devils bench during their game against rival North Carolina. Taking in the game was a part of Sulaimon's unofficial visit, a visit that ultimately would seal the deal on his commitment.

During the game Sulaimon had a chance to see Seth Curry have his best game in a Duke uniform. Like Curry, Sulaimon is a shooter who is more than capable of lighting up the scoreboard in a hurry.

All summer long Sulaimon was putting up numbers for Houston Hoops. Despite being up against older players nearly every game, Sulaimon more than showed that he belonged, and wowed people with his ability to knock in shots from deep.

That three point range should come in handy in a big way in Durham. Coach Krzyzewski has proven that he is willing to let his guards fire from deep, and that plays into the strengths of Sulaimon's game.

Sulaimon will of course have to compete with good players such as Curry and Andre Dawkins to earn minutes as a freshman, but by the time he is a sophomore the path will be clear for him to be getting 30 minutes per game, and that is when this commitment will really show how its importance on the floor.

Following the 2008 season people who followed recruiting were questioning Duke's ability to get elite level players. They were coming off of back-to-back first weekend exits from the NCAA Tournament, and seemed to have lost a little bit of the Duke mystique.

Those doubts proved to be short sited and short lived. Now one national title later no one is doubting Coach K and company on the recruiting trail. It started with a sort of dominance on the East Coast, and now they are bringing it nationwide, specifically in the Lone Star State with Sulaimon.


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