Rasheed Sulaimon Recaps Official Visit

It's been over eight months since Duke last received a commitment in the class of 2012. Still, Rasheed Sulaimon's resolve and passion for his future school remains as solid as it was when offered in February. Last week the 6'3 Texas guard made it to Duke for his official visit. Over the weekend he reflected on the trip with TDD.

Before going into the visit, can you give us an idea of the kinds of things you like to do away from the court?

Rasheed Sulaimon: I keep it really simple. I've got a core group of some really good friends, and our favorite thing to do is get together at a wing place, have some good wings and watch some football.

You a Buffalo Wild Wings guy or is there a local spot?

I'm a huge Buffalo Wild Wings guy. I love their Lemon Pepper wings, those hit the spot every time.

You mentioned football, who is your team?

For NFL, I'm a big Texans fan. I love rooting for them since they are my hometown team and in college, I've watched Alabama for a long time. I'm just a fan of college football in general, Saturday's if I have time, I'll be flipping around the channels a lot. If it's a good game, I want to see it.

Since you are a big football fan, do you play fantasy football at all?

Oh no, but my friends, I've got a couple of them that are way into it and they'll have their arguments and stuff about it, so it's funny to listen to them talk about it, but I don't have the time to really do fantasy football.

If you were playing fantasy football, who do you think you'd pickup as your first pick

Oh for sure it'd be Arian Foster or Andre Johnson, you can't go wrong with either of those guys.

Moving on to the official visit, what was the difference between the official and the unofficial for you?

I think the biggest thing is just the amount of time I got to spend with the players and coaches. on my un-officials, I was generally only there for a day, maybe a day and a half. But to have a whole weekend where I just had a lot of time with the coaches and players, that was just really great.

What kind of stuff did you get to do with the players?

Well, I stayed with Alex Murphy and Austin Rivers and that was really great. We had a really good X-Box game going on and we ate at Cookout too. Had a awesome cheddar cheese burger with fries and an O)reo shake too, it was really, really good.

Are you normally a burger and fries kinda guy or are you on one of those in-season diets?

I would say I eat relatively healthy, but my thing is there are sometimes where I say to myself that if I've worked out for 4 hours everyday, I'm going to go have some wings or a good burger, but overall I try to eat healthy, which my mom helps me with, she does a good job at giving us balanced meals.

So who are the best X-Box players on the team that you hung out with? Which games did you play?

We just played Madden 12 the whole time and the best players I would say are Mason Plumlee and Tyler Thornton, they both beat me, but I also beat them as well, so that was a lot of fun.

Assuming you played as the Texans?

You know it. Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, they had HUGE days for me in different games I was playing.

How did it get decided that you were staying with Alex and Austin? Was that a request you made, or did you show up and the staff just mentioned you were staying with them?

It was a combination to be honest. I really wanted to room with Austin and Alex and asked to have that happen and the staff was already thinking about having me stay with those guys. Alex and I during our recruiting processes developed a good relationship through Twitter because we originally were both in the same recruiting class, I had reached out to him and we got to know each other real well. Both guys were just really laid back, but you could also tell that both of them are extremely dedicated, so it was fun to hang out with Austin and Alex.

A lot of the articles about Austin have featured his hunger to improve and how hard he works out all time, what did you observe of him during your time you spent with him?

Yeah, the thing with Austin is he does hang out with the players, but he also makes the time to be in the gym. Like he's the guy that I did a shooting workout with while I was on my visit and that was really great to get an up close look at how hard he works. Both him and Alex, you can tell that they are putting in the time to work on their games so they can help the team win games this year. Both know where they want to go as players, that's for sure.

What's it like doing a shooting workout with Austin? Was he very competitive with you?

Yeah, we definitely competed against each other in the shooting drills that we were doing, and I really liked that. Playing with Austin, he pushes you to work harder and become a better player because he puts in the time to reach his potential, so we were challenging each other in our workout together to make more shots than we did in the previous session, it was great.

You mentioned having a lot more time with the coaching staff earlier, can you elaborate on that?

That was really great as well, I went with the coaches to the football game, me and my family got to eat like three times with the staff, we even had a brunch at Coach K's house, that was just really special.

Who all did you spend time with at Coach K's house?

It was me, my family, Coach Capel and James was there, Mrs. K was there and Coach K as well.

What's it like getting the opportunity to go into his home and share a meal together?

Well, first off, it's like walking into a museum in there. It's just absolutely beautiful and Coach K's got this room, kind of like a man cave type of deal where he's got all kinds of pictures, he's got pictures with him and multiple Presidents, Carmelo, LeBron, blown up articles about the team that are framed, it's just a wonderful house and it was great to see Coach K in a family setting. Getting to spend time with his wife was really nice, my family and I enjoyed that a great deal and you can tell he's a big family man. He loves his dogs that he has around the house and you can tell it's a way different Coach K off the court when he's around his family.

What was your reaction to seeing the Countdown to Craziness again? How was it different this year?

You know, it was really exciting, and in my opinion it was even better than last year, they just the CTC to a whole new level, the dunk contest, the videos they showed for the fans, it was all amazing, everything was just really well done.

What was your favorite dunk of the night?

I'd have to say it was the dunk that Miles had over his brother Marshall, to see two 7 footers who are so athletic like that, it had everybody up out of their seats including me when Miles jammed home that dunk over Marshall, I was going crazy when I saw that.

Matt Jones mentioned that you were sitting with him and you were near a couple of Duke players that are currently in the NBA, did you have much time to spend with them?

Yeah, we were right next to Gerald Henderson and J.J. Redick, both of whom were just really cool guys. I actually got to see a workout they had together in the team's workout facility, that was just tremendous to watch, you can see how dedicated they are to improving as professionals and both of them told me how much of a benefit Duke can be to my development as a player and a person.

How much time did you get to have with Matt Jones since he was there on a unofficial visit?

We spent a pretty solid amount of time together. I could tell that he was both surprised and excited by everything he was seeing at Duke, he was up out of his seat a lot during the Countdown to Craziness just having a really good time, taking in what the fans and team were doing. He told me after watching the team in the Countdown to Craziness and in a team practice that he's ready to play now, but he still needed to think about things for himself, I know he's got some other visits that he's trying to make.

What was the benefit for you to be able to see the team practice again, what did you notice about them?

The biggest thing is to see just how intense practices are and how there is no deviation in that Coach K requires his players full commitment because he's giving his full commitment to the team to help them get better and win games together. Coach K told me that when I come to Duke he'll get on me if I'm not working hard, but I was talking with Coach James about it and him and I agreed that because Coach K pushes you to get better as a player and he asks you to do a lot on the court, that makes you better and I'm looking forward to being a part of the team next year.

What did the staff share with you about how they see team performing this year?

The big thing is how they think they are going to be really different this year. They are going to focus a lot on rebounding and defense because they think we have the pieces, especially in the post with guys like Miles, Mason and Ryan to make an impact on both ends of the court. I think we have a chance to be really special this year, we have guards that can score and get to the rim, our inside has a chance to be dominant if they keep working hard, I'm really looking forward to seeing our team this year.


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