Sulaimon Moves Up; Has Big Plans

With the unveiling of the final 2012 Scout.com rankings, Rasheed Sulaimon has been bumped back up and is now considered the nation's top overall backcourt prospect. TDD spoke with the five star Texas product about that and his upcoming summer plans.

He's ranked as the nation's No. 12 overall player and the top shooting guard in the class on the strength of a strong showing at both the McDonald's game and the Jordan Brand All-Star game. And while Sulaimon edged out his classmates for top honors, it wasn't by a lot according to Scout.com's Brian Snow.

"It is all very close between the top shooting guards," said Snow. "I mean we weren't in agreement on them, yet none of us had a strong reasoning why we liked one over the other. However, at the end of the day Rasheed is the best shooter of the bunch and maybe the best defender as well. Because of that we just liked him slightly more than the other guys we saw."

Prior to Wednesday's final rankings being released, Sulaimon had fallen just behind classmate and Michigan State signee Gary Harris before the two headed to Chicago for the McDonald's game.

"He definitely was the best at the McDonald's game, but that wasn't the biggest factor in the world. It has been back and forth the entire time, though that probably was the icing on the cake for him in terms of re-gaining the No. 1 spot at his position."

As for Sulaimon, he's taking the latest rankings boost in stride, though he admits it's serves a small sense of satisfaction.

"It really is a great honor for me," he said. "I'm really happy that all of my hard word to this point has paid off. It's been a lot of early mornings and late nights, and I'm really grateful that people outside noticed me. I still have a long way to go and a lot of things left to accomplish."

One of those goals will be to represent his country this summer on Team USA's U18 team which will compete in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Brazil under the guidance of coaches Billy Donovan, Mark Few, and Shaka Smart.

"I'm looking forward to the tryouts and I really hope I'm lucky enough to make the team. If that happens then we head to Brazil in July which would be an amazing experience - both in seeing a new part of the world and, more importantly, representing my country."

Following the potential trip to Brazil, Sulaimon says he will return home to Texas for around a week before heading to Durham to enroll in summer school and prepare for the season.

He will wear number one this year.


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