Maryland landed coveted Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon May 11, so, what does he bring to the table? Plenty.
First, he gives the Terps an athletic guard who can defend , and that's a real need, as neither Melo Trimble, Dion Wiley, or Jared Nickens are particularly known for shutdown defense. Incoming recruit Jaylen Brantley is a warrior, but at 5-11 and with average athleticism, he may have some defensive matchup problems as well. Sulaimon, 6-5, is long, quick, tough and relentless, and will likely be asked to slow down the opponent's top perimeter scorer.
Secondly, Sulaimon has proven his ability to get to the basket and finish. He combines that with a decent three-point shot, making him a very versatile offensive performer. Sulaimon is a natural wing, but also is a more than adequate secondary ball handler, which should help take a lot of pressure off of Trimble and Brantley.
In addition to his obvious skills, we have to think Sulaimon may be one of the hungriest players in the nation next year. As a senior, and with NBA potential, he'll be geared up to help Maryland make a run in the post season, especially since he missed out on Duke's national championship last year. A healthy and motivated Sulaimon could be a real force, and also brings battle tested experience to what is still a pretty young squad.
As for how this affects team chemistry? Well, head coach Mark Turgeon has known Sulaimon and his family for a number of years, having recruited him while at Texas A&M. There is little doubt here that the young man has been thoroughly vetted.
Clearly, the staff is convinced that he will be a true team player and bring an element to the back court that's currently lacking. As for what happened at Duke, well, all we have to go on are unsubstantiated rumors. Sometimes things just don't work out, and a change is needed. Sulaimon comes from a solid family background, graduated from an excellent Jesuit school, and has a strong academic record.
In recruiting, it's always a priority to add something that's missing. Sulaimon clearly adds that in terms of his ability to both score and defend. His presence will likely cut a few minutes from Wiley and Nickens, but they'll only get better by practicing against him daily.
Sulaimon might be the one factor that can make a very good team into a dominant one.
Analysis: Turgeon, Terps Land Sulaimon
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