Duke releases Rasheed Sulaimon from the team

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Sulaimon’s minutes and production have dropped each year since his freshman season. (USATSI)

Duke abruptly announced Thursday afternoon that junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon has been let go from the team.

“Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program.”

Sulaimon, Duke’s first man off the bench, averaged 7.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 19.3 minutes this season. He averaged 11.6 points in 29 minutes as a freshman, but as Duke’s roster filled out with more talent over the past two seasons, Sulaimon’s role became diminished.

The school notes Sulaimon’s academic standing is good and he plans on finishing out the spring semester on campus. A top-60 recruit coming out of high school, and once considered a possible first-round pick, Sulaimon’s NBA outlook has become hazier in the past two seasons. It’s unknown if he’ll attempt to transfer somewhere (which would almost certainly require a redshirt season) or if he’ll opt to go the professional route.

The 17-3 Blue Devils fell Wednesday night 77-73 at Notre Dame. Sulaimon scored three points in 12 minutes. Next up for Duke is a huge road game Saturday against undefeated Virginia. Krzyzewski’s team is 4-3 in league play and a loss to the Cavs would almost definitely eliminate the team’s chances at winning the ACC’s regular season title.

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