2012 Five Star Looking Toward CTC

Rasheed Sulaimon

As the Blue Devils coaching staff has continued to hit the recruiting trail, one player who received a visit and who has been in contact is 6-foot-4 combo guard Rasheed Sulaimon. The five start class of 2012 shooting guard spoke to TDD to outline his early recruiting and the interest he has in the Duke program.

"I've got quite a long list of schools recruiting me at this time," said Rasheed Sulaimon. "Texas, Texas A&M, Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Memphis, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina Arizona, Marquette, Baylor, and several others as well. It's early and I haven't really begun to eliminate anyone."

Measuring out at 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, Sulaimon is listed as a scoring guard, but has the ability to play the point as well. Currently he's rated as the nation's No. 16 overall prospect and the third best shooting guard in the class of 2012 by Scout.com. And while he's got the ability to score the ball, it's another area of his game that has coaches' attention.

"I take a lot of pride in my defense. I play hard every time I get on the floor. I always have energy out there. I like to get up under you defensively and make things tough for my opponent. Coaches have really commented on that. Offensively I like to push the ball up the court and use my ability to score it while also creating for others."

In short, Sulaimon is the latest in the trend of "combo guards" to burst onto the scene. So, naturally, it follows that a school with a history of producing top flight guards has come calling early.

"Coach Nate James has been in touch with me a lot. He came in and watched me play last Friday and has been in touch several other times. He invited me to their Midnight Madness, and I'm going to attend. It's going to be pretty crazy because I grew up a Duke fan."

Sulaimon knows that while he's on campus he's going to have questions for the Duke coaching staff ranging from how he fits into the program, to the projected career path they have, to how the coaches see him developing. But there's going to be some other things on his mind as well.

"I don't think I'm going in with a set group of questions for them, really. I think it's more of just asking what comes naturally to me. Before i can ask them, however, I'm going to kind of have to get over the fact that I'm talking to Coach K. That's going to be pretty crazy. Growing up as a Duke fan and then getting to talk to an idol like Coach K is going to be something. I'll need to get my nerves down and then I'll be able to ask things.

Sulaimon won't just be hanging around for Countdown to Craziness either. Having never visited the state of North Carolina, he's going to make a weekend of it in Durham.

"I'm actually leaving at 9 AM to get there and then tour the campus and see everything. Then I'll go to the Countdown to Craziness event. After that I'm going to stay with some of the players and watch practice the next day. I'll be home Sunday night."

Though he wont' be speaking to the coaching staff with a set list of questions, Sulaimon says he does have a list of things he wants to know from the current players.

"It's easier to talk to those guys because you can form a bond with them a little quicker. I want to know about the atmosphere at Duke for them. I want to know about the practice and routines. How they transitioned from high school and how that went. Those kinds of things. I'm not quite sure who I'll be staying with yet, though."

Recruiting and visits aside, Sulaimon is also preparing for a high school season that will see a young team at Strake Jesuit Prep. Despite being a captain as a sophomore, the talented prospect knows his role will change in 2010-2011 after the team graduated several seniors.

"Even as a captain, I and the rest of the guys looked up to the seniors. They were like big brothers and could help you through things. I see myself stepping into that role this year for the guys on the team. That kind of responsibility almost forces you to step up your game and I've been working on that. I'm always looking to get extra shots up in the gym after practice or going to get extra lifting in. I want to stay sharp throughout the season so that I'm ready for whatever we face."

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