Former Maryland standout and longtime NBA veteran Tony Massenburg joined CSN’s SportsTalk Live on Tuesday night.
The subject of Rasheed Sulaimon came up, the former Duke Blue Devil who will transfer to Maryland, news of which became official on Monday.
“Somewhere, Testudo is rolling over in his grave,” Massenburg joked, referring to the name of Maryland’s mascot. “Never saw this one coming.”
During Massenburg’s college days, as former Maryland head coach Gary Williams alluded to earlier this week, this type of move was almost inconceivable not only because of the rivalry between the two schools but because of the heavy sanctions placed on players who had intentions of transferring within the ACC.
Thanks to realignment and the fact that Sulaimon is scheduled to graduate from Duke, those transfer restrictions disappeared and cleared the way for such a move.
“I will admit this kid Rasheed Sulaimon is a great player,” Massenburg went on to say. “I think he just didn’t get seen enough ... There has been NBA talent that he’s had to take a backseat to.”
Which is true.
After a strong freshman season at Duke, the Blue Devils brought in freshman Jabari Parker and Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood became eligible after sitting out a season. Both of those players chipped away at minutes and touches that Sulaimon got the previous year.
It happened again this past season with the additions of freshmen Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow. Jones became the starting point guard, eventually pushing senior Quinn Cook to the other guard spot and cutting into Sulaimon’s usage.
Parker was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Hood was selected in the first round. Jones and Winslow will likely both be first-rounders, too, perhaps even both lottery selections.
Sulaimon now slots into the starting lineup at Maryland where, though he’ll be surrounded by talent, there’s very little question about his place as a starter with sophomore Dion Wiley behind him off of the bench.
In that role, he will be the defensive stopper that Maryland lost with the graduation of Dez Wells and any scoring production he adds (which he's more than capable of) will simply be a benefit.