In the days leading up to Saturday’s Midnight Madness festivities, CSN will take a look at each projected member of Maryland’s starting five with an individual preview for each player. We will pose three questions of the five starters, with CSN’s answer for each listed just below it.
Here is the 3-of-5 Preview.
Name: Rasheed Sulaimon
Position: Shooting guard
2014-15 Stats: 7.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.8 APG
Question 1: Will he fill the biggest remaining hole on this team?
Before Sulaimon’s arrival, it was clear that the shooting guard position was a question. Sophomore Dion Wiley was not comfortable starting as a freshman. There were other scoring-oriented graduate transfers on the market and Maryland landed Sulaimon.
Why? The Terrapins need a lock-down wing defender after the departure of Dez Wells and a player who doesn’t have to be ball-dominant to affect a game. Sulaimon is that type of player -- though he can carry a load offensively if asked.
There probably was not a more perfect (on paper) fit on the market for this team.
Question 2: How does he fit in with the chemistry mix of this team?
Maryland was a cohesive unit last season, which was part of the reason they surprised so many people and advanced to the Round of 32 of the NCAA tournament. Sulaimon is a newcomer, but he should be able to fit in just fine.
Turgeon has longstanding ties with Sulaimon, going back to recruiting the Houston native while he coached at Texas A&M. For that reason, he has a good read on the type of player the senior is and how he projects to fit with the pieces already here.
Maryland is a Top 10 team without Sulaimon. They’re a No. 1 contender with him. Turgeon likely wouldn’t roll the dice if he felt like bringing him in would do damage to what was already here.
Question 3: How will be he used in this offense?
Maryland lost its NCAA tournament matchup vs. West Virginia because Melo Trimble was injured and the Terrapins did not have another ball handler to turn to. Junior college transfer Jaylen Brantley will help the cause, but don’t be surprised if there are instances where Sulaimon takes the reins, too.
Turgeon loves flexibility in his lineups and shifting Trimble off the ball gives him the ability at times to focus solely on being a scorer instead of the initiator of the offense. The more flexibility, the better.
But he can also handle a scoring load. He was recruited over at Duke, but he shot north of 40 percent from three in two of his three seasons with the Blue Devils and averaged 11 points per game as a freshman.
Other 3-of-5 Previews: