- The Washington Times - Monday, May 11, 2015

The Maryland men’s basketball team was already expected to compete for a Big Ten title and make a deep NCAA tournament run next season. Then coach Mark Turgeon announced Monday that Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon will join the Terrapins in the fall, giving an additional boost to a program already on the rise.

The 6-foot-5 guard will have one year of eligibility remaining, according to the school, and he is expected to start immediately.

“I am extremely grateful to the University of Maryland and Coach Turgeon for this opportunity to further my education and continue to play the game I love,” Sulaimon said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to starting this next chapter at Maryland.”

Sulaimon averaged 11.6 points per game in parts of three seasons at Duke. He was dismissed by the program in January for what coach Mike Krzyzewski described as an inability “to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program.” He was the first player to be dismissed by Krzyzewski in his 35 seasons as the Blue Devils’ head coach.

The Chronicle, Duke’s student newspaper, reported in March that two separate sexual assault allegations had been made against Sulaimon, though neither complaint was filed with the school’s Office of Student Conduct or local police. Sulaimon denied those allegations Monday to ESPN.com, among other media outlets.

In a statement, Turgeon said he has known Sulaimon since the dynamic guard was in seventh grade. Turgeon also recruited Sulaimon while he was the head coach at Texas A&M.

Trust between the two men played a pivotal role in both Sulaimon’s decision to transfer to Maryland, and Turgeon’s decision to allow him into the program.

“During our conversations with Rasheed and his parents, Kenny and Angela, Rasheed expressed the importance of proving that he is committed to being a great student-athlete and a selfless teammate,” Turgeon said in a statement. “I have full confidence that Rasheed will embrace this opportunity at the University of Maryland.”

Sulaimon will be one of several noteworthy additions to the Terrapins next season. The team secured a commitment from five-star prospect Diamond Stone earlier this spring, and Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter will be eligible to play after sitting out the 2014-15 campaign. Maryland will also welcome back point guard Melo Trimble and forward Jake Layman, who both considered entering the NBA draft.

Sulaimon is set to graduate from Duke this summer with a degree in sociology. It is unclear what course of study he will pursue at Maryland.

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