Mailbag: Georgetown, Purdue, surprise players
by Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
Welcome back to the weekly college hoops mailbag.
Our college basketball reporters Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell are here to keep you up-to-date and to answer your questions each week. Here’s a reminder to send in questions for next week’s mailbag to firstname.lastname@example.org.
@jameezy9: how impressive is Rasheed Sulaimon? is he the most impressive freshmen in this early season?
Auerbach: He’s definitely one of the most impressive. In my mind, when I think of talented freshmen right now, I think of him and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart. Eric and I have talked a lot lately about this freshman class and how guys like Shabazz Muhammad have not performed as well as expected. Sulaimon and Smart are the opposite. Major impact players. I talked to Coach K on the phone on Wednesday and he said Sulaimon is one of the best freshmen in the country, and he’s been able to find success early because he’s playing with three seniors. I think that definitely helps him with the adjustment to the speed of college ball and also not putting too much pressure on himself to do too much. He’s got guys like Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee to help him out.
Prisbell: Well, I think it’s an intriguing discussion because some freshman seasons have not unfolded thus far as most thought they would. I agree with Mike Krzyzewski when he says Rasheed Sulaimon is playing as well as any freshman in the country. I watched Rasheed a little bit in high school and knew he was a great get by Duke. But I did not expect this level of play this early and against this level of competition. Their schedule has been brutal and Rasheed responded with 17 second-half points to help Duke beat Ohio State. Mason Plumlee, before that game, told me that while he knew Rasheed could play, he had been pleasantly surprised with his moxie as a freshman. Nicole and I have talked a bunch about this topic. Personally, I may lean toward Marcus Smart because of his overall impact on Oklahoma State, kind of changing the personality of the … [For more on Mailbag: Georgetown, Purdue, surprise players, click here.]