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I’m a big fan of Sulaimon. So predicting big things for his sophomore season could be written off as me being affected by my bias. That being said, he is the most complete scorer on a Blue Devils team that is full of scorers.
Sulaimon still has some work to do on his three-point shot. Last season he was just 37.1 percent from three. However, the young shooting guard developed a real knack for getting points inside. His ability to penetrate off the dribble put defenses in a bind. Once in the paint, Sulaimon routinely finished strong at the rim or drew fouls.
Especially late in the season, Sulaimon was one of Duke’s most reliable scorers.
He also developed a good mid-range game. Between Sulaimon, Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker, Duke will be deadly from 10 to 12 feet. In all, Sulaimon has the skills to score from just about any spot on the floor.
The problem for Sulaimon’s All-ACC credential is twofold.
One, he’ll have to share the scoring load with Parker, Hood, Cook and Andre Dawkins. If Sulaimon were shouldering the scoring burden by himself, his stats would be so eye-catching that he’d be a near shoe-in for individual adulation. However, it’s difficult to distinguish yourself when you’re surrounded by other supremely talented players.
The second problem Sulaimon will face is that there’s a lot of competition at the shooting guard position. Unlike Cook, who is one of only a couple attention-grabbing point guards, Sulaimon will have to beat a bevy of good shooting guards in the ACC.
The biggest roadblock to All-ACC honors will be Virginia’s Joe Harris. The Cavaliers will once again be almost entirely reliant on Harris’ offense. The senior should put up gaudy numbers while being a real threat to compete for the ACC’s overall MVP.
Ultimately, unless Sulaimon shows off undeniable NBA talent above and beyond his highly talented teammates, he’ll struggle to secure a spot on the ACC’s first team.