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Lefty Driesell: 'I bet Mike Krzyzewski is kicking himself' over Rasheed Sulaimon

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski talks to Rasheed Sulaimon during a November 2014 game.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski talks to Rasheed Sulaimon during a November 2014 game. (Grant Halverson / Getty Images)

Argue all you want about whether former Maryland men's basketball coach Lefty Driesell deserves to be a Hall of Famer. I'll say this much: He's a no-doubt, first-ballot Hall of Fame interview.

Making the rounds after coming to College Park for the Terps' win Saturday over Purdue, Driesell called in to The Mark Turgeon Radio Show on Monday. He got to talking about a recent practice he visited.

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"Rasheed [Sulaimon] — Rasheed was like he was possessed," Driesell said. "I bet Mike Krzyzewski is kicking himself in the foot."

Turgeon grinned and looked over at host Johnny Holliday as he shook with laughter.

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"Rasheed just won't break the code," Angela Sulaimon said in an interview Monday with The Baltimore Sun. "Certain things he won't say because he's afraid of what might happen." Angela Sulaimon was referring to the power she believes Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski wields.

"Yeah, he's a good defender, isn't he, Coach?" Turgeon said, wisely turning the conversation away from the circumstances of Sulaimon's exit from the school.

The rest of Driesell's praise for Sulaimon was in no way understated — "He takes that ball to the hole, it reminds me of LeBron James when he's coming down the court. He gon' go to the hole. It don't matter who gets in front of him" — so it's hard to make much of the former Blue Devils center's jab at the current Blue Devils coach.

It's even harder to tell whether Krzyzewski is, in fact, kicking himself. Off the court, Sulaimon was the first player to be dismissed by Krzyzewski in his 35-year career at Duke, and he left the school amid sexual-assault allegations reported by Duke's student newspaper. On the court, Grayson Allen, who like Sulaimon starts at shooting guard, has turned into one of the nation's most efficient offensive players.

With Terps coach Mark Turgeon substituting freely while trying to get rest for a number of his starters, Maryland had a chance to exhale -- and not exert itself too much -- in a sloppy and not surprisingly uninspired 93-62 victory before an announced sellout of 17,950.

What-ifs, at this point, are dumb. Krzyzewski won his fifth national title last spring with Sulaimon off the team. Turgeon has the Terps in position for his first this spring with Sulaimon on the team. The only thing left to do is pray that Maryland and Duke meet in the NCAA tournament. I imagine Krzyzewski hearing reporters' questions about Sulaimon, considering what to say, then moving on like he was in a handshake line with Syracuse.

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