A source with knowledge of Rasheed Sulaimon's recruiting process said Wednesday that Maryland has been "in touch" with the former Duke guard about finishing his college career with the Terps.
That was confirmed by Sulaimon himself in his first interview since being dismissed by coach Mike Krzyzewski in late January, when Sulaimon told ESPN that he has been contacted by more than a dozen schools, including Maryland.
Sulaimon became the first player Krzyzewski had ever dismissed from the program. Krzyzewski said on Jan. 29 that "Rasheed failed to live up to the standard required to be a member of our program."
A little more than a month later, the Duke student newspaper reported that allegations of sexual assault were made against Sulaimon by two female students. No charges were ever filed and a local attorney representing Sulaimon said recently that the university had stopped its investigation after not finding any evidence to support the allegations.
Sulaimon, who remains on scholarship and is attending classes at Duke, told ESPN that his dismissal from the team "had nothing to do with the allegation."
He added, "I have never sexually assaulted, not only on the Duke campus, but anyone. I have great respect for the role of women in society. I would never demean or do anything to a woman in this manner. No, I have never done anything like this in my life."
Sulaimon's career at Duke started well, when he averaged 11.6 points as a freshman while starting 33 of 36 games. He scored a career-high 27 points in a win over Maryland that season.
His sophomore and junior years saw Sulaimon's playing time and production decrease. He was replaced in the starting lineup as a sophomore by transfer Rodney Hood and last season by freshman star Justise Winslow.
In the ESPN interview, Sulaimon said his problems with Krzyzewski began when he was benched for an ACC-Big Ten Challenge game in 2013-14 against Michigan.
"I felt frustrated with myself and letting myself get to the point where I didn't play an entire game," he said. "I felt very frustrated. I felt embarrassed. ... I'm a very competitive guy and I believe I should have been starting. In retrospect I didn't handle it well. My immaturity and me being frustrated with hitting adversity greatly impacted my relationship with Coach K."
A 5-star prospect and ESPN's No. 12 ranked player coming out of high school in Houston, Sulaimon believes he can play in the NBA after resurrecting his college career elsewhere.
Among the schools that Sulaimon said have contacted him also include Arizona State, Baylor, Houston, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Colorado, SMU and Oklahoma State.
The Terps might have an advantage because of a prior relationship with Sulaimon. As the coach of Texas A&M, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon was among the first to offer Sulaimon a scholarship.
Turgeon is looking for an experienced shooting guard to replace Dez Wells. The Terps were recently in contention for another graduate transfer, former Drexel guard Damion Lee (Calvert Hall), but Lee, whose 21.4 points a game last season was the fifth-highest scoring average in the country, chose Louisville.
Sulaimon's situation has interesting parallels to when the Terps brought in Wells after he was falsely accused of rape by a female student at Xavier after his freshman year. The charges were dropped and Wells was awarded an undisclosed settlement after suing the school for illegally expelling him that summer. Wells is expected to graduate from Maryland this spring.