Mike Krzyzewski, shown here coaching Rasheed Sulaimon in the Santa Clara game, said the freshman has struggled since returning from holiday break. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski was asked about Rasheed Sulaimon, who is in a shooting slump, on Monday's ACC coaches teleconference. Sulaimon is 9-for-40 (22.5 percent) from the field in Duke's last five games, and that includes a 0-for-10 performance in the Blue Devils' loss at N.C. State.
The question was prefaced with the disclaimer that Sulaimon has been doing other things well besides shooting. Krzyzewski disagreed with that assessment.
"Really since coming back from Christmas, he really hasn't played that well in all aspects of the game," Krzyzyewski said of Sulaimon, a freshman. "He's been OK, but he hasn't come close to playing the way he was, and sometimes, especially a younger player, if the ball is not going in, it can have an adverse effect on other aspects of your game, and that might be what's happening with him.
"A lot of the shots he's missing are right by the basket. He's not finishing. And when you finish or you get fouled, he has to be stronger so you can go to the line, then you see the ball go in, and that helps when you're shooting a jump shot."
Krzyzewski also noted that, during Sulaimon's five-game shooting slump, he has only recorded three assists. For the year, Sulaimon is still averaging 10.8 points, 2.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. Before his slump, he was averaging 12.7 points, 2.8 assists and 3.5 rebound per game.
There isn't an easy fix for a shooting slump, much to Krzyzewski's dismay.
"I mean, there's no injection or app. I mean, I'm looking for those apps. I went online and tried to find that app to change a 9-for-40 shooter and freshman to playing how he was, but I couldn't find it. I think we'll just continue to work, drill, and then be positive about what we're doing."