Tag Archives: Mason Plumlee

New Homes for NBA Blue Devils

ddfThere will be a new home for several NBA Blue Devils this coming season including one of the all time Duke favorites JJ Redick. In case you missed it, Redick was part of a three team trade and deal which landed him with the Los Angeles Clippers. Redick joins the “hot.” team in L.A. in the Clippers who look to be one of the better teams in the west this season. The Lakers which recently lost Dwight Howard to free agency will take a step back and the window is open for success for the Clippers who now have Glenn “Doc,” RIvers running the team. As for Rivers, he actually mentioned Redick as a shooter in a conversation I had with him when Duke was recruiting his son Austin. In short, Redick has a good new home and with an aging Chancey Billups at the SG spot, he has a chance to start or play a major role this coming season.

Also on the move is former Duke standout and national champion Mike Dunleavy who will now suit up for Chicago Bulls. Dunleavy joins two other former Blue Devils in Luol Deng and Carlos boozer provide there are no further moves in Chi-town.

Another Blue Devil who will have a new home is Nolan Smith who was to play with the Boston Celtics in the NBA Summer league but he just suffered a lower leg injury and is now in a boot.

Mason Plumlee dropped a dunk during day one of the NBA Summer League that is drawing raves and supposedly yelled “Get some,” as he ran back down court. Mason has a bit of a chip on his shoulder for those who thinks he is an older rookie with less upside. I think folks will change their tune over time about kids remaining until their senior year hurting their chances.

 

Meanwhile, the Blue Devil who never was, Shaun Livingston will be a teammate of Plumlee in Jersey where the Nets have signed the former high school standout. For those who have not followed Duke recruiting over the years, Livingston was a high school prodigy who gave Duke a verbal only to bolt for the NBA late the game before he ever played a game at Duke. His departure coincided with Luol Deng leaving after his freshman season after he had told the Devils he would return leaving Coach K’s Dukies in a bit of a lurch. Sadly, Livingston suffered a major injury which has effected his career and many felt he needed a year in college for his body to catch up. Anyhow, Livingston was the original point of frustration for Duke fans in that they never got to see the top rated PG in the class and until that guy named Kyrie Irving came along. Irving, of course, got injured where he played in just over ten games for Duke leaving fans and the staff to wonder what it would be like had he had a full year in Durham. Those who remember Livingston realize he could have been one of the greats and it took a player of Irvings’ stature to wrestle away the top “what if,” spot in the K era.

Another player who will join Redick in Los Angeles will be incoming rookie Ryan Kelly. The two will be rivals though, in that Kelly will be a Laker. That means when Kelly gets burn he’ll be closer to the Hollywood stars than he probably ever dreamed with the A-list straddling courtside seats. Kelly and his soon to be wife, Lindsey Cowher, daughter of former Steelers coach Bill Cowher will now have state of the art theaters at their disposal. The two are notorious movie goers where Kelly came clean that his favorites were romantic comedies. Anyhow, Hollywood is getting two character young men in the aforementioned Redick and Kelly who both make faith in Christ a big part of their lives.

Lastly, it was good to see Kyrie Irving get some help in Cleveland during the most recent NBA Draft and yes, Duke fans are still wondering aloud what a full season of Kyrie would have been like in Durham. I followed Irving closely on the recruiting trail when the Blue Devils were chasing him and to this day, no player was more exciting to the senses in that he simply did things on the court I have never seen since. Irving was special. He was worth the price of admission on the AAU trail, much less the league and he will now be able to play for Coach Mike Krzyzewski again for Team USA. I, for one, am excited to see that.

Plumlee garners more post season honors

RCP_9020DURHAM, N.C. – Duke senior Mason Plumlee was named to the Senior CLASS Award first team, the award committee announced Thursday.

Plumlee, a 6-10 forward from Warsaw, Ind., was one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, an honor presented to the men’s basketball student-athlete who most excels in four areas – community, classroom, character and competition. Plumlee was one of five named to the Senior CLASS Award first team alongside Senior CLASS Award winner Jordan Hulls (Indiana) and finalists Mike Groselle (The Citadel), C.J. McCollum (Lehigh) and Mike Muscala (Bucknell).

On the Senior CLASS Award second team were Matthew Dellavedova (Saint Mary’s), Jonathan Lee (Northeastern), Peyton Siva (Louisville), Andrew Smith (Butler) and Marc Trasolini (Santa Clara).

A two-time Academic All-America first team selection, Plumlee owns a 3.37 grade point average as a psychology major and is only the fourth player in Duke basketball history to appear on the Academic All-America first team twice. Plumlee is only the 11th player in school history to appear on the All-ACC Academic Basketball Team three times.

Plumlee was among the top players in the country in his senior season, earning second team All-America honors after leading the Blue Devils to a 30-6 record and a trip to the Elite Eight with averages of 17.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 2.0 assists per game. He recorded a team-leading 18 double-doubles and 33 double-figure scoring games and was named to the All-ACC first team and NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team.

Plumlee is also involved in several community service efforts, including the Read with the Blue Devils program and the Emily Krzyzewski Center.

An acronym for “Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School,” the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Duke throttles UNC behind Curry and Plumlee

The Duke Blue Devils were all business as they rolled out to a 14-0 lead over archrival North Carolina and never looked back, winning 69-53 to secure sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Duke was led by Seth Curry in the first half, as the senior scored 20 points on a wide array of shots, and in the second half the Blue Devils rode the play of Mason Plumlee, who ended he game with a game-high 23 points and 14 rebounds.

“Seth was the best player on the court in the first half and Mason was the best player in the second,” said Coach Mike Krzyzewski during the post game press conference. He continued, “The second half was a man’s half. Mason was superb and has had an unbelievable year for us.”

The play of the two seniors was the difference, as was a Duke defense that held Reggie Bullock scoreless in the first half, held the Tar Heels to a single made three point shot in the entire game, and switched off well all night long.  “Our defense was outstanding. They missed some open shots and we defended well, limiting second chance opportunities,” Krzyzewski said.

The Blue Devils simply took it to the Tar Heels and by doing so, they were able to take the home crowd out of the game. Every time North Carolina tried to make a run, a Duke player stepped up for a big bucket giving them a constant double-digit lead.

Krzyzewski also praised his team’s unselfishness, and it was apparent to all that the Blue Devils are on their way to finding that early season chemistry which made them so efficient in the early season against one of the nation’s toughest schedules.

A few weeks ago, Krzyzewski wondered out loud how good his team would be when Ryan Kelly returned.  This game may have provided the answer.  That return means that teams can no longer double down on Plumlee, and while Kelly did not have a stellar game against UNC compared to his two previous performances, his presence was felt in multiple ways.

In a game most thought would go down to the wire and indeed many felt it would not even be an upset if the Tar Heels were to win, Duke made a statement, and that statement is that they are still tops in this league going into the tournaments.  And I’m not the only one who thinks so.  While Duke finished second to Miami in the regular season standings, and that season included an unbalanced schedule, the Blue Devils’ win convinced ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi to consider them the tournament’s overall #1 seed at this point.

Duke will next play in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro on Friday at 7 PM against the winner of Thursday’s Maryland-Wake Forest game.