Tag Archives: Mason Plumlee

General Recruiting Update – Commitments and prospects news

Harrison Barnes is still on scheduled to visit next weekend.  This is one of two trips in which his family is taking before his junior season.  That means [private] they have paid for this visit (and Kansas) out of pocket.  I take that as meaning Duke is in good "early" shape for this talented young man's services.

The Duke staff awaits their shot at Kenny Boynton when he is scheduled to take his visit in November.

Look for Duke to turn up their efforts for Brandon Knight after the Boynton sweepstakes come to an end.  Duke wants more backcourt help and it will become a priority should they miss on Boynton.

It's pretty much status quo with Josh Smith.  Michael Parker may be in for a game soon.  The North Carolina native is being evaluated, but there is no room with the offers currently at hand.  Duke is also keeping an eye on Morris and will evaluate more players as time goes on.

Current commitments Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton will attend the Blue-White game.  They will be joined by Mason Plumlee and he may be joined by younger brother, Marshall.

Ryan Kelly will be taking his official visit this weekend as well.  Kelly joins Mason Plumlee in the 2009 class and Boynton is the only other offer.  While another prospect could come to light if they miss Boynton, at this time it is unlikely.

The Football team will take the Blue Devil Walk through Cameron Indoor Stadium during the Men's Blue-White game.  Coaches Colllins and Wojo will lead thier inter-squad teams.

Duke Football has eight players they are looking at for the final few spots in the class of 2009.  We will be covering each of those guys in the next several weeks. [/private]

BDNP talks to Ryan Kelly and gets his thoughts on his commitment to Duke

I had an extensive interview with Ryan Kelly in A.E. Finley gym this morning about the recruiting process -

What was it about Duke you liked?

Duke academically and sports wise for basketball can't be beat.  The two of them together ... I felt very comfortable when I was at Duke with all the players which made it easier and I went with my gut feeling.

You have taken several visits to Duke of late ...

[private] Really, I haven't visited Duke that much.  I wanted to make the visits as equal as possible.  Going into this past weekend when I sat down and put it all out, all of the schools were even.  My parents and Coach Billerman told me to take my time and to let them know when I was ready to make a decision.

When did Duke get back involved with you?

It got a little sporadic.  Coach K was there to see my 1000th point at Durham Academy and then they came on pretty heavy this summer.  Especially with me being involved with Team USA in Vegas.

You have gone up against a future teammate several time in Mason Plumlee.  Are you looking forward to the match up this season?

Well he's a great player and it's going to be really fun playing with him.  We are different players and we do different things.  It will be neat going up against each other.  Hopefully, we will see each other in the state championships and then at Duke.  It'll be something we can look back on.  I had a great time with him in Argentina - he's a really great guy.

When did you actually make the call to Coach K telling him you wanted to be a Blue Devil?

It was Wednesday night.  He was excited for me and glad I made the decision.  He said he thought I made the best decision.  I told him I was certain and had no remorse and he was really proud I felt that way - feeling very comfortable with it, he was happy and looking forward to being my coach.  Coach K had basically told me to hold off and not make any decisions before he left for China, just so he could have the chance to sit down with me.  I was going to wait anyway.  It wasn't time to make a decision for me and once he came back we had a chance to sit down.

Has Coach already talked you about what he would like for you to work on?

Oh certainly.  The main thing is strength and just getting stronger.  He doesn't want me to build up too much.  He doesn't want me to be 250 pounds, just to be lean and strong.  Hips are very important  when it comes to talking defense - staying in a defensive stance, exploding, rebounding, exploding up for dunks.

Did your family help with the decison making process?

It was my decision.  I'm sure if he hadn't sold my parents it would have been different, but they're happy.

Now that you are part of the Duke family, will you hang on campus, play in the practice facility, etc.?

Oh yeah.  I'm sure I will go over there to play in an open gym - to talk to the guys and get more comfortable.

Have you heard from any players since last night?

Elliot called to congratulate me ... Gerald Henderson.  I'm sure I will hear from more of them.

I know you have played with Kenny Boynton and he's at the top of Duke's list.  What are your thoughts on him?

I would love to play with him.  He's a great kid and a great player.  We played twice out in Vegas and we split.  I would love to play with him and see him come on out to Duke?

How did the games pick up games go?

They were really intense ... just more intense than anyone else to be honest.  They wanted to win more than anything and I saw that.  When guys are trying that hard in a pick up game you are going to get better quicker than anywhere else.  I can see myself becoming the best player I can be over there.

Do you have a go to move?

When I really want to score a basket, I go inside and go with a baby hook.  When I go outside, the move that I use the most is a pull up jump shot or a spin move.  I have a decent array of moves ... I work on different shots in different spots, like with the gun (passing machine) I do a lot of off the dribble, go to moves ...

Is there a sense of relief?

You know, it's relief, but it is also excitement.  I have laid a pretty good path out for myself and it's exciting.

So, your family is okay with the decision?

I did and my family was excited.  They would have been happy wherever I went.  My friends are excited that they will be able to watch me.  I'm sure there are some fans out there who won't like me ...

Carolina fans?

Well, they will stick to Ryan two games of the year. (laughing)

What three words would best describe Ryan Kelly as a person?

Nouns or adjectives, here? (laughing)  What I said to ESPN, was my integrity, my drive to excel and my faith.  I bring those to the table and they won't go away.

Tell me a little about what faith means to you?

For me it's a belief in God.  He's going to put me in the right place.  When I come into the gym or into a game, I pick out two seats.  One for where Jesus is watching me and one for where my Grandpa is watching me.  No matter how good or how bad I will do they will always be there.  I prayed for it was the most important decision I have made in my life so far.  The next is my wife ... (laughing).  It was important for me to pray and people prayed with me about my decision and I was led to the right place.

Did this translate at Duke?

Um, I know there will be some different beliefs or religions.  But moral character is important as well and Coach K certainly had that.

Why make the decision on ESPNU?

It just kind of worked out.  Amazingly it was good timing.  They had wanted to get the notice for it was their first show.

What three words or phrases describe you on the basketball court?

Hard working, a good teammate and I hope I can say a good player.

There was a lot of surprise when you announced Duke as the sixth team on the list when they haven't been there for awhile ...

They had been talking to me for a long time.  There was a renewed interest.  They saw I had developed quite a bit and my ability to play the 4-3 spot like Mike Dunleavy.  When they got to see me in an open gym, Coach K just saw a different player and it moved from there.

What are your team's prospects for the coming season?

I am looking forward to this season.  We're going to be really good.  We have Matt Wilson, a 6-11 center who just committed to UNC-W.  We have some more guys including Billerman's son, a shooter.  We also have a Broughton transfer Luke Davis who will play the point and anchor us a little bit.  We are trying to win a state championship.

Describe Coach K for me?

For me I'm still getting to know him.  I think he is very truthful and honest and very Father like.  He runs around and does a lot of stuff, but he still takes the time to show you everything.  I've dealt with some really great coaches, but he's the best coach.  It was hard to tell the other coaches but they all handled it really well.  Once the decision was made, it was a real relief.

Did getting to know the Duke players play a big role?

It was very big, but I thought it was going to be a lot bigger.  I learned a lot about myself in that I can get along with a lot of different people.  When you go on visits, they all act like they like you.  In the end it comes down to getting that feeling of being comfortable and I felt that with Duke.

You were able to attend some classes.  Were you comfortable in that environment?

It's very similar to Ravenscroft.  I knew how great everybodies academics were in the final six, so it really came down to feeling comfortable. [/private]

Plumlee talks of his official visit, brother Miles and the future

Blue Devil Nation Premium had a chat with Mason Plumlee about his official visit to Duke this past weekend.  He speaks of his brother Miles, his play over the summer with Team USA, his chat with Coach K and his upcoming high school season.

As a member, you have full access and much more awaits you inside.  You will read the very latest from Josh Hairston, Andre Dawkins, and Tyler Thornton.  Be one of the first to read Thornton's thoughts on his commitment.  Get vital updates on Boynton, Kelly, Smith and Knight and find out who else the Devils are looking at.

You can count on accurate information and and timely tips that are ahead of the curve.  Our member retention rate is the best in the business in that we stay a couple of steps ahead of the corporates.  So, why not join in on the fun and discuss the latest happenings with other members on our premium only message board. On to the article -

One could certainly make the argument that when Mason Plumlee committed to Duke, it was like a shot in the arm to the program.  Before his verbal, two top rated prospects never made it on campus, choosing to play elsewhere.   While some fans worried with the usual message board doom and gloom, Plumlee became a cornerstone of sorts and the future of Duke Basketball is shining bright.

When Mason visited the Duke campus during the courting process, his brother Miles (Duke 08) tagged along.  Nobody knew at that time Stanford would lose their coach and gain former Duke Assistant Johnny Dawkins.  It ended up working out well for Duke in that Miles had seen Mason's recruitment up close and personal.  This prompted him to sign once he was released.

Mason Plumlee has become an important recruit for other reasons besides the later addition of his brother.  He's the prototypical Duke big man in that he is versatile.  I have been able to view about 12 of his games since Duke first showed interest.   His strengths include the ability to pass and put the ball on the floor extremely well for an player with a 6-10 frame.  With his ability to hit the boards, take up room in the lane, a nice and still developing offensive game and you have a player that is sure to contribute.

Plumlee finally made his official visit to Durham in a weekend that became a recruiting bonanza. "The official went real well.  Just to get over to Duke again was nice," said Plumlee.

"It was the first time I got to see [private] my family - everybody but my sister."  His little sister had to stay home for school.  Education is a big thing in the Plumlee family as is evidenced by their sons solid work in the classroom.

When asked about the highlights of his visit, he said, "Just seeing Miles and Coach K of course."  I then asked him what Miles had to say.  "He just really likes it in all ways.  He said there is a lot of work to it.  He just told me how glad he was that he decided to go there.  It was fun just hanging out with him and other (Elliot Williams) freshman."

I asked him if K and company was showing their usual love of family during his visit.  "Yes, definitely.  My parents were there and Miles and I were able to spend time with them."  In a recent talk with his parents, both told me how hard their sons would work and it was obvious of their love for each of them.

"We played a lot of pick up games on Friday and Saturday.  They mixed up the teams pretty well.  On Saturday, the three 2010 kids came and we played a lot.  Jon Scheyer impressed me the most of the current players - I was able to play with him."

Plumlee mentioned that he talked to Coach K on Friday.  "We talked about how I didn't play so good the second half of the summer and some things to work on and some minor goals for this year.  We talked a lot about Miles too."

Mason started off playing well for the USA U-17 team this summer, but he admitted he was disheartened that his playing time suddenly diminished during the last couple of games.

"This summer was both good and bad and that made me realize there were a lot of things I wanted to work on.  There was definitely a difference in my play during the early spring and Vegas.  I just felt like I didn't play as hard as I needed to at times."

In talking to his Dad I found out that Mason had flown into the United States from South America and then hopped on a flight to Vegas for the final AAU tournaments.  Perhaps this had something to do with fatigue, but when I asked him of it,  Mason would in no way make any excuses, stating there were none.

Mason is very excited about his upcoming high school season where he will lead the defending state champions Christ School for another run.  "I think we have a really good chance at defending our title," said Plumlee.

After our chat I pondered young Plumlee's answers and I can tell you that he was very frustrated at his lack of time on Team USA.  I then took the time to look at the box scores and it made even less sense to me why his time diminished in that his numbers were solid early on.  Then something dawned on me.

Davidson Coach Bob McKillop was in charge and a player Duke has recently offered, Ryan Kelly, was starting while Mason was coming off the bench.  As recruitniks, many of you might remember that McKillop was going hard after Kelly at that time.  While it may be nothing more than happenstance, I still found it a bit interesting that Kelly ended up starting after the first couple of games.

Mason did talk of Kelly, mentioning that he realized that Duke needed more than a couple of bigs, and stated he hopes Kelly comes to Duke.  The two played against each other several times in the AAU circuit and there was one match up during the TOC which was classic.  Kelly had a great first half, while Plumlee struggled.  Things changed in the second half where Plumlee led his team to a comeback win, thoroughly controlling the game.  (report from that game will be place on the message board)

In closing, I see a young man that has been a bit riled and he wants to constantly get better.  He is going through daily drills and working hard in the weight room.   He seems determined to prove that the late season swoon was an anomaly.  The most impressive thing about Mason is his desire to do the right thing and not complain in some tough situations. [/private]

BDN’s jam packed behind the scenes update – the real deal!

[private]Let's start off with  Kenny Boynton.   Duke feels pretty good about their recent visit.  Now, the waiting game begins.  At this time I still feel it is Duke and Florida.  This one is too close to call and I have elected to contact him after his visit to USC this weekend in order to get the big picture after two more in home visits.  Kenny has maintained all along, he will almost assuredly take his visits and decide in late October or early November.

As you already know, Duke will entertain commitments Mason Plumlee and Andre Dawkins this weekend.  Mason will be the first to arrive tomorrow evening.  He’ll make his way to Durham with his brother Marshall.   Mason is looking forward to playing with the team.  In fact all four visitors will play with the team.  His brother Miles is playing well in his workouts and really likes Kyle Singler.  He is adapting to the campus life and is happy.

One of the players which will not play is Gerald Henderson.  It has been confirmed that he has returned home and has a case of mono.  The severity of the illness is unknown.  While I am on injuries, no current Devils have major ailments and Brian Zoubek is coming along fine.  In short, the team is healthy.

Speaking of the team, they are currently allowed to participate in drills and are working very, very hard.  They lift weights in the morning, run in the afternoon and play in the evenings.  All of the aforementioned is laced with one coach on three player drills.

Coach K and Wojo went to see Harrison Barnes at an open gym in Iowa today or last night.  Speaking of Barnes, Duke will attempt to get him to visit the same weekend as Boynton on an unofficial.  Barnes has shown Duke interest.  Trust me, that feeling is mutual.  They cannot make contact during todays practice. 

Tomorrow, they check out Ryan Kelly for an in home visit.  Kelly was recently offered and on campus.  Notre Dame and others are very much involved with the Raleigh Ravenscroft star.

Okay, on to Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton.  I told you awhile back I thought Hairston was in the bag.  I feel the two will commit over the weekend or shortly thereafter.   There have been positive vibes coming from both camps.  Stay tuned.

Duke will visit Andre Dawkins, Josh Hairston, Tyler Thornton, Brandon Knight and Josh Smith in the near future for open gym. All of these prospects have been offered and of course, Dawkins committed.  Duke has interest in other 2010 kids and will get out to see many of them as well.  Among those are Nate Lubick and Jason Morris.  There are a couple of new names I will discuss in the near future.

Dawkins has done a great job recruiting for the Blue Devils and if all works as I expect it will, he will have help;)  For those of you who subscribe to Blue Devil Weekly, check out my latest recruitng article featuring Andre.

I hope you enjoyed the update.  Welcome to the new and improved Blue Devil Nation.[/private]

BDNP Hoops Recruiting Update – Ryan Kelly offered

Ryan Kelly was officially offered a scholarship when he visited the Duke campus on an unofficial visit today. [private] The Duke staff is in the process of setting up an official visit. Kelly was accompanied by his family.

Duke Coaches will be allowed back on the road on September 9th and will visit the Boyntons on that very day. Duke is also ironing out a date for his official visit despite various internet rumors which said he would not visit Durham.

Mason Plumlee will come in on his official with his parents on September 12th to the 14th. That same weekend on the 13th, Duke will entertain Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton on a visit. They will be joined by Duke commitment, Andre Dawkins.

Duke could very well end up with a class of Plumlee, Kelly and Boynton in 09. I will keep you updated.[/private]

FIBA Americas U18 Championship (Updated)

The FIBA U18 Americas Championship kicks off today in Formosa, Argentina. The USA is in Group B and plays Venezuela in their first game followed by the Bahamas on Tuesday and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Duke recruit Mason Plumlee is on the roster and will gain valuable experience over the next week. The tournament's official website is here.
This USA Basketball article is an interesting and slightly funny account of the team's travel to South America for the tournament. The Asheville Citizen-Times has two articles posted on Mason Plumlee here and here. The Memphis Commercial Appeal has an article posted on UNC commit Leslie McDonald.
This Mike DeCourcy article is over a week old but it is a nice read about point guard Kemba Walker who will be the floor general for Coach McKillop. If the USA is going to challenge for the Gold, Walker is going to have to put in a strong performance.
Blue Devil Nation will keep you updated with links to all the action from Formosa so check back and follow the progress of Team USA.

USA 82 - Venezuela 73: Box Score and game summary.

USA 115 - Bahamas 51: Box Score and game summary.

USA 106 - Puerto Rico 64: Box Score and game summary.

USA 82 - Canada 66: Box Score and game summary.

Argentina 77 - USA 64: Box Score and game summary.