Tag Archives: Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee will play as a senior at Duke

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DURHAM, N.C. – Duke junior Mason Plumlee will return for his senior season in 2012-13, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced on Tuesday. Plumlee, an Academic All-America selection in 2012, has collected 769 points, 726 rebounds and 147 blocks in 105 career games (64 starts) as a Blue Devil.

 

“I am really excited about my decision to come back,” said Plumlee. “What it came down to was the people here and the relationships that I have developed. I feel like this is the best place for me to improve and that is one of the most important things to me. Also the way we ended last year is not the way I want to end my career at Duke.”

 

Last season, Plumlee averaged 11.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 blocks per game en route to earning third team All-ACC accolades. He was one of four players in the ACC to average at least 10.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. Plumlee finished tied for third in the ACC in rebounding and also ranked third in double-doubles (12) and double-figure rebounding games (16).

 

Plumlee also ranked second on the team in field goal percentage (.572, 143-of-250), while registering a Duke single-season record 60 dunks. The Warsaw, Ind., native led the team in rebounding 21 times last season and 45 times during his career. Duke is 88-17 (.838) over the last three seasons with Plumlee in the lineup.

 

“Mason had a very good year for us and we are excited to have him back for his senior season,” said Krzyzewski. “He is a terrific talent that has improved every year. We look forward to watching him continue to grow and develop as a player and as a leader. Mason has the ability to contend for ACC Player of the Year and All-America honors next season.”

 

With the return of Plumlee, the Blue Devils are expected to have nine letterwinners and four starters back from last year’s team that went 27-7 overall and 13-3 in the ACC. Duke will also have redshirt freshmen Alex Murphy and Marshall Plumlee as well as incoming freshman Rasheed Sulaimon in the fold for the 2012-13 season. Plumlee will pair with fellow rising senior Ryan Kelly to give Duke an experienced frontcourt tandem that combined to average 22.9 points, 14.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game a season ago.

 

Plumlee currently ranks 20th in the Duke record books in career rebounds (726), 13th in offensive rebounds (229), fifth in blocks (147) and fourth in dunks (130). He is 231 points shy of becoming the 61st player in Duke history to score 1,000 career points and 275 rebounds shy of becoming just the eighth Blue Devil to grab 1,000 rebounds.

Decisions loom large for Duke Basketball

Before Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski can map out how he will use his  2012-13 roster,  the dust has to clear on many looming decisions.  To mention that a lot is going on behind the scenes right now within the program is like being Captain Obvious.  The Blue Devils, like other schools, will meet with players individually where they'll be told what is expected of them next season and how they will be used in what many call exit interviews.

These meetings will at times allow players who are not happy with their projected roles to make a move and or transfer.  While transfers are rare, they are a part of the game and the rumor mill has been full of talk.  Now, I am not saying Duke is destined for transfers, only that one could happen and the public will  not know until GoDuke.com announces them in an official manner.

Already waiting in the wings could be a transfer into the program in Trey Zeigler, a player who is leaving Central Michigan.  Zeigler is visiting several schools including Pitt this week, but the Blue Devils reportedly feel he could help their team.  Zeigler has the ability to guard the 6-5 big guard types and would add some experience but we'll only know how this one turns out at the end of April or in early May for his decision will not be made until other things are settled.

It's worth noting that Krzyzewski and Duke have rarely accepted transfers but the ones which have joined the royal blue have been successful.  Roshown McCleod and Dahntay Jones certainly made their impact felt. 

The big key, at the moment, hinges on the decision of rising senior Mason Plumlee.  The question is will he join his eldest brother Miles by signing with an agent to achieve his goal of reaching the NBA or will he come back to Duke to play a year with his youngest brother, Marshall.

Should Mason head to the draft with an agent, it leaves a huge hole in the middle at Duke and that's when a Blue Devil recruiting target, Tony Parker's decision becomes oh-so important.  Duke has been recruiting Parker for a good long time and Krzyzewski has stayed steadfast and consistent during the process.  But Parker has been the reason for burgeoning gray hairs in many fans in that his comments are often inconsistent or hard to read.

Oddly, Parker is rumored to be more likely to come if Mason leaves, but it would make sense for him to want Mason around to learn from as a freshman and play beside.  But then there is the possibility that Duke might lose Parker and the middle of the three Plumlee brothers and that would suggest for some tough times in the paint in Durham.

Most Duke fans feel it should be a no brainer for Tony Parker in that Duke has a specific need for a player with his skill set, but if it were only that simple.  Regardless, Parker can all but guarantee himself going to one of the nation's elite programs and playing right away if he chooses Duke.

As for Plumlee, his decision is a little less clear for perceived results.  He has long been considered an NBA prospect and some feel when you are guaranteed a few million bucks you have to take it, but other factors are at play.  This year's draft is fast becoming loaded with prospects and can he get a team to guarantee he would be their pick  in the first round if he falls to them?

Should Plumlee return, he will anchor the post at Duke and pardon the pun, but be the big man on campus, likely being considered for many preseason honors and getting a few sleek magazine covers as the Blue Devils' best player.  On the other hand, who can ever blame a kid for taking the money if it is there for sure?  Personally, I do not feel that his return will hurt his stock for I just cannot see a player with his physical abilities regressing.

Plumlee has until April 10th per the NCAA to announce his decision to enter the draft, but he could actually say he is coming back and still change his mind by April 29th, which is the NBA deadline.  Plumlee has yet to make his decision but it will surely happen soon and Duke fans are sitting on pins and needles in anticipation.

Then the Blue Devils are in contention for the nation's top player in Shabazz Muhammad, who includes them alongside UCLA and Kentucky.  Duke has an opening for another one and done player but this will not be an easy one to close on and right now most feel UCLA and Kentucky are ahead of the Blue Devils in the process.  My understanding is that Duke has been and will remain in the process and who wouldn't remain in the chase for a player like Muhammad, who can shift the balance of power instantly?

Another player which would add a different skill set to the roster is Amile Jefferson, a sleek, but slender forward out of Philadelphia.  Jefferson is not the answer in the post for Duke but he is a player which can help in the block per his skill set.  Like Parker and Muhammad, his decision should come around April 11th and that will be a day when the Duke message boards will be non-stop buzzing.

The attraction to Jefferson is the fact he provides different options with his potential and he's a team player, which is always needed.  Jefferson is also a top-notch student.  N.C. State recruiting types are supremely confident that they are the favorites but we'll have to wait and see for Duke seems to be in as good a shape as anyone.

There is a lot of talk about the Duke program slipping out there as well, but if a piece or two fall into place or even more, then Duke is a national title contender and no matter what happens, they'll contend in the ACC.  We live in a time when talking heads can influence society with falsehoods and tainted perceptions and the Blue Devils are a victim of that now more than ever.

In the end, the Blue Devils always seem to push away the critics and force them to start fawning over the program again from the fact they win and do so as consistently as anyone.  Okay, they do so a lot more than most, but reading some of the preseason top 25 projected polls would have you think the sky is falling.

Make no mistake, Duke is a college basketball juggernaut and they won 27 games against a difficult schedule, so to write off them or any of their players would be a mistake.  But it is clear that Duke wants and needs to add to the mix and that is why the pending decisions are critical in many ways.

So strap yourself in for the next few weeks will be a wild ride and if you want more, join BDN Premium where we constantly update what we are hearing provided they are fact based or from consistent sources.

 

BDN Premium – Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Update

Rasheed Sulaimon played "Horse" while visiting Duke. Maybe that helped him win the three point shooting contest at the McDonald's All American game? BDN presents another loaded team and recruiting update article for premium members.

Well, it's that time of year again when AAU ball cranks up and for BDN that means we'll be hitting several big events. Austin Rivers decision to sign with an agent and enter the NBA Draft wasn't that big of a surprise to us and we all wish him luck. Rivers decision is the first thing that will set the future into motion as the staff will be hot on the recruiting trail.  While many Duke fans hate to see Rivers lead, he can help the program at the next level and they will show that shot against UNC several times early on in his pro career.  He joins Kyrie Irving as players kids will really identify with.

I expect Mason Plumlee will (you must be a BDN Premium member to read the 2000 plus word update, so join today!) [private] enter his name into the draft to get feedback as to his draft status which must be done by April 3rd. Plumlee from all accounts is torn about his decision but the departure of Austin Rivers could help. Had Rivers returned the offense would have been run through him and the Blue Devils would have been his team. His high school coach David Gaines said that he was weighing his options and that one thing he would want is more touches or to be used in a more prominent role, It seems part of Plumlee wants to return and finish what he started and play with his brother Marshall for a year. Marshall could surely use his tutoring and Duke could surely use his presence in the paint. But an equal part of Mason wants to go pro and it may come down to where he is projected in a deep draft. It's probably even odds right now but that could change.  If I were to guess, I think Mase will probably want to go through his senior season and be a more focal point for the team but I am not majorly confident with the info I have received to date and it is worth noting that I have not talked this  over with some of my usual sources.

Should Plumlee head to the league with Rivers, Duke will be in major need of a big or two. There are two options, one being Tony Parker and the other Alex Oriakhi, the Connecticut transfer. Should Plumlee go, it would be a match made in heaven with Oriakhi. As for Tony Parker, he announced that he would be making a decision on April 11th and I can tell you now that Duke is a definite player. Coach K locked in on his parents early on and there is a very solid relationship and trust between them. While Parker has seemingly bought into all of the anti Duke recruiting rhetoric and squirmed away at the mention of Duke, he may finally be seeing the light and the opportunity he has stepping right into playing time at Duke. Parker showed signs of getting a bit out of shape at the McDonald's All American drills but who knows the circumstances or that he didn't have something going on? Anyhow, he has trimmed his list to Duke, Kansas and UCLA. IMO, Los Angeles is too far from home unless all his pals go there and that means it is likely down to two, Kansas and Duke. I think the Blue Devils have proximity in their favor as well and may pull this one out. Their odds are much better than they were a month ago at this time and Parker knows he would plug right in. Parker's decision may also effect the aforementioned Oriakhi.

Shabazz Muhammad won the dunk contest and he will choose a school on April 11th as well on an ESPN special. His decision likely has bearing on Trey Zeigler, a recent visitor and I expect nothing will happen with him until Bazz pulls the trigger due to available slots. Duke can now show Muhammad that he can be there next one and done freshman and that may be enough to pull him in. Zeigler offers maturity and the ability to guard certain types of players on defense. It will be interesting to see how all plays out, but I feel one will be on the roster at this time. And there is still the shadow of an NCAA investigation over Bazz and this could effect him going to what many felt the leader has been for months, Kentucky.

The Duke coaches will assault the AAU circuit full throttle before July for that is when Coach K will be heading up Team USA and he'll take assistants Collins and Wojo with him. That means April is an important month and the staff will take in both Nike EYBL sessions and other events I will share at a later date. Jeff Capel, Nate James and Chris Spatola will fill in while the staff builds the team they hope wins gold.

Several Duke Assistants have been considered for other jobs but the info coming in is somewhat shaky so I will not share the rumors. The Illinois job supposed linked three Duke types, Johnny Dawkins who led Stanford to the NIT title game, Steve Wojciechowski and of course Chris Collins. It looks like the job has been filled and Collins was like the next one or two choices had the job remained open. Nothing official while I am typing this though ... It is looking more and more like a mid major stepping stone job may be the ticket for some. Back to Dawkins, he would probably like to go somewhere it is easier to recruit but his Stanford team will compete for the PAC 10 the next two season should he stay put and I expect him to do so.

The coaches will be meeting with players to tell them what to work on for the coming season and what role they envision them taking on.  And you have heard a lot of transfer rumors by now and I fully expect some movement.  It's hard for me to share too much on that front in that it is a sensitive and private issue for the program, but the most rumored kid to leave Michael Gbinije seems prepared to returned and told his AAU coach he knew Coach K knew what he was doing.  It has also come out that Seth Curry can or will graduate and that he entertained going overseas but no firm decision has been made.  It was odd that Austin Rivers seemed to slip and say he was gone in the locker room after the tournament loss, but there was a lot of emotion going on.

I can tell you that there will be a shake up and Duke will try to get back to playing better defense and I expect all players will be challenged and have to earn their time next season.  The coaches, like us. have to let all shake out and each player or prospect move will effect one another with concern to the players/prospects in play.

The Carolina Classic has concluded and we'll add some late scouting reports and get the thoughts of others before weeks end.  I would say Theo Pinson is the only prospect firmly on the radar and while there are other good players, none of them are past the evaluation mode.  For those new to BDN Premium, the evaluation mode consists of players they are putting feelers out on.  Many kids, like prospect Tyrone Outlaw will get a look and he will visit in an unofficial manner, but it is common for local star prospects to drop by campus.  Jeff Capel is the lead guy for Outlaw but I'm not sure he would make the final cut.  However he does add toughness to the team he will play for and he can guard bigger players.  Outlaw will have to improve his perimeter game to become a real candidate.  Duke has showed some interest in Jaquel Richmond as well but something tells me they may not pursue him as hard as some other names.

Another name which has popped up is Christian Harrison of Greensboro Day.  Harrison grew up a Duke fan and of course says he would accept an offer on the spot.  He's a nice late bloomer in the rankings but has very thin shoulder width which needs a lot of added muscle.  He can finish very well and is a smooth player but hangs outside a bit too much for my tastes.  His second game was his worst and his defense was awful at times in that game.  He wasn't playing help D or using his length a lot.  His third game would have one drooling and he played much better after motivational speeches.  I would have to get more views on him to get a real feel.  We will have an interview up soon with him.

The Nike Jordan-Brand Classic is on my agenda where I will see Rasheed Sulaimon play and hopefully one or two more future Blue Devils.  The even on April 14th will allow us to know where Tony Parker and Shabazz Muhammad are going.  There are a slew of UNC and N.C. State guys playing in the event, a game of local North Carolina ballers and an International game.  continues to work Duke prospects as does his future teammate Matt Jones.

The Nike EYBL season starts in April as well and it gets underway with session I  in Minnesota on April 20-22 and then session II in Hampton, Virginia the following weekend.  The event is loaded with Duke prospects and among them are Chicago studs, Jabari Parker, the top rated player in the class of 2013 and Jahill Okafor, the paint eater and key Blue Devil target as well.  Both will suit up for the Mac Irwin Fire again and Parker has been the Blue Devils top target for a long time and as I have said for a year or so now, I feel Duke is in great shape with  him.  Then there is the Texas Titan duo of Matt Jones a shooting guard who has already pledged to Duke and his teammate, the bullish post man, Julius Randle.  If Duke misses on bigs this year, their need for Randle will be dire.  Duke is in good shape and will surely make his final cut and he is right there with Jabari Parker as the most important prospects they will work before Olympic duties.  But rest easy for Duke Assistant Jeff Capel is the lead recruiter for him and that bodes well.    Then there are the two PG prospects, Anthony Barber 2013 and Tyus Jones 2014.    Long time members know I rave when speaking of Jones and I will finally get more views of Barber.  Both are legitimate standouts but Jones to me is special and a winner.  But Jones has the nation after him and he will be a tough get.  Duke will also have their eyes open for other players and by the end of April we should have some new names popping up.  Other names to watch are big man Bee Jay Anya and Theo Pinson to name a few.

By all accounts, Ryan Kelly is healing nicely and he should have plenty of time to have his game together before the season starts.  Duke players had a lot of nagging injuries by seasons end but the Blue Devils do not broadcast them until later and maybe no even then.  Coach Krzyzewski has never been one to share too much in the past.  But it was certainly evident that the loss of Kelly effected the team concept and in hindsight, Kelly added a lot of value to the team.

The take on Amile Jefferson in interesting.  Talk to the NCSU types and they are majorly confident he comes.  Their spin is he is waiting to see what C.J Leslie does, well, I will tell you that he is going pro.  Jefferson has a great relationship with the Wolfpack staff but I feel his heart is with Duke.  I though his decision may be tied in with the McDonald's game but it seems he will watch what happens with team rosters as well as others now.  Jefferson is a nice young man who is likely having trouble telling certain teams no.  Villanova continues to make the hometown push and they are still hovering about but it is down to the ACC schools and I still feel Duke is in the best shape to get his services.  But it's recruiting, so who knows 100% sure what might happen.

So, we are all waiting to watch the McDonald's All American game this evening and to see how things shake out for Duke Basketball.  You have heard me say the following on numerous occasions but it applies more than ever to current situations.  Let it play out.  Freaking out and over speculation is a waste of ones energy.  Watch what prospects do and not what they say.  Actions speak louder than words.

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Duke ACC Notebook – Devils slip past Hokies and now Florida State is in the way

Lance King photo for BDN

The Blue Devils survived the pesky Hokies 60-56 to advance to the semi finals where they'll take on a talented Florida State team this afternoon.  In the process Duke tied the second longest streak of ACC Tournament victories at 10 consecutive wins.  The Blue Devils defense was the key against the Hokies, holding their opponent to 30.2% from the field.

Duke doubled the production of the Hokies in the paint by a 24-12 margin and their fast break worked as well to a 8 to 3 rate.  But Duke was just 5 of 26 from the three point stripe and that number must improve against Florida State.  The Blue Devils also benefited from going 15 of 18 from the free throw line and that was a huge factor in winning their 27th game of the season.

Tyler Thornton was a vital part of the win as well, despite missing several three pointers.  But the ones he did make were at key moments and he seemed to be there every time their was a loose ball, garnering 3 steals.  Austin Rivers led Duke in scoring wih 17 points and Mason Plumlee played very well scoring 12 points to go with 10 rebounds.

As I hinted to earlier, Duke went small just minutes into the game, rotating the the borthers Plumlee with Ryan Kelly sidelined for the tournament.  You can expect more of that today against the Semionoles winners over Miami.  This will be the rubber match between these two clubs and trust me when I say the Florida State fans travelled well here and they've let their presence be known.  Of course, Duke will have all the UNC fans pulling against them as well in that the Heels face rival N.C. State in t he opening game.

There is no doubt that the Duke-Florida State game is likely to go to the wire and it'll be a tense affair throughout.  The Blue Devils must keep a body on the Seminoles and hold their on in the paint while hitting a better percentage from beyond the three point arc.  So, pull up a chair if you think you can actually sit down during this game and root your Blue Devils on for they'll need the collective support from the fan base today.

Duke fans were a bit quiet in the arena yesterday and they'll need to pick up the support as well.  We'll continue to have post game wrap ups with exclusive video and photo galleries from Lance King, so bookmark Blue Devil Nation now and go up close and personal behind the scenes.  As for our prediction today, we'll take the Duke Blue Devils 66-64.

BDN Post Game – Mason Plumlee talks of the Duke win over the Hokies

Lance King for BDN

Blue Devil Nation is on hand in Atlanta to bring you our usual coverage of Coach K's team and here is our first post game video with Mason Plumlee who scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Blue Devils 60-56 win over Virginia Tech.  Plumlee went 4 of 5 from the free throw stripe as well and 4 of 6 from the field.

My ballot for All ACC, and individual awards

The All ACC teams are set to be announced at 2:30 today and the individual awards tomorrow and here is my ballot and my reasoning for voting as I did.

ALL-ACC TEAMS

1st Team Tyler Zeller UNC
1st Team John Henson UNC
1st Team Kendall Marshall UNC
1st Team Mike Scott Virginia
1st Team Austin Rivers Duke

I couldn't vote more than three players from any team on my 1st team and some say you only vote three if that team dominated the league.  Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Kendall  Marshall stood out for me, leaving Harrison Barnes as the odd man out despite being 2nd in the league in scoring.  Mike Scott tailed off a bit late in the season but take him away and Virginia would not make the NCAA Tournament and his last performance assured him of a spot on my team.  Austin Rivers came on strong midway through the season and earned his way on my ballot despite scoring just 25 points in his last two games.    He was the Blue Devils best player and that helped him edge out the leagues leading scorer in Terrell Stoglin. 

2nd Team Harrison Barnes UNC
2nd Team Terrell Stoglin Maryland
2nd Team Michael Snaer FSU
2nd Team Lorenzo Brown NCS
2nd Team Mason Plumlee Duke

The leagues top two scorers head up my 2nd team All ACC selections.  A testament to the Tar Heels talent is the fact that Harrison Barnes was pushed to my  2nd team.  Some will have him ahead of Kendall Marshall, but take away the captain of their ship and none of the big three stars would have the numbers they do.  Terrell Stoglin could have easily been a 1st team choice as well.  Michael Snaer was my first Florida State player selected and I am very comfortable with him on this team.  I am of the opinion that Lorenzo Brown of N.C. State was their most valuable player and his all around play made for a spot in my top ten.  As for Mason Plumlee, take him off the Duke front line and you would have seen many more losses.  He is one of the leagues top big men and the 2nd best player on the Blue Devils team from my vantage.

3rd Team Kenni Kadji Miami
3rd Team Travis McKie WF
3rd Team Erick Green VT
3rd Team CJ Leslie NCS
3rd Team Seth Curry Duke

Kenny Kadji had great stats in league play and he got better as the season progressed, so he represents Miami.  Many might go with Durand Scott on this team but he fell just short on my ballot and I felt Kadji earned this selection.  Wake Forest pushed C.J. Harris for 1st team or their lead player but to me, Travis McKie was more valuable with his all around stats.  Harris, like Scott was right there for me but Seth Curry gained the last spot in that he played for a team which won a lot more games in league play.  Erick Green could have easily made my 2nd team as well and he had a fine season for the Hokies.  I wrestled back and forth with the selection of C.J. Leslie, but he is 10th in scoring and rebounding or close to that going into the last game of the season, so that garnered him a spot. And Bernard James was the odd man out but he had a heck of a season and was quite valuabel to his team.

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

Jontel Evans Virginia
John Henson UNC
Michael Snaer FSU
Bernard James FSU
Andrew Young, Clemson

The trio of John Henson, Michael Snaer and Bernard James were no brianers.  Jontel Evans gained a spot with his play and I felt good about his addition, while Andre Young of Clemson edged out the likes of Erick Green and Lorenzo Brown. 

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

Austin Rivers Duke
Ryan Anderson BC
Dorian Finey-Smith VT
Shane Larkin Miami
Nick Faust Maryland

In a very weak freshman class, Austin Rivers leads the way and a unanimous choice.  Ryan Anderson was an easy choice as well for me but I struggled with Nick Faust and some of his teammates and others for the last spot.  There are s a lot of freshman on the leagues better teams which have more talent and many of the players I voted for but their development was slowed by the talent ahead of them.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Player of the Year - Tyler Zeller UNC - Tyler Zeller had a very nice senior season and he got my vote as the conferences top player. 

Defensive Player of Year - John Henson UNC - Henson altered a lot of shots and ripped plenty of defensive boards for the Tar Heels dominant front court.  Michael Snaer and Bernard Hopkins were right there as well and earned my consideration.

Rookie of the Year - Austin Rivers Duke - This was the easiest pick of the individual awards for me.  In a weak freshman class via production, Rivers stood out all season long, owning the weekly award as if it were velcroed to his chest.

Coach of the Year -Mike Krzyzewski Duke - It came down to three coaches for me, those being Leonard Hamilton of Florida State, Tony Bennett of Virginia and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke.  Hamilton led his Florida State team to their pre season predicted finish of 3rd and they demolished North Carolina with some home cooking.  But those early losses to weak teams at home, lands him in 3rd place for me.  Tony Bennett led his team to a 4th place finish despite losing transfers and Asanne Sene, their main post presence.  That earned him 2nd place in my voting.  As many of you know, Coach Mike Krzyzewski hardly ever wins the award but this is the year he is deserving and he got my vote.  Krzyzewski led his team to 26 regular season wins which include Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan State, Michigan.  Add wins over NCAA tournament bound teams Belmont, Davidson, Washington and possibly Colorado State and Tennessee and it is clear that the Blue Devils came to pay despite losing Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Kyrie Irving in the off season.  He coached an unusual roster by past standards and squeezed the most out of them.   I am very comfortable with him obtaining my vote.

In the end, selections are all subjective, but I pride myself on remaining objective and voting my conscience.  There is no true tried and true criteria for voting, so you will see ballots vary greatly.  As for Duke, Seth Curry was on my 1st team ballot in the pre season and he made that team, but he fell to my 3rd team at seasons end.  Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes flip flopped teams and the rest remained the same with the exception of Rivers.  Zeller ended up my Player of the Year but his teammate Barnes got my vote in the pre season.  My pre season predicted standings were very close to the actual finish, the top five intact as was the bottom.  I had Virginia Tech a couple of spots too high in the pre season, but overall I was very close.  My optimistic pre season projected record for Duke was the 26-5 record they own, another reason Krzyzewski got my vote.