Tag Archives: Plumlee

Duke grinds out a 67-58 win over VCU, advance to Battle in Atlantis title game

Lance King Images for BDN

Somewhere along the way for teams hoping to play deep into March, you have to prove you can win a grinder style game against a good team and the Duke Blue Devils did that today.

While it is certainly too early to say how they'll look come March, Duke has surely showed they are up to the task against a challenging early season schedule where they continue to have success. Duke beat a solid Virginia Commonwealth team 67-58 to advance to the championship game of the Battle for Atlantis.

The Blue Devils did so and have won games to date with much improved defensive play and that side of the ball held the Rams to 32% shooting from the floor and chased them off the three point stripe after half time adjustments.

But the key adjustment was getting Mason Plumlee involved more in the post and Krzyzewski seemingly tapped the right buttons for he came out a different player scoring two early inside baskets while rebounding better. Plumlee finished the game with another double-double with a team high 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Another reason Duke will head to the championship game has been the play of Quinn Cook who entered the starting lineup three games ago.

Cook combined with Rasheed Sulaimon to fend off the Rams defense which is appropriately named "Havoc," from constant pressure and traps. Cook scored 9 points but more importantly dished out 9 assists and got his teammates the ball in the right position against a tough defense.

The aforementioned Sulaimon also helped the Blue Devils with 7 rebounds from his guard position and those were nig on a night when Duke struggled a bit on the glass. Sulaimon added 12 points and the Blue Devils ended the game with four players in double figures.

One of those players was senior Seth Curry who 15 points and knocked down 9 of 10 free throws. In fact, the prowess Duke showed from the free throw line was a difference maker where they went 24 of 27 which translates to 88.9%, a coaches dream.

Duke also benefited from 5 blocked shots produced by Ryan Kelly and one of those came at a most key momentum that killed a VCU run. Kelly finished the game with 11 points and 4 rebounds.

Another key stat for Duke was their ability to protect the ball against pressure. Few teams will commit just 8 turnovers against VCU this season and Duke was able to weather the storm.

Duke also dished out 14 assists to the Rams 4 and closed the rebounding deficit to 6 with many of those coming down the stretch.

While this might not have been the prettiest of wins, it was a solid one for Duke who goes to 5-0 on the season.

Krzyzewski and Duke made good half time adjustments and implemented their will to get to the fre throw stripe and get Plumlee going inside. They played VCU style ball in the 1st half but Duke ball in the second and that flip was the difference.

The Blue Devils will need a lot of rest before they play either Missouri or Louisville, two deep and active teams tomorrow. Duke played just seven players in their win over the Rams and the starters got the bulk of the minutes.

Blue Devils shoot lights out to defeat Minnesota

The Duke Blue Devils pushed their season record to 4-0 with an 89-72 win over Minnesota in their opening game in the Battle for Atlantis Tournament. Seth Curry led the way for Duke by scoring 25 points and Mason Plumlee added 20 points and 17 rebounds as the Blue Devils advanced to play Virginia Commonwealth tomorrow evening at 7:00 on the NBC Sports Channel.

Blue Devils shoot lights out

Duke shot a solid 54.5% from the field but a whopping 80% from beyond the three point arc, where they went 8 for 10. Duke also made a very acceptable 21 of 26 from the free throw stripe. If Duke continues to shoot like this, they'll be tough to beat.

Starters played like starters

Duke got all but two of its points from its starters.  Three bench players saw significant action, but only Amile Jefferson scored late in the contest. Alex Murphy played the final mop-up minute. The Blue Devils will surely need more production from the bench to advance to the championship game in the stacked Battle for Atlantis field.

Quinn Cook starts and plays well

Sophomore PG Quinn Cook looked really comfortable on the court today, and his play was key to the Blue Devils win. Cook seems to play better when he starts and today he tossed in a career-high 17 points to go with 4 assists and 3 rebounds.  But it was his defense, including 5 steals, which most impressed. His off-balance three-pointer at the end of the first half gave Duke solid momentum as well.

Mason Plumlee dominated the paint

Huge numbers once again from the increasingly efficient Mason Plumlee, who was robbed of ACC Player of the Week honors in the opinions of many. Plumlee went 8 for 10 from the free throw stripe and finished with 20 points and a whopping 17 rebounds. Mason has established himself as a clear ACC POY candidate early on, and he is earning early consideration for national honors.

The recap

Duke started slow but as the game went on they looked poised against what Tubby Smith has termed his best team at Minnesota. The Blue Devils offense was amazingly proficient, but they also continued to show signs of playing much better defense than a season ago. There is no doubt that Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski is treating the tournament in the Bahamas as a business trip, and several media members noticed, as they mentioned his focus and intensity this week. Duke will play two more teams on Paradise Island, and they'll both play much different styles than the Gophers.  No matter the opponent in this loaded Battle for Atlantis field, the experience gained will help big time when the Blue Devils begin ACC play.  Duke played very well today and Coach Krzyzewski is surely pleased to see that his three seniors continue to lead.  There is no word as to the status of Seth Curry's nagging leg injury or whether he is likely to recover in time to play significant minutes tomorrow against VCU.

Mason Plumlee’s dunk puts Duke ahead for good vs UNC

Mason Plumlee leads Duke past UNC
Mason played like no freshman down the stretch in Duke's 64-54 win over UNC

Chapel Hill, N.C. - As you well know by now, Duke defeated North Carolina last night and starter Lance Thomas went down with an injury.  A player who really stood up to the challenge was freshman Mason Plumlee who tallied 7 points and a team high 9 rebounds.  With the game tied at 45 apiece with 8:20 to go, Mason threw down a reverse jam where the backboard and basket all moved giving Duke a 47-45 lead putting the Blue Devils ahead for good.

Listen to Mason Plumlee's post game comments by pressing play below -