DURHAM, N.C. – Rising seniors Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee have been named team captains for the 2012-13 season, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced on Thursday. Kelly was a captain a year ago, while Plumlee is a first-time team captain.
“Ryan and Mason have done a terrific job on and off the court at Duke,” said Krzyzewski. ”Both men have grown steadily within our program and have put themselves in position to lead our team next season. We look forward to watching their continued development as leaders on the court, in the locker room and in the Duke community.”
Kelly, a 2011 Academic All-ACC selection, averaged 11.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while playing in 31 contests (19 starts). He missed the final three games of the season due to a foot injury. Kelly scored in double figures 18 times on the year with a career-high 23 points in a 79-71 win over Wake Forest on Feb. 28. He shot 40.8 percent (40-of-98) from three-point range and 80.7 percent (113-of-140) from the free throw line. The Raleigh, N.C., native earned EA Sports Maui Invitational MVP honors in November after averaging 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 1.3 steals as Duke topped Tennessee, Michigan and eventual NCAA Tournament runner-up Kansas to claim the tournament title for the fifth time in school history.
Kelly, who underwent successful surgery to repair damage in his right foot on March 20, enters his senior campaign with 653 points and has raised his scoring average by at least five points per game in each of the last two seasons. The 6-11 forward also ranks 17th in the Duke record books with 96 career blocks. Kelly has helped Duke to a 90-13 (.874) record in his 103 games played, including a 39-7 mark in 46 career starts.
“Last year was an incredible learning experience as a basketball player, but even more so as a leader,” said Kelly. “I grew as a leader, but it wasn’t to the point I felt like it should be. With this being my senior year and my last opportunity to step up for the Duke program, I want it to be a special year. For it to be a special year, Mason and I have to be great leaders.”
Plumlee, a 2012 CoSIDA Academic All-America selection, 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 last season. He ranked second on the team in field goal percentage (.572, 143-of-250), while registering a Duke single-season record 60 dunks in 2011-12. Plumlee was one of four players in the NCAA to average at least 10.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 blocks per game a year ago and also finished third in the ACC in rebounding, double-doubles (12) and double-figure rebounding games (16).
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. The Blue Devils are 88-17 (.838) with Plumlee on the court, including a 54-10 (.844) mark with him in the starting lineup.
“It is an honor to be named team captain. We have had great leaders each year I have been at Duke and it is role I am going to embrace,” said Plumlee. “I am looking forward to taking on more of a leadership role with this team. We have a strong group of players returning and we are excited about next season.”
Kelly and Plumlee are the third senior tandem of captains in the last four years at Duke.