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Mason Plumlee a key for Duke

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Tags: ACC Now | Coach K | Duke

CHICAGO - Freshman center Mason Plumlee's performance Wednesday night against Iowa State at the United Center merely reinforced what's become obvious about Duke for a couple of weeks now.

The fifth-ranked Blue Devils are a good team that can only become a Final Four contender if Plumlee improves and emerges as a fourth standout in the rotation. Plumlee scored all seven of his points in the first half of Wednesday's 86-65 defeat of Iowa State, and did it in impressive fashion.

Left wide open on the perimeter, he sank a 3-pointer, the first of his career. He slammed home an authoritative one-handed dunk off a nice bounce pass from Kyle Singler. Plumlee also hit Jon Scheyer on a backdoor cut for a layup with a pretty pass from the top of the key.

Plumlee's only hiccup was failing to convert some shots in the post, including a couple of alley-oop passes. Coach Mike Krzyzewski wanted him to use two hands to catch the second missed alley-oop, but nonetheless was pleased.

"Mason played very well tonight," Krzyzewski said. "With a couple finishes, he could have been spectacular."

Although Duke is playing extremely well, its shortcoming is that only three players - Scheyer, Singler and Nolan Smith - are legitimate scoring threats. It's not easy to get to the Final Four when your opponent only has to guard three players.

And the bottom line is that while Krzyzewski calls Plumlee "ball friendly," Duke's other post players aren't as skilled with the ball. Miles Plumlee, Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek are fine defenders and rebounders, but haven't forced opponents to pay them a lot of attention when Duke has the ball.

So Mason Plumlee - who's still finding his way as a freshman who missed the first six games with a broken wrist - is the most obvious choice to become a third scoring threat. He still needs to play better on defense after having trouble defending the high ball screen against Iowa State.

Plumlee also needs to develop the delicate art of scoring around the basket. But there's no doubt he has the skill to become a big contributor for Duke.

If he does, the postseason possibilities for the Blue Devils will skyrocket.


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Game on !!!!


Are you serious UNC fan? Where has Carolina travel that Duke hasnt this year. Carolina so far only went to kentucky 's home, and C of C and we saw what happend there. umm, the other away games were neutral courts. Get a life and post next time you know anything about Duke. So far Duke has gone to Wisconsin's home and neutral courts. Don't give me the Texas crapped that was at the Cowboys and we all now that it's all about money for all schools. Good luck with your team this year !!!



 just b/c you have a girls name doesn't mean we won't throw the kitchen sink at ya!  this is your warning!  Cool

yeah these guys hit pretty

yeah these guys hit pretty whether you have a pair or not, you still may want to wear a cup! Surprised

... current posters



Cup...shin guards....helmet


So what

Plumbee Shumblee. All you dook fans ask yourself why K never plays any away preseason games at that teams home courts. And yall talk about Roy...

you know you wouldn't look

you know you wouldn't look sooo much like a moron if you actually commented about the article.

if you want to talk about strength of schedule, then get a time machine, go back in time and join the conversation when we were actually talking about it.

time to let it go and move on....


Mason Plumlee hasn't begun to sratch the surface on what he can and will do for the Dukies.

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About the blogger

Ken Tysiac has covered the ACC for The Charlotte Observer since 2003, and spent the previous eight years covering Clemson for the Anderson Independent-Mail and then The State in South Carolina. He grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.