DURHAM – Even while extolling the virtues of practice, Duke forward Mason Plumlee made no secret Monday that the Blue Devils were eager to get back on the court for its next game after its disappointing performance against Ohio State last week.
“We’ve been dying for another game,” Plumlee said.
That much was apparent from watching Plumlee in the first half of Wthe Blue Devils’ 87-64 win over Colorado State Wednesday night. He scored on a variety of low-post moves and half-court opportunities while also throwing in an alley-oop for good measure.
By halftime, Plumlee had made all six of his field goal attempts, grabbed seven rebounds, blocked four shots and notched four steals. He tailed off in the second half, but the first half was still one of his stronger 20-minute efforts in a Duke uniform.
“Mason played really well tonight,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Especially in the first half, he was so dominant.”
If it was easy to characterize Plumlee’s game, it was a bit more difficult to analyze the Blue Devils’ collective performance.
While the defensive effort was far from perfect – something that’s to be expected this early in the season – the Blue Devils certainly seemed happy to be on the court again and to have the chance to erase some of the memories of the 85-63 road loss to the Buckeyes.
“No disrespect to their team, but it was more about us making a statement about our team – who we are and moving in the right direction after the loss,” Plumlee said.
Something else to keep in mind was that, with the end of the semester approaching, it’s one of the most academically challenging portions of the season.
“The week before exams, you can go a little brain-dead with all this stuff, and I thought our guys were pretty good,” Krzyzewski said. “We’ve got to carry that through to Saturday because we’ll play against the most athletic team we’ve played against in Washington, but a good job by our team against a very good basketball team.”
-- Jack Daly