You know what I cannot wait for once the 2011-2012 college basketball season starts… all the feature stories that will be done on the Plumlee brothers since all three of them will be playing together at Duke. That will not get old at all. No, seriously… I am in no way hoping you are reading this opening paragraph with the heavy sarcasm that I am intending it to have.
McDonald’s All-American Marshall Plumlee will join his older brothers, Miles and Mason, next season at Duke and provide Coach K. with another athletic big man. But will Marshall finally be able to provide the Blue Devils with a true inside presence; something his big bros have been unable do.
(This is a Paul M. Banks and David Kay collaboration.)
It would be safe to assume that Marshall’s older brothers played a huge part in his decision to play his college ball at Duke. Think again. “They weren’t so much a factor,” Marshall clarified. “I wanted to pick a school that was best for me, but having made the decision, it feels great to have them there with me… I just wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself and have a chance to contribute and win some games.”
Of course, playing for one of the best coaches and programs in the country was a huge factor in Marshall’s commitment to the Blue Devils. “He does a great job,” Marshall said of Coach K. “But with a program like Duke, it kind of sells itself and he’s just someone who garners a lot of respect and knows what he’s talking about, so you’ve got to take his word to heart.”
Even though they may not have been the deciding factor in their young brother’s choice, Miles and Mason have already prepared Marshall for what to expect once he steps onto Duke’s campus with some words of wisdom. “Keep your head up and stay confident in your abilities. There’s going to be ups and downs, but you got to be confident in yourself.”
Marshall’s game is a bit of a mix between Miles and Mason’s. Miles is the more physical of the two and has a slightly more polished post game. Mason is an athletic, shot blocking, run the floor type of big man. While Marshall calls his athleticism a “huge asset,” he realizes he must add muscle to his 215 pound frame to maximize his potential at Duke. “The biggest thing that will keep me on the court is my strength, so I’ve got to spend a lot of time in the weight room and be ready for the physical transition that a lot of big men make before going to college.”
His offensive game is still a work in progress, but when you add Marshall to a frontcourt already featuring Miles, Mason, Ryan Kelly, and Josh Hairston, and Coach K. will have a lot of size and depth up-front. With fellow McDonald’s All-Americans Austin Rivers and Quinn Cook joining Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, and Tyler Thornton in the backcourt, the Blue Devils will be one of the top ranked teams next season despite losing Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, and Kyrie Irving who chose to leave early for the NBA Draft.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.
He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank