Monday, July 12, 2010

Another Plumlee commits to Duke

The Plumlee family has delivered a third highly-recruited big man to coach Mike Krzyzewski and Duke.

Marshall Plumlee, a 7-foot rising senior at Christ School in Arden, N.C., will follow brothers Miles and Mason to Duke. Christ School coach David Gaines said Marshall committed late Saturday night.

Miles, the eldest of Perky and Leslie Plumlee's three sons, will be a junior for the Blue Devils in 2010-11 as they attempt to defend their NCAA title. Mason Plumlee will be a sophomore at Duke. Both players were reserves last season, but there's a chance they both will be in the starting lineup in 2010-11.

All three brothers could play together when Marshall is a freshman in 2011-12 - if Mason Plumlee doesn't leave early for the NBA draft. Mason, who's the most highly skilled of the brothers, is considered a potential lottery pick in 2011.

Gaines said the pivotal time for Marshall in his decision to attend Duke was a week he spent with Miles in Durham in June. They worked out together and played pickup games. Marshall visited with Krzyzewski, and also drove to Chapel Hill for a visit with North Carolina coach Roy Williams.

According to Gaines, Williams said he liked Marshall and needs big men in the Tar Heel program, but didn't offer a scholarship and said he wanted to see Marshall play more in July.

Marshall visited with Virginia coach Tony Bennett after the NBA Players Association's top 100 camp in Charlottesville, Va. Then, before July 4, Marshall was at home in Warsaw, Ind., with his entire family - the first time they'd all been together for an extended period since Christmas.

That gave Marshall time to make his decision. Gaines said he expects Krzyzewski to set goals for Marshall for his senior season, and anticipates that becoming a dominating low-post scorer will be part of the plan.

Marshall is a different player from his brothers - about an inch taller than Miles and Mason - and what might be called a "true" center. While Miles and particularly Mason have demonstrated the ability to score on mid-range jump shots and sometimes drives to the basket, Marshall plays strictly with his back to the basket on offense.

He averaged 8.6 points, eight rebounds and almost three blocked shots per game last season while leading Christ School to a state title, and Gaines wants to see the scoring number increase.

"We need a 7-footer who is going to the ACC to be a legitimate 15-, 18-point-a-game guy," Gaines said. "And I think he will work to do that. That's just his natural progression. That's what needs to happen."

Gaines said Marshall plays with enthusiasm and energy and runs the floor quickly, like his brothers, even though he plays a different position on offense. Gaines said Marshall felt comfortable with the coaches, the tradition and the size of the school at Duke.

Marshall is rated the No. 40 player in his class by, and Gaines said his final three schools of top interest were Duke, North Carolina and Virginia.

"Really, Marshall is kind of his own man," Gaines said, "and I think the decision, it didn't hurt that his brothers are there and have had a great experience. But ultimately he made the call on his own."

Ken Tysiac

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