Duke forward Mason Plumlee is among the leading candidates for the AP National Player of the Year award. Each week throughout the season, we will check in on Plumlee’s progress as well as the performance of other top candidates for college basketball’s top honor.
Mason Plumlee, Duke: Plumlee’s eight point, five rebound performance against Florida State likely won’t affect his bid for National Player of the Year—the forward played just 25 minutes in Duke’s 79-60 drubbing of the Seminoles. The next big test for Plumlee will come tonight against N.C. State when he matches up against Richard Howell for the second time this season. After a strong first half against the Wolfpack in the teams’ first meeting Jan. 12, Plumlee was dominated by Howell in the second half. Howell finished the game with 16 points and 18 rebounds as N.C. State handed Duke its first loss this season. A strong showing against one of the ACC’s strongest big men this time around would undoubtedly help Plumlee’s quest for college basketball’s top honor.
Doug McDermott, Creighton: After a season of nearly-robotic consistency, it appears Doug McDermott might actually be human after all. McDermott netted his usual 25 points and added seven rebounds in the Bluejays’ 75-58 win against Bradley but shot just 3-of-10 and scored only eight points in Creighton’s 76-57 loss to Indiana State last night. It was just the second time that McDermott had been held out of double digits this season. Although it was certainly a poor showing for McDermott, most people will likely give his underwhelming performance a pass given his consistency this season.
Trey Burke, Michigan: Burke dropped 25 points in Michigan’s loss to Indiana Saturday, but took 24 shots to do so and shot only 4-of-12 from beyond-the-arc. But despite finishing the game with four fouls, the point guard was all over the floor in his 38 minutes of action, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out eight assists. He added 16 points and eight assists in the Wolverines’ 76-74 overtime victory against rival Ohio State. Burke will be tested this week with road matchups against Wisconsin and No. 12 Michigan State.
On the outside looking in: Syrcause guard Michael Carter-Williams was unimpressive this week, tallying just 13 points in the Orange’s loss to Pittsburgh and managing only eight in a win against Notre Dame. Indiana’s Cody Zeller led his team with 19 points and 10 rebounds in a win against then-No. 1 Michigan, helping the Hoosiers move atop the AP top 25 this week.