Over the past two weeks, The Blue Zone has been counting down the top five performances from each of Duke’s graduating seniors during their collegiate careers. This week, we conclude with forward Mason Plumlee.
No. 3: Plumlee scores 32 and pulls down 12 boards against Demon Deacons
Mason Plumlee’s career-high 32 points led Duke past Wake Forest in a sloppy contest. (Eliza Bray/Chronicle File Photo)
The date: January 30, 2013
The game: Duke 75, Wake Forest 70
Plumlee statline: 32 points on 12-for-15 shooting, 12 rebounds, 8-of-10 from the charity stripe and two blocks.
The breakdown: Entering Winston-Salem as the No. 5 team in the nation, Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devil squad could have easily overlooked the Demon Deacons. The game got off to an ugly start—including a six-point deficit for Duke in the first period—so senior Mason Plumlee’s dominant offensive performance was vital in securing the team’s first ACC road win.
After opening with lackluster defense, the Blue Devils were able to clamp down on man-to-man assignments, disrupting Wake Forest’s ball movement and offensive timing. The Demon Deacons, on the other hand, could find no answer for Mason Plumlee.
The senior forward owned the paint, utilizing lateral screens, flashes and seals to earn easy bucket after easy bucket. Krzyzewski realized he had a good thing going in frontcourt and continued to run sets for the 6-foot-11 Plumlee.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Plumlee’s night was his patience offensively. The senior captain was not pressing for his shots, but instead let the game come to him. Many of Plumlee’s points came on wide-open layups and dunks.
For a perimeter-focused team like Duke, Plumlee provided an offensive anchor that left Jeff Bzedelik’s squad with limited options. That anchor was key in balancing Duke’s offense and securing the win in Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The quote: “The guys got me the ball in good positions, a lot of it was sets; it wasn’t really moves, a lot of it was just layups,” Plumlee said. “I thought we could have played better, but in the end of the day we won.”
Previous Plumlee performances:
No. 5: Plumlee records double-double in Maui win against Kansas
No. 4: Plumlee sets career highs in points and blocks against Marquette