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.
The date: February 7, 2013
The game: Duke 98, North Carolina State 85
Plumlee statline: 30 points on 9-for-11 shooting, nine rebounds, four steals in 40 minutes of play.
The breakdown: After completing non-conference play without a loss, the then-No. 1 Blue Devils were subject to a shocking upset in PNC Arena, falling 84-76 to North Carolina State. But the loss did not go unavenged.
Less than one month after Wolfpack faithful had rushed the court in Raleigh, senior Mason Plumlee delivered a dynamic performance in Cameron Indoor Stadium, leading Duke to a 98-85 home win.
The 6-foot-11 captain gathered his teammates at center court just before the jump, and his words seemed to have just the desired effect. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s squad came out firing and opened up a 20-point lead. After firing his teammates up in the pregame warm-up, Plumlee showed that he could ‘walk the walk’ as well.
The Warsaw, Indiana native asserted himself early and often, leaving his counterpart—North Carolina State big man Richard Howell—frustrated and in foul trouble.
In a game where the Blue Devils were thin in the front court—Ryan Kelly was out indefinitely and Josh Hairston had an ‘infected arm’—Plumlee delivered yet again. The senior displayed impressive endurance by playing all 40 minutes, and he did not let fatigue affect his play on either end.
Plumlee missed only two shots from the field in his 30-point effort, and added four steals and two blocks on the defensive side of things. His rock-solid performance was key in securing a home win against North Carolina State, and also marked yet another resume item for Plumlee’s National Player of the Year candidacy.
The quote: “I think [Plumlee] is playing as well as anybody in the country,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “His moves inside are really beautiful because he is playing through contact. Instead of taking a hook, he is feeling the defense.”
Previous Plumlee performances: