And just like that, the 2008-09 Duke Blue Devils have some size in the paint.
We decided to take a break from our summer break to talk a little Plumlee.
Depending on who you read, Miles is either the 17th best incoming PF (Scout) or the 29th best PF coming in (Rivals). My best opinion guess…somewhere in the middle. According to Scout (and keep in mind, who knows when they last updated this):
Part of a state championship team as a junior. Native of Indiana. Productive basketball player who can do things on offense and will block his share of shots at the other end. Versatile player. Strength will help him expand his game.
Let’s do some quick hits (i.e. thinking aloud):
– Forget the strength issue. Reports are, he’s recently gained 20 pounds of muscle.
– This has to make any Duke fan happy. The Devils were a lock for a pre-season top-10 ranking. This one might get them bumped up to the top-5. If Carolina really does lose Ellington, Law and Green to the NBA, Duke would now slide in as the favorite to win the ACC crown (although I still think Wake is going to surprise some people next year).
– Although we’re obviously excited about Miles coming in now, I actually can’t wait until next year when he’ll be playing with his brother Mason. From what I’ve read, Miles is the more athletic one, but Mason is the better overall player.
– The one thing you should expect to see from Plumlee is an edge in him, you don’t get from every player. It’s an edge you can only get from having brothers, all about the same age, all standing 6’10. Maybe I shouldn’t call it an edge, but rather an competitive hunger you only get when you’ve been competing your whole existence with simblings.
– I know, I know, race should never be an issue, but prepare to see at times, an all-white squad on the floor (Paulus, Scheyer, Singler, Zoubek and Plumlee). Prepare yourself, Duke haters are going to have field day with this. The Duke = White Basketball is certainly a topic worth discussing and I’m hoping at some point this summer to dive into it.
– What does this mean for Duke’s other big men? As for Singler, it change nothing. He’s a small forward, who can play big. As for Thomas, Zoubek, McClure and incoming frosh, Olek Xzyz, everyone can expect less minutes. Lance might still start out of the gate, but I just don’t see his game developing enough over the summer, to see him holding off Miles. On the flip side, this could be a good thing. Thomas has skills, but more importantly, he’s got a load of energy. With the pressure of being a starter off his shoulders, he’ll be able to go off and just play his game for 10-15 minutes per game.
As for Zoubek, it really all depends on his health and his development. There is no doubt that Brian’s second season was a huge improvement over his freshman stint; not so much because he was that good, but he really was that bad in ’06-07. Last season (when healthy) he showed some flashes of being a rebounding/shot blocking/post player. Can he still become an Aaron Grey? That might be asking too much, but again, 10-15 of solid post-play? Maybe.
McClure will get some minutes, but in all honesty, he’ll be in when the front line is foul trouble, or if things aren’t going well, Coach K decides to go with some leadership on the court. David has always been a solid team player with a lot of heart (he’s not called the garbage man because of his hygiene). As for incoming freshman, Czyz, he remains pretty much a mystery. He’s all potential right now, so I can’t predict how many minutes he’ll get off the bench.
– For any lifelong Duke fan, you can’t help but feel bad for Johnny D. He gets his first coaching job at Stanford and the first thing that happens is, he loses a recruit to his former team. Sorry Dawkins, we’ll be rooting for you, as the Cardinals are now our second favorite team.