Five past Duke basketball players gave genuine credibility to one nickname.
Each and every player that enters the Duke basketball locker room is automatically inducted into the sacred group known as the “brotherhood,” but there are certain families that directly materialize what the brotherhood is.
For the past two decades, Cameron Indoor Stadium has been graced with the products of two different bloodlines that will always be cherished in Duke’s history.
Between the Plumlee and Jones families, there have been unforgettable memories made by a combination of five players from two different worlds. Each brought something equally different and amazing for Duke fans and basketball spectators across the nation.
The trio of Duke basketball frontcourt brothers
The sheer size of the Plumlee brothers is enough to stop you in your tracks and make you wonder what kind of people bred three absolute units in a row. When the first Plumlee brother, Miles Plumlee, stepped onto the court, he was embraced with open arms, no questions asked, along with his two younger brothers, Mason and Marshall, who followed.
The trio comes from a heavily basketball-oriented lineage that traces back to their grandfather. Making it only right, their genealogy improved enough down the line to qualify for Duke basketball standards — and boy did they deliver.
During the years the Plumlee name was on Duke’s roster, it contributed to two national and three conference championships. They stamped their family name on five different banners hanging forever in Cameron.
Their time with Duke was spent mostly in the frontcourt as rightful protectors of the basket on both ends of the floor. Over the eight seasons (2008-09 through 2015-16) that at least one of the three brothers was on the roster, a Plumlee finished as the team leader in both rebounds and blocks per game on four different occasions. Not only that, all three were dunking machines.
Their talents didn’t stop at the collegiate level. Each of the three brothers was either drafted in the first round or signed to an NBA team. They are also decorated with Olympic medals, both of the silver and gold variety.
The Plumlee brothers could arguably be the most successful bloodline in Duke basketball history, as they are only the second trio of brothers to make it to the NBA. One thing is for certain: Duke fans everywhere are thankful for their contributions to the program and its family-oriented name.
The duo of Duke basketball point gods
The most recent bloodline to circulate inside of the Duke basketball program is probably the most beloved by Duke fans and college basketball enthusiasts. Tyus and Tre Jones, while playing basketball in the NCAA, were tagged among the best point guards in the country.
The oldest, Tyus Jones, was welcomed to Duke’s 2014 freshman class as a top 10 nationally ranked prospect. From the moment he hit the floor as a Blue Devil, he let the nation know he would be a double-figure scoring machine.
Two of his back-to-back double-figure scoring games were in contribution to Duke and college basketball history. For the 999th and 1,000th wins of head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s career, Tyus put up 22 points each game to help his team get the victory and tag Coach K with yet another accolade in his legendary career.
That same year, Tyus Jones became a national champion and the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player after putting up 23 points, plus an overall outstanding exposition of talent and leadership, in the title game against Wisconsin.
With a lot to live up to, Tre Jones was welcomed to Coach K’s five-star recruiting class for the 2018-19 season. In his freshman campaign, he made important contributions as a starting point guard while struggling with injuries, and he ultimately took home an ACC championship ring with the help of teammates Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish.
Fans were excited to hear the younger Jones brother would return for his sophomore season, and he seemed to have only improved in the offseason. He displayed tremendous leadership and efficiency on both ends of the floor for the 2019-20 Blue Devils.
Tre Jones put up significantly more points in his sophomore season, going from 9.4 points per game in his freshman season to 16.4 his sophomore year. He was also on the watchlist for National Defensive Player of the Year but was ultimately decided on as ACC Player and Defensive Player of the Year.
Since their time at Duke, the Jones brothers have both taken their scoring talents to the NBA. As Tre was a part of the most recent NBA Draft, fans are still on the edge of their seats waiting to see how he fits in with the San Antonio Spurs. Until then, fans can only reminisce about the days the Jones brothers graced the Blue Devil roster.
The Duke basketball brotherhood still stands
The contributions made by these families to the brotherhood, and the rafters of Cameron Indoor Stadium, will never be forgotten.
Now that the brothers of the Plumlee and Jones families are on to bigger and better things, it’s up to Krzyzewski to brilliantly scout another family’s talents and give the Cameron Crazies a little of what they will miss in the brotherhood of Plumlee and Jones brothers.
Until then, fans should be confident in the fact that the brotherhood still remains within the bond of Duke’s current roster, and the glue that holds the program together, Coach K.
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