Recruiting Scene - by Thad Mumau
Two weeks ago, the headline on this column read: Plumlee looks like a future Blue Devil.
The 6-foot-11 junior looks a lot more Devlish now after committing to Duke earlier this week. Mason Plumlee made his announcement following a second visit to the Durham campus last weekend.
This time, his parents were with him, and they watched Duke defeat St. John's in Cameron Indoor Stadium last Saturday. On Feb. 13, his high school coach, David Gaines, accompanied him to the Blue Devils' home win over Maryland.
Plumlee helped Christ School of Asheville win its second straight state independent schools 3-A state championship. The Greenies won their last 14 games to finish 34-2 after downing Greensboro Day School in the title game, 50-41.
Plumlee scored 15 points in the game, 12 in the second half, and sank four straight free throws in the final 1:06. He grabbed 18 rebounds in the second round of the state tournament and had eight assists and four blocked shots in the opening round.
Those numbers demonstrate that he can beat a team in a number of ways. Plumlee's season stats also back up his versatility as he averaged 13.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, four assists and 2.2 blocks.
In stressing that Mason is not a center, Gaines called him "a 6-11 guard." And the Christ School coach, who has guided his team to three state championships in four years, provided an example.
"In the state semis last year, I actually played him at point guard. We were playing Charlotte Christian, which had beaten us by 33 points two weeks earlier. With Mason at the point, they were thrown off defensively because they couldn't match up. None of their big men could stay with him, and their guards would get posted up."
Plumlee had 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds, while hitting 10 of 12 from the foul line, as the Greenies won, then upset Greensboro Day (which had also beaten Christ School twice) in the title contest.
Gaines has cited Duke's "family environment" and style of play as reasons it is a "perfect fit" for Plumlee.
"Mason would never have chosen a school that was going to use him for posting up and spending his career playing inside," Gaines said. "He has good perimeter skills - he handles the ball well, shoots the three and is a phenomenal passer.
"Duke spreads the floor and has its bigger guys shooting threes. We use a similar offense, and it is ideal for Mason.
"Coach K has made it clear that he is recruiting Mason as a skilled power forward."
Although Plumlee is not a prolific scorer, he does not have to be, but he is a good shooter. This season, he made over 52 percent of his shots from the floor (while trying an average of three three-pointers per contest) and 76 percent of his free throws. Three teammates averaged 10 or more points per game.
Leading the way at 16 ppg was Mason's older brother, 6-9 Miles, who signed with Stanford in the fall. Their younger brother, 6-10 freshman Marshall, is "the only true low-post player in the family," according to Gaines.
Their father, who stands 6-7, played hoops at Tennessee Tech. Their mother, who is 6-1, played at Purdue. The family lives in Warsaw, Indiana.
Mason Plumlee can sign a letter of intent in November.
Thad Mumauâs column runs at smartnewsnc.comÂ Â Â and heâs nice enough to let us run it here. Thanks Thad!Â HeÂ may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org