Last night, Marshall Plumlee, the younger brother of Miles and Mason and Scout.com’s 5th-ranked center for 2011, announced his decision to follow his brothers and play for Coach K.
He is the third commitment Duke has nabbed in the Class of 2011, joining Michael Gbinije and Tyler Adams, and if Miles and Mason stay for their senior and junior years, it would be the first time in Duke’s history (and maybe college basketball history?) that three brothers would be on the same roster. Like both of his brothers, Marshall has a great basketball IQ. He is a 7-ft 215-lb center who will bring a slightly different game to Duke than his brothers did. He uses his height to take on a more traditional center’s role, using a number of back-to-the-basket moves in the low post. He has great hands and footwork for a player of his size. However, he’ll need to bulk up and become more physical if he wants to have a big impact in the ACC. He has a large 7 foot frame to fill, and he’ll no doubt use his senior year of high school to work on that. If he can build muscle, he has the chance to excel on offense and defense, much like Brian Zoubek did this past season.
So now that Plumlee #3 is in the bag, what does this mean looking ahead for Duke recruiting for 2011? With our second big man locked up, Duke will likely focus much of its attention in the coming months on the smooth-shooting Austin Rivers and the speedy Quinn Cook. Both place Duke high on their lists. Rivers led the way alongside incoming freshmen Kyrie Irving and Josh Hairston to a gold medal for the US U18 team at the FIBA Americas tournament just a little over a week ago. Cook, who is Nolan Smith’s god-brother, was the starting point guard for the US U17 team that won the gold medal at the FIBA World Championships this very morning. No doubt that will have an impact on where the two end up. Here’s to hoping for the best!
Finally, here’s a video showing a sneak peek of what Duke is getting in Marshall. Although the footage is about a year old, one can see glimpses of his work ethic and leadership abilities:
We figured that the 2010 National Title would pay big dividends on the recruiting trail. With several more targets in 2011—and the talented crop of 2012 prospects still wide open—look for the coaching staff to work hard to bring the top talent where it belongs: Durham, N.C.