The Duke-Michigan State game was a complete disaster for the brothers Plumlee. Their mental errors were egregious and they were physically dominated by a tough Michigan State interior. I lost all of my optimism for the Plumlees at the end of the Michigan State game. It took a long time for me to reach the realization that the Plumlees will never play up to their potential while they wear a Duke uniform. After the MSU game I decided to temper my expectations and appreciate the Plumlees for what they are: players with copious amounts of potential, who show flashes of brilliance, but can’t put it all together. I know what the Plumlees bring the table and decided to enjoy watching them play, rather than focusing on unrealistic expectations. But, like a crazy ex-girlfriend you can’t stay away from, the Plumlees have given me a reignited and unrealistic hope in them.
In the past two games, against Davidson and Tennessee, the Plumlees efficiently contributed on offense and defense. Rather than forcing things they played within their abilities and helped Duke beat two scrappy opponents. They executed decent post moves (specifically Mason), avoided dumb fouls, played wonderful defense and had some nasty dunks. These two games have given me renewed hope. It’s worthwhile to acknowledge that neither Davidson nor Tennessee are world-beaters and neither of them have a post presence that can physically compete with the Plumlees. Thus far we’ve seen the Plumlees bully around smaller opponents but get bullied by players of the same size and/or larger. It’s too early in the season to establish a Plumlee pattern and hopefully the Plumlees can compete with same-sized opponents, but only time will tell.
As an aside, was anyone a little creeped out by how much the commentators talked about Miles’ 5% body fat during the Tennessee game? I’m usually not one to hate on people who admire the human form, but the commentary seemed a bit much.
Today Duke takes on Kansas in a match-up of two of the game’s best programs. Surprise: I think Duke will take the victory.
Also, watch this because it’s beautiful (Duke Blue Planet puts together some really good videos, check out the website if you get a chance):