Duke Twitter Rankings: The Kendall Marshall Challenge

Today, in advance of Duke’s first games in China, I’m introducing a new feature. The premise is simple- I evaluate the twitter accounts of every Duke basketball player for the past week, list the highlights, and give them an entertainment score out of 10. Here’s the official logo:

The word I would use to describe my rating system is “holistic.” There are no formulas, no science, just the feeling I get in my gut. Here’s where it gets really tough: whoever wins the week with the highest score will have to face Kendall Marshall, who reliably has some of the strangest, funniest, and weirdest tweets of any athlete I’ve come across. If a Dukie can do the unthinkable and take him down, the Tobacco Road Twitter Belt will be theirs.

Now, in order from worst to first, here’s how the week played out in the twitter world of Duke basketball.

13. Miles Plumlee

The only Dukie with no account. When I asked my girlfriend which player she thought would have no twitter-less, she said, “one of the Plumlees, because they can’t type.”

Score: 0/10

12. Mike Gbinije

Has a twitter account, but it’s private. I sent him a follow request this morning, so hopefully he’ll be in the mix next time.

Score: 1/10

11. Ryan Kelly

Posting frequency: Very low

Background: Default twitter

In the past week, Kelly has exactly four tweets that weren’t re-tweeted from someone else. Two of them were about getting on the plane to China, one was a reference to a Dawkins joke I didn’t get, and the last was about how proud he was to see his sister play volleyball.

Respect on the family front, but you’ve got to step up your game, White Raven.

Score: 2.9

10. Tyler Thornton

Posting frequency: Medium

Background: A custom design featuring photos of himself playing basketball.

I’d like tell you all different, but there’s not much here. A lot of it is indecipherable, and the rest is mostly conversational. However, he and Nolan might be DJ’ing at a party near you. I’m not sure why, but I have a strong feeling Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” will be played in that set.

Score: 3.3/10

9. Quinn Cook

Posting frequency: Very high

Background: Pictures of himself and his dad

Cook is unique in that he signs every single post- and there are a lot- with “RiP DAD!”, which is touching and obviously not something I’m going to mock. He also starts most mornings with some variation of “Good morning, twit fam!! Blessed to see another day!”

So for future reference, those mainstays will be taken for granted and we’ll look beyond them. Other than that, it’s a lot of harmless flirting, self-motivational stuff in the Nolan style, semi-bragging, outright bragging, and heaps of the mundane.

Score: 3.6/10

8. Josh Hairston

Frequency: Medium-High

Background: A transparent image of himself on a darkened Cameron Indoor court. He’s also in the top left corner, smiling and holding up some kind of trophy.

His feed features follower requests, crazy tag/link chains with no new information, lots of thank-yous, the mundane, God stuff, and exactly one tweet with Shakespearean type language that made me laugh. At this point in my research, I’m starting to feel like a stalker, except one who really wishes he could start stalking someone else. Like Cyndi Lauper. (Man, why is Cyndi Lauper so much on my mind?)

Score: 4.1/10

7. Alex Murphy

Posting frequency: Low

Background: Self-illustration on the left, pixilated picture of him looking through a window on the right.

Murph has his share of the mundane, but it’s mixed in with some embarrassing admissions and angry twitter threats. Also, one of his all-time jams is “Letting Go” by Wayne Wonder, who I’ve heard was heavily influenced by Cyndi Lauper (CRAP).

There’s a little bit of personality here, but it could be a lot better.

Score: 4.6/10

6. Austin Rivers

Posting frequency: Medium

Background: Pictures of his own face with colorful lightning or distortion lines or something streaking across.

The most promising Duke freshman of all keeps his twitter account pretty simple. He has some heartwarming nods to his girlfriend (“our love is deep but I still dig her”), rap quotes, basic wrap-ups of his day, shout-outs to God, and the mundane. But this was my favorite, when he played off the twitter meme of replacing well-known movie titles with the word ‘hoes’:

Teenage Mutant Hoes!! lol ( teenage mutant ninja turtles)

Thanks for adding that last part, Austin, or none of us would have had any idea which movie you were talking about. It could have been Teenage Mutant anything. With that in mind, I give you, the reader, the Austin Rivers movie hoes quiz. Figure out which movie I’m referring to in the list below, and you win a prize:

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Hoes
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Hoes
Indiana Jones and the Hoes Crusade
No Country for Old Hoes

(The fifth one is referring to “Armageddon.”)

Score: 4.8/10

5. Seth Curry

Frequency: Medium

Background: Him shooting in blue shade.

I was hoping for big things from Seth, and he only half delivered. First off, he will listen to no man’s opinion before forming his own. Respect. He liked a Kendall Marshall joke, which doesn’t bode well for the finals. He doesn’t like folks stealing his shine, is hopeful for Sportscenter’s future quality, and otherwise just likes having conversations.  Other than that, there’s not much to note. Out of affection, I’ll elevate him to “average” for old time’s sake, but that’s the best I can do.

Score: 5.0/10

4. Andre Dawkins

Frequency: Low

Background: Kinda cool, actually.

There’s not heaps to work with here, but he gets some mileage out of his low output. In the past week, he came through with an accurate movie review, a humble type brag, a joke that’s probably funny to someone, what I assume is sarcasm about a rapper, and some old-fashioned piling on.

He didn’t blow my mind, but he did okay. My brain is slowly going numb from reading these twitter feeds, and Dawk gave me a few brief glimmers of sunshine before I go completely catatonic. Thanks, Young Threezy.

Score: 5.2/10

3. Mason Plumlee

Frequency: Medium-Low

Background: Him dunking.

There’s some good stuff here. First, there’s evidence of how hilarious his brother Marshall is: @marshallplumlee just went to the currency exchange and asked for alaskan money lol. More on that later. Then there’s this picture of him with his brother in the airport:

You get the feeling the Plumlees can have hours of fun with props like this. Whenever they start to give Coach K trouble, I bet he just puts them in a room with an orange traffic cone or a beanbag chair, and he knows he won’t have to worry about them for a couple hours. I think Miles is doing a Russian accent in this photo, and Mason’s doing an old woman voice.

Later, he re-tweeted “TheBlackStewie,” and posted a musing on how to communicate from China. Not bad, Mason, not bad.

Score: 5.9/10

2. Todd Zafirovski

Frequency: Medium-Low

Background: No background, but his profile picture is him climbing up a ladder to cut down a piece of the net. Was he on the national title team? I just looked at my Goodfellas poster, and he wasn’t, so it must have been at the ACC Tournament last year. Do you think he got a piece of the net, or did he have to ask someone if he could pose on the ladder while someone took a photo?

So, on to his work. This re-tweet cracked me up, and not just because I don’t like the show that much. I just enjoy that he saw that, was like, ‘fuck yeah Entourage was intense,’ and had to spread the word. And the good stuff doesn’t stop there. He wants to be in some kind of laugh-off, he wants to “share jokes,” he won a cart race, and he desperately wants to know if Quinn Cook agrees with him about the quality of a certain strawberry lemonade.

You guys, I don’t want talk out of turn here, but let’s look at the evidence. He likes a non-alcoholic drink. He was in a cart race. He “shares” jokes, like an Amish person at his first barn social. He’s eager for laugh-offs.

Is it me, or did the dude just out-Plumlee the Plumlees?

Score: 7.5/10

1. Marshall Plumlee

Frequency: Low

Background: A picture of him in what looks like Duke’s practice gym with the other Duke freshmen.

I was very, very pleasantly surprised by the youngest Plumdog’s twitter feed. He doesn’t post much, but when he does, he knocks it out of the park.

Highlights include him feeling the need to learn Mandarin in four days and telling a classic transportation joke.

But his best tweet is one I like to call: “Passing time in the airport with crayons.” Duke was stuck in the airport yesterday en route to China, and Marshall had a perfect time killer. What I really, really want to know is: where did he get the crayons? Does he carry them with him? Does Marshall Plumlee carry crayons with him? Please tell me he carries crayons. Anyway, it resulted in this picture of him dunking over Miles:

The combination of that tweet and that picture is absolutely good enough for #1. Welcome to Duke, my friend.

Score: 7.9/10

But you know what that means, Marshall. You’ve got to face the king. The tyrant of the twitter playground. I’m talking about Kendall friggin’ Marshall, the Tweeting Lord of the Triangle.

It’s a Marshall vs. Marshall showdown. We’ve seen what Plumdog Trillionaire can bring, so now let’s check out what the reigning champion has in store:

Butter Time

The highlights from Marshall’s week in twitter:

-A vulgar joke.

Hilarious commentary on soup labels.

Stickin‘ it to karma.

-Seeking out Dance, Dance Revolution venues in town.

Vintage Marshall, making conversation with a gal.

-Offering to buy someone’s entire shoe collection.

-Speaking internet truth to the fakers.

-Heading to a Raleigh sneaker convention and wondering who else will be there.

-Talking about Words With Friends, his favorite game.

Regretting it.

-Cutting through the recruiting BS.

-Thinking about marriage.

Setting the terms for marriage.

And finally, the tweet of the week:

A grown man should never text another grown man asking him when he lost his virginity.

You can’t argue with that! You just can’t do it! (My guess for the mysterious tweeter: Harrison Barnes.)

So, the evidence is presented, and it’s decision time.

THE VERDICT: Kendall Marshall in a blowout. It wasn’t even remotely close. Plumdog Trillionaire got blown right off the internet, and the entire Duke twitter program is basically in tatters. Recruiting has failed us again. So Butter keeps the belt as the most entertaining tweeter in the Tobacco Road universe, and at this point it’s hard to imagine any of the Dukies challenging the throne. Ever. See you next time.*

*Judging by the extreme mental fatigue I’m experiencing, the next time I do this will be 2015. I’m already dreading it.

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21 Responses to Duke Twitter Rankings: The Kendall Marshall Challenge

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  1. marshallplumpleesavesduke says:

    Here’s the video that Andre and Ryan were referencing; it’s pretty funny.

  2. Shane says:

    Oh man, that is hysterical. Great looking out.

    1. marshallplumpleesavesduke says:

      Love this feature by the way. I had seen Marshall’s drawing on Twitter so I knew off the bat who would be #1.
      Duke really has a history of “artistic” players, don’t we? JJ’s poetry, Kyle’s shirt designs… Was it Lance Thomas who designed those pictures for the jumbotron that they showed during introductions? I remember one of him dunking over a nice cloud background.

      1. Shane says:

        Great idea for a future post. Also, great user name.

  3. Sharona says:

    Ndotsmitty watches over and weeps

  4. Carrie says:

    Now, THIS is a feature I can get behind.

    I too carry a container of crayons in my purse. Also? Playing cards.

    You just never know.

  5. jonny says:

    Shane, I just want you to know I was spacing out about the name of the site the other day and typed in “Tobacco House Rules” instead of “Tobacco Road Blues”, probably because when I think of your site, I think of academy award winning movies starring Tobey Maguire.

    1. Shane says:

      Common mistake. Tobacco House Rules is my other blog, where we smoke looseleaf cigarettes and perform abortions.

  6. Craig J says:

    Other fun things that the brothers Plumlee probably brought for the flight to China (in addition to Marshall’s crayons):

    -Matchbox mini-cars
    -A plastic sandwich bag of frosted flakes
    -Fake pirate tattoos
    -Star wars legos
    -Three copies of Green Eggs and Ham
    -Wheeled backpacks

    1. Aaron says:

      I like this game!
      -pet turtles
      -disposable cameras
      -friendship bracelets (their mom helped them make ’em with leftover yarn)

    2. sanfransoxfan says:

      Love it Craig… though please define “fake” pirate tattoo vs. “real”

  7. Shane says:

    Love it. Is it three copies because they couldn’t agree on a good sharing system?

    1. Craig J says:

      Exactly. Need to preemptively stop the “he’s got one, so i want one” whining. Especially on a long flight.

  8. Mike Stein says:

    Todd Zafirovski was on the National Championship team, he walked on at the end of fall semester and never saw any game action.

    1. http://thehullabaloo.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/webNCAADuke.jpg

      both t dot zaf and steve “medium” johnson were members of the 2010 national champions.

  9. Lisa says:

    In Andre’s defense, he did tweet a lot more when school was in session. I don’t know what happened this summer.

    /didn’t follow Kendall Marshall
    //remedied that

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