The Youngest Plumblebee

(Editor’s note: for the foreseeable future, Marc is on “the Plumlee beat.” Enjoy him every Tuesday)

Ladies and Gentlemen… let me introduce Marshall Plumleeeeeeeeeeee! Standing at a towering 6″11′ with a weight of 225 pounds he is ready to dunk over the entire universe. I’m disappointed that Duke lists him at 6’11” because we all know the fear a seven footer strikes into the heart of opponents. That extra inch changes everything. A seven footer is a majestic rarity. Someone who is 6’11” is just another regular Joe running into door frames and cabinets.

There isn’t much known about the youngest Plumlee. Shane has detailed that Marshall is the funniest person on Duke this year. The lucky ones who were able to watch the Duke Blue Devils international exhibition tour saw Marshall play few minutes. He seemed a little lost out there. He was trying extremely hard, but I have a gut feeling he was daydreaming about crayons rather than actually playing basketball. In short, he was your typical freshman Plumlee. I think we can all relate to times when we feel drastically out of place. I recently played a little bit of softball and I haven’t been that nervous and out of place for a long time. Up until two weeks ago the last time I played softball/baseball was eighteen years ago. I threw the ball like an idiot, my forearm raged with tendinitis and my shoulder desperately tried to break out of the socket. Then came batting practice. I whiffed on two balls in a row. It was slow pitch softball and I couldn’t touch the ball. Eventually I made contact, but shit, my self-esteem plummeted.

How does my softball story relate to the young Marshall? During the exhibition games he looked nervous and out of place. Miles and Mason have slowly grown into more confident basketball players. They know where they fit in, they know how to set screens, how to pass out of double teams (hahaha no one double teams Plumlees) and typically don’t rush shots. Miles and Mason still make mistakes, but they are much smoother than they used to be. Marshall was lost. In the rare minutes he was in the game he wasn’t sure what to do with himself. On the positive side he was very energetic and he is quite tall. In a recent interview by Blue Devil Nation Miles Plumlee described that Marshall “never gives up, he goes full blast all the time he’s out on the court.” Miles later said that Marshall was willing to do the dirty work and I was pleased to hear that statement. We need a big guy who hustles and doesn’t give up. Marshall reminds me of a slightly whiter Casey Sanders, but with more potential and a much better Scheyerface.

However, we have to ponder the question of whether to redshirt the young Marshall. Dan Wiederer recently posed this question to Coach K and the Coach was typically ambiguous. He acknowledged that redshirting was a possibility but an improbable one. It would benefit the young Plumlee to sit out a year, put on muscle and learn the system. However he would lose the awesome opportunity to play with his brothers in games and it would be difficult to sit on the bench and watch his brothers play while all he could do was practice.

As it stands Duke has four guys who are 6’10” or taller. We’re big. We’re not bulky, but we’ve got height.  As it stands Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee and Miles Plumlee will see the majority of the minutes, whilst Marshall will probably only get garbage time. So what’s the downside to redshirting Marshall, from a team perspective? If one of the other big guys gets injured, then we would go from big to small. Hairston and Murphy would be forced to see extensive time at the power forward spot. Marshall Plumlee is the insurance policy. He keeps the team big even if one of his brothers or Kelly goes down with an injury. The redshirt question is an interesting one to ask and it will be interesting to see what Coach K decides.

Please don’t redshirt him.  I need to see a Plumlee triple dunk before I die.

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