Ken Medlin

Curry and Plumlee a rare combo for Duke

Posted February 14, 2013

Mike Krzyzewski has a unique situation at Duke this season. His best players are also his most experienced players, and they're seniors.

Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry are rarities in today's college basketball. They dwell in the college game's Goldilocks zone - a place inhabited by players good enough to be stars in college, but whose draft stock was never so high as to induce them into making an early exit for the NBA.

Timed right, a team led by these kinds of players can do great things.

Duke's fortunes this year will be tied to their performance. When Curry and Plumlee struggled against Carolina, so did Duke. And when the duo turned it on in the second half, things went well.

In a world in which the most talented players are "one-and-done," gone are the days when you hear: "He's only a junior." Most elite players are NBA millionaires by the time they would have been seniors in college. Kyrie Irving and Luol Deng are two Duke examples.

But there are still cases of players who take longer to develop, and getting these types of foundation players can be key for the long-term success of a program. Duke has two of them this season in Curry and Plumlee, and the 2nd-ranked Blue Devils are reaping the benefits.

 Medlin: Key moments from Duke-Carolina



15 Comments

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  • VT1994Hokie Feb 16, 2013

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    Good point.

  • StunGunn Feb 15, 2013

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    I wish the rules would change. LeBron and Kobe are perfect examples of athletes who didn't need any college to have very successful pro careers. Both are very intelligent. They are the exception rather than the rule. Players have to abide by the rules, I understand, but I wish they'd return to allowing kids to go straight to the NBA from high school. The current system is very disruptive to teams and I can't imagine what coaches go through trying to build teams. Coach Calipari is having a tough year rebuilding, as is Roy.

  • HGA_Matt Feb 15, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Well the NBA and NFL mandate that players wait 1 and 3 years (respectively) before they can be drafted. The players aren't to blame for a system that forces them to play elsewhere. Schools make plenty of profit off of players that are "one and done". The ACC will replay that Austin Rivers shot over UNC last year for the next 20 years. Jersey sales. On and on. Coaches leave all of the time after recruiting kids and promising X, Y and Z, but the players are stuck at that university if they have already signed, unless they sit out for a year to transfer. It's just part of the business model that is the NCAA.

  • DurhamDevil Feb 15, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Agreed - but neither did they come in, gobble up scholarship money that could go to someone else, and then skip out on their end of the deal, which is to graduate.

  • HGA_Matt Feb 15, 2013

    View quoted thread


    There are plenty of "Superstars" in the NFL, NBA that finished college and have worse grammar and English than some of the guys who never stepped foot on a college campus. Lebron James and Kobe Bryant are some of the most well spoken athletes in any sport. Neither darkened the door of a University.

  • Tizu Feb 15, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Nail meet head.

  • mike honcho Feb 15, 2013

    jgunn and DurhamDevil-

    Both great points, the reason Miami is so dominate is all the upper classmen they put on the floor. Lets not forget before kelly went down, Duke had 3 seniors in the starting line up. Theres no substitution for experience.

  • DurhamDevil Feb 15, 2013

    I have great respect for any athlete who demonstrates that they are STUDENTS first and athletes second.

    Look how many "superstars" there are in the NBA, NFL, etc. who are without the least bit of decency, humility, and respectfulness - not to mention the ability to speak proper English.

  • lanecc Feb 15, 2013

    One and doners are the rule now in college sports. It is refreshing to see a kid stay in school for four years, regardless of the reasons.

  • Tizu Feb 15, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Agree 100%.

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