Duke set for back-to-back, Plumlee's return
Posted December 18, 2012
Durham, N.C. — This year’s edition of the Duke Blue Devils is the 16th team that head coach Mike Krzyzewski has taken to the top spot in the AP Poll. Despite being ranked No. 1, however, Duke players say that they still have something to prove.
“It’s better to be in first place that anywhere else,” said senior Ryan Kelly. “To be No. 1 in the polls is obviously an accomplishment but the bottom line is you have to be No. 1 in the end.”
“When we were coming in in the summer, we felt like we weren’t getting the respect that we deserved,” said freshman Rasheed Sulaimon. “We were definitely hungry and wanted to come out here and prove to the world that we are a great team.”
Duke is also getting a boost this week as Marshall Plumlee will ditch the crutches for sneakers, looking see his first action of the year.
“You can’t teach seven feet,” said sophomore guard Quinn Cook. “He plays hard. He’s that guy that you hate having to play against but the guy you love having on your team.”
Plumlee’s return will be most noticed inside, an area that has been one of the few weaknesses this year for the Blue Devils.
“He gives us depth,” said senior Mason Plumlee. “He gives us a really good rebounder, which, people have pointed to our boards as one of our weaknesses.”
Duke gets a postseason-like schedule this week with back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday against Cornell and Elon, respectively.
“We definitely embrace the No. 1 ranking,” said Mason Plumlee. “It’s a lot different than a preseason ranking. A preseason ranking, you earn it based on players coming back and how people project you. This is something that we earned.”