Friday, May 2, 2008

Plumlee family dynamics pay off for Duke

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistant Chris Collins were careful about how they recruited Miles Plumlee after Stanford released him from his scholarship.

Plumlee, a 6-foot-10 senior at the Christ School in Arden, changed his mind about Stanford after coach Trent Johnson left the school for LSU.

That made him available to the Blue Devils, but Krzyzewski already had a commitment from 6-11 junior Mason Plumlee, Miles' brother. Before offering a scholarship to Miles, Krzyzewski and Collins made sure Mason wouldn't mind playing on the same team as his brother in college.

"Mason's response was, 'Go for it,' said Christ School coach David Gaines.

Miles and Mason were 63-6 together at Christ School with two state championships, so they're comfortable as teammates. Gaines believes both will fit perfectly into the offense Krzyzewski unveiled last season that spreads the floor and requires post players to handle the ball and shoot 3-pointers.

Gaines envisions Miles Plumlee helping Duke immediately because Gaines said he is strong and athletic enough to guard opposing centers. Miles weighs 230 pounds, and Gaines said he could bulk up to 240 by the time his freshman season starts.

If Plumlee is on the floor with Kyle Singler, he could relieve some of the pounding Singler takes in the post. rates Plumlee as the nation's No. 58 senior.

"Miles is more than likely to have a big impact up there right away," Gaines said.

The boys' attitude toward continuing to play together pleased their parents, Perky and Leslie Plumlee of Warsaw, Ind. Mason has "played up" on Miles' team since they were small boys in YMCA basketball.

As their sons matured into highly regarded prospects, the Plumlees noticed that there were many brothers in college basketball playing for different teams. But recently, the Plumlees noticed that the brothers appreciate each other more.

Mason will explain that Miles is more athletic. Miles tells people that Mason is a better playmaker.

"They've discovered really in the last year or so that they really do like playing together," Perky Plumlee said.

The Duke coaches' sensitivity to that family dynamic helped them land another much-needed frontcourt recruit this week. And with a third brother, 6-10 freshman Marshall Plumlee, also at Christ School it could pay off down the road, too. -- Ken Tysiac