Tag Archives: Mason Plumlee

Ryan Kelly Chooses Duke

Five-star recruit Ryan Kelly, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Raleigh, gave a verbal commitment to play for Duke next year in a televised press conference Thursday afternoon. The announcement aired on ESPNU.

Three months ago, Kelly was barely being recruited by Duke, and most thought he would decide between Notre Dame and North Carolina. Before the Olympics, however, Kelly and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski met and formed a relationship that will culminate in Thursday’s announcement.

Kelly, scout.com’s No. 3 power forward in the Class of 2009, scored a 2150 on his SAT and made academics a priority in his search. He took official visits to Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Georgetown and Wake Forest and visited North Carolina and Duke numerous times over the course of the recruiting process.

The North Carolina native joins fellow Tar Heel Mason Plumlee in Duke’s next incoming class. The Blue Devils are still heavily recruiting five-star shooting guard Kenny Boynton. More analysis to come, particularly after the official announcement.

One question to start, though: How much has Coach K’s gold medal already had an impact on recruiting?

—by Ben Cohen

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Hairston, Thornton Commit to Duke

Class of 2010 recruits Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton visited Duke over the weekend, and both left having committed to Mike Krzyzewski and his program. Hairston, a four-star and scout.com’s 26th-best player in his class, is a 6-foot-8, 195-pound power forward. His D.C. Assault teammate Thornton, another four-star and the 49th-best 2010 prospect, is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound point guard.

Hairston and Thornton join five-star shooting guard Andre Dawkins in the Blue Devils’ Class of 2010. Duke’s lone 2009 commit is Mason Plumlee, and the Blue Devils are actively chasing five-stars Kenny Boynton and Ryan Kelly. Five-star 2010 point guard Brandon Knight, a summer teammate of Boynton, also has Duke high on his list.

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McDonald Spurns Duke For UNC

6-foot-4 guard Leslie McDonald, scout.com’s No. 27 prospect in the Class of 2009, committed to Roy Williams and North Carolina Monday night, choosing the Tar Heels over Duke and a litany of other schools. McDonald was selected Tennessee’s Mr. Basketball this year over 2008 Duke signee Elliot Williams. He visited Duke last weekend.

He led Briarcrest Christian School (alma mater of Big Michael Oher) to the state championship game last spring, averaging 21 points and seven rebounds along the way.

Duke’s only 2009 commit is 6-foot-10 power forward Mason Plumlee. Now that McDonald will wear a lighter shade of blue, expect Mike Krzyzewski and his staff to turn up the heat on Kenny Boynton, a five-star player that scout.com rates the second-best guard in the Class of 2009. On May 24, Boynton scored 18 points in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in Cameron Indoor Stadium, less than 24 hours after he dropped 33 in the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

—by Ben Cohen

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Boynton, Knight Combine for 45 in Cameron

One day after dropping 33 points in the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, highly-prized 2009 Duke recruit Kenny Boynton scored 18 in his first game in Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday afternoon. But the play of scout.com’s second-ranked shooting guard was overshadowed by teammate Brandon Knight, who scored 19 second-half points en route to a game-high 27 as Team Breakout secured an easy victory in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.

Knight, the top point guard of 2010, nailed 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions in the second period, capping his 10-point mini-run with a traditional four-point play after he was fouled and made the subsequent free throw. Early in the second half, Knight and Boynton scored 16 straight points for Team Breakout as it made its game-ending run.

Boynton struggled at times with his long-range shooting, finishing 7-for-15 from the floor and 3-for-8 from downtown. Several 3-point attempts rattled in and out, but his silky shooting touch and explosiveness were evident from the second he stepped on the floor, as he didn’t miss a shot in warm-ups. His highlight was a made 3-pointer in front of the Duke bench off a behind-the-back pass from Knight.

“My first time playing? Me and Brandon put on a good performance, it’s a great place to play here, and the crowd came to see me, so I think it was a good game,” said Boynton, who said he will announce his college choice in the early signing period and not in July, as he had previously said.

Boynton said he talks to Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski more than any other coach, and that Krzyzewski and associate head coach Chris Collins were the two most involved in his recruiting.

“Basically, he wants to start a relationship with me, so he’s staying away from basketball,” Boynton said of Krzyzewski. “We talk about my outside life…. He explained to me that he’s going to be gone for a while [coaching in the Olympics] and won’t be able to contact me. He told me not to take that as a bad thing.”

Boynton plans on attending a game in Cameron next year, and will visit Duke again in June when his high school team comes up for team camp. He said Krzyzewski has not told him how he plans on using him in the Duke system, opting to talk more about it with him in person.

If Boynton commits to Duke, he will join 6-foot-10 Mason Plumlee in the Class of 2008. Plumlee, who scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in his first game in Cameron Friday night, said he plans on selling Duke to Boynton this weekend while they’re together in the Triangle.

–by Ben Cohen

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Plumlee Posts 14 Points In Cameron Debut

Duke commit throws down a put-back slam in his first game in Cameron as current Blue Devil Marty Pocius watches in the background.

2009 Duke commit Mason Plumlee has watched three games inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, but had never played in his future home arena until Friday night, when he scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as his AAU team, the Indiana Elite, won in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.

The 6-foot-10 power forward elicited “oohs” from the crowd when he slammed home a putback in the second half, and also wowed some spectators with a behind-the-back, backdoor pass to a cutting teammate late in the first half.

“It was fun, I like it,” Plumlee said after the game. “It’s my new favorite place to play.”

Mason’s brother, Miles, also committed to Duke in late April after being released from his Letter of Intent to Stanford. Miles, who will come to Durham for the second summer session, is at home in Indiana working on his game and hitting the weight room.

“When I was making the initial decision, playing with him was a big part of it, and I just didn’t want to go all the way to the West Coast and be that far from home,” Mason said. “Now that he’s coming to Duke, it’s really all I ever wanted…. He’s really skilled, but it surprises people how explosive he’s gotten. He’s been in the weight room, working really hard, and he’s so explosive now, he still surprises me sometimes.”

Mason, who goes to school four hours away in Arden and said he will come to as many games as he can next year, noted that he pressured Miles “as much as he could” to come to Duke. Their youngest brother, Marshall, was scheduled to play in the Triangle tournament, but twisted his ankle and stayed at home.

He also said he plans on watching Kenny Boynton, scout.com’s second-ranked 2009 shooting guard, this weekend to try to sell Duke.

–by Ben Cohen

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Mason Plumlee In Cameron On Friday

2009 Duke commit Mason Plumlee and his AAU team, the Indianapolis Elite, will play in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions this weekend in the Triangle. Plumlee opens play Friday night at 7:40 p.m. in his future home building, Cameron Indoor Stadium.

We’ll try to get over to Cameron to provide a report and, photographer willing, pictures.

–by Ben Cohen

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Miles Plumlee to Duke

Miles Plumlee, a 2008 power forward, committed to Duke Thursday, just one week after he was granted a release from his Letter of Intent at Stanford before former Duke associate head coach Johnny Dawkins was hired. Plumlee is the older brother of 2009 Duke recruit, Mason Plumlee.

Miles will join combo guard Elliot Williams and power forward Olek Czyz in Duke’s Class of 2008, which had another scholarship open because of the transfer of Taylor King to Villanova.

As for our analysis of the commitment? Well, it’s always a positive when you can add a 4-star recruit in May, especially when your frontcourt could still use improvement.

–by Ben Cohen

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