After weeks of agonizing over whether or not to go to the NBA or not, only ecstasy remains for Duke fans. According to a CBS story, Mason Plumlee has apparently decided that he is not going to enter the NBA Draft and instead he will return to Duke for his senior year, a decision which was equally and all kidding aside, more agonizing for him than any of the fans.
The 6-foot-11 Plumlee was projected by many to be a late first round to early second round pick if he had elected to go into the draft.
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Many Duke fans, myself included, felt that from a basketball perspective, Plumlee would most definitely benefit from another year in college. As a junior he averaged just over 11 points and just under 10 rebounds per game.
He was the Blue Devils' leading rebounder and fourth leading scorer this season. He played with much more confidence but still struggled with consistency and for about two thirds of the year he was a major liability at the free throw line though that improved.
Plumlee has shown that he is developing some post moves including a left or right hook shot. But in my opinion he still needs to develop more and possibly a 10-15 foot jump shot to keep eventual NBA defenders honest.
He at times, still appeared gawky and awkward when he got the ball in the low block and wouldn't always finish as strongly as you might think given his strength and jumping ability.
That is not something I feel he would have been able to improve on while sitting on the bench in the NBA or even potentially playing in the D-League. So from a basketball stand point given his continued need for development I think it is best to follow the play a lot and get better philosophy than play hardly at all and hope you get better philosophy.
There is always a risk though. If God forbid, he gets injured or plays poorly and sees his stock drop he could loose out on some money in the long run.
Still the risk in my opinion is worth it considering he could improve his stock guarantee himself a first round spot and he is likely a 10-plus year player. So he might miss out on some money in the front end but could potentially get it back.
Also he will be assured of graduating, getting his degree from Duke and that in and of itself is worth something, even if it isn't as much as an NBA contract.
Either way, Duke is better with Mason Plumlee than without him. He will give the team a veteran post player they wouldn't have had.
It might potentially sway the decisions of some potential class of 2012 targets but if they are truly that interested in playing for Duke and Mike Krzyzewski it shouldn't matter if he came back or not.
So, at least for one afternoon/evening Duke fans will no longer have to worry about one decision, though there are more to come.
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