Six years ago head coach Mike Krzyzewski saw his team transform as senior big man Brian Zoubek became a force inside. Is history repeating itself in 2016 as another Blue Devil senior center has upped his production in a big way?
Whether or not it lasts, there’s no denying that Marshall Plumlee has emerged as a productive post player on the interior during his final season. Over the last five games Plumlee has averaged 11.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game.
On Wednesday he paced his team with another double-double, scoring 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Following a perfect shooting night against Wake Forest on Wednesday, Plumlee hit 6-of-7 from the field and 9-of-10 from the foul line.
And he had help from his teammates as Duke used a balanced attack to easily out-pace Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils hit their first four shots - all three pointers - to take a 12-2 lead within the first two minutes and wouldn’t be challenged the rest of the way.
Defensively the Blue Devils did a good job, forcing 15 Virginia Tech turnovers and limiting the Hokies’ best backcourt player, Seth Allen, to just three points on 1-of-9 shooting. The last time Allen faced Duke he scorched the Blue Devils for 16 points en route to ACC Player of the Week honors two years ago.
Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram scored 16 points apiece while Matt Jones added 13. Luke Kennard came off the bench to score 11 points as Duke improved to 14-2 on the season and 3-0 in ACC play.
The lone rotational player not to reach double figures for Duke was starting point guard Derryck Thornton. The freshman did manage a career high seven assists, but also turned the ball over five times and shot just 2-of-10 from the field.
Next up for Duke will be a third ACC road game out of four. The Blue Devils will travel to Clemson on Wednesday night.