Dave Telep: I think they are cut from the same basic face up four man mold, but are distinct and different in how they go about their business. Kelly is the better scorer and more likely to get the bigger numbers in that category. His perimeter stroke is stronger and more reliable from mid and deep range. His offensive arsenal is much more diverse than Mason's.
Mason Plumlee is a better passer, ball handler and more likely to traverse the ball coast to coast and make a play. He's more explosive around the rim and though Kelly had a great summer blocking shots, I think Plumlee may give you more in that regard long term. Both could stand to be more aggressive board men. I think once Mason finds his niche as a post scorer it will open up other areas of his game and give him beter offensive confidence.
Can Kelly and Plumlee play and be successful together?
They can and will play together. However, in order to do that, both will have to be more aggressive rebounders.
Is Duke's 'coming out of nowhere' to land Kelly on such a truncated timetable one of the recruiting upsets of the year?
Great question. I wouldn't say Duke came out of nowhere because they did watch and evaluate him during the year. Whenever one of the truly ELITE programs in the nation gets involved with a kid, they are a player. In this specific instance (and with Plumlee) if there's a surprise its in the swift entry and culmination of his recruitment.
[Duke] asked to be let back in early July and departed for the Olympics shortly thereafter. During that time, everyone knew they'd talk after Beijing and once that happened Duke -- as it did with Plumlee -- pushed hard and quick and Kelly visited multiple times. The final visit occurred when he stayed with a great friend who happens to be a Duke freshman and that one sealed it for the Devils.
Having watched him so many times over the last few years, what's your signature Ryan Kelly performance?
Well, that's probably a multi-part question. The run began July 25, 2007 when he looked the part in Vegas with D-One Sports. Since that moment he added weight and consistently began improving. For me, a performance at the Carolina Challenge and subquent Tournament of Champions locked into my brain that we were dealing with a Top 20 national talent. In short, he's gotten better in each national scale event since his junior season.
Where does Kelly's commitment put Duke's class at this point relative to the rest of the ACC and the country?
It's a Top 5 effort and unless some big time schools begin adding a larger quantity of players it'll remain that way. This is a strong two-man class consisting of two of the top talents in the South. Everyone knows the true key to this group is Kenny Boynton and that would put the Devils over the top and in contention for the No. 1 overall slot.