Third Plumlee Has Clear Picture Of Duke

Marshall Plumlee, the younger brother of Duke's Miles and Mason, spoke to TDD at the NBA Camp to reveal what has changed in his recruitment of late. And why.

TDD: What have you been able to take away from the NBA camp experience and what have you learned from the pros here?

Marshall Plumlee: Coming into camp, I wish I had been in pristine condition and had better endurance because what I'm finding here is that there are so many former NBA Players who are willing to work with you. With the players and coaches, there's just not enough time in the day to do everything, I just keep trying to soak everything up.

Is there a specific message you're taking away from this?

I know my Coach, Theo Ratliff, has been teaching me a lot about my defense, and who better to learn than somebody like Theo Ratliff… It's just a blessing to have him and other coaches who show me different ways to do a lot of stuff, both on defense and offense.

You've got the reputation as a player who is very skilled and fundamentally sound. Do you also make a conscience effort to improve your athleticism and body?

I know it doesn't look like it, but I spend a lot of time working on my body. I know recently I had a chance to go to Duke and working out with my brother. That was great. I got a chance to see what they do at Duke in terms of adding weight the right way. For basketball reasons. I've been working out with Miles a lot and he's been teaching me a lot of their techniques that they use in the Duke strength and conditioning program and I try to take them on my own and work out 3-4 times a week at least.

Duke has some war stories about "overcoming the beast" in the weight room. What's that about?

Oh yes, I am well aware of the Beast. The Beast is always there. I've gotta fight the Beast and I try to beat him when I'm working out. Miles has definitely beat up the Beast multiple times and I've been amazed at much more explosive and athletic he's gotten in his times at Duke. He pushes me to get better in the weight room because he goes hard.

How do you balance the idea of letting yourself grow naturally with maintaining an aggressive workout program?

At this point I'm trying to push through. I don't feel like I'm going to grow much more height wise, but I do feel like it's the time to grow out some more and fill out. If it were earlier in my high school career I'd stay away from things like squats and other heavy lifting drills that I do, but now that I'm older I'm pushing through. I'm trying to become more athletic and physical, and that's what I'm working towards.

With regards to leadership, you've been one of the most vocal guys here at NBA Camp. What made you feel comfortable to step up and be a vocal leader with guys on your team since they aren't guys you play with on a regular basis?

Whether they appreciate it or not, I know for me, I really appreciate it when I hear a teammate talk to me because that's another set of eyes. They let you know what's going on, and that really helps me and I really appreciate it. I'm just trying to do what I can to help the team, and I'm going to do the things that I know that are right for the team.

With Christ School, how you have you evolved into the leadership role there?

I feel like that's a role that I need to take on this year. That's up to me I feel like I need to earn their respect to play that role. It's a great group of guys, we all play for each other and I'm going to do my best this year to set a good example.

How are you responding to the recent developments at Michigan with the coaching staff undergoing some changes?

It doesn't deter or hurt my opinion of Michigan, it was a thing that was really great about Michigan with Coach Dunn, that was a huge wealth of coaching knowledge, but you know, Coach Beilein is still there and I have a lot of respect for him. Going through the recruiting process with him I've got a great deal of respect for him. Regardless of how things turn out in the recruiting process, he's going to be a great family friend, a friend for life.

Since Coach Beilein has added new assistants, is he increasing how much he's talking or emailing to you?

I feel like with Coach Beilein has just been very steadfast. He's done a very classy job not pestering me, just letting me know there's strong interest there and he's made the sacrifice to come see me in North Carolina, which I know is hard for him being up in Michigan. I've really appreciated the approach he's taken in my recruitment.

How about with Wisconsin?

All of the schools I'm considering are tremendous programs and being recruited over is just part of the deal. If you want to be the best player you can be, you gotta compete against the best players in practice. It's something i'm used to. Wisconsin is a place, like Michigan that has really shown me how recruiting should be handled in a classy way.

How do you see yourself fitting in with the front courts at schools like Duke or Wisconsin, or Michigan? It seems each program has a different idea of the role of a big man.

I think I'm the type of big man who can play off different styles of big men. I've got decent feet, I'm vocal, I have some height and with time, I'm going to get some weight, and in the long run, I feel like I can compete against a variety of big men. Look at my brothers…one day in practice they may be going up against a guy like Brian Zoubek, who's very large and physical and then the next day they may play against a more explosive big kid like Trevor Booker, so I've learned from that about what to do in different situations, sometimes I have to get away from the basket, use my quickness, other times I have to have a strong approach, go down low.

Last time you mentioned Duke it seemed as though the level of recruiting had been pretty steady throughout the process. Has that changed?

Oh yes, Duke's interest has definitely changed and has grown much stronger, and mine as well.

How so?

I was fortunate to have a week of free time after the Bob Gibbons TOC, and so I figured it'd be best if I spent the week with my brother Miles on campus. It was a great treat to be with him and while I was on campus I had the opportunity to meet with the coach staff, including Coach K and Coach Wojo. We had some really long talks that it really cleared up some things for me.

Such as?

Obviously I've got two brothers there, so their recruitment of me is going to be very different that there's nothing they have to sell me on. I know what's going on there, it's just been a matter of getting comfortable. More importantly, it gave me an opportunity to really get to know Coach K and the assistants and other people in the program, because that's where I feel like I was missing in my recruitment with Duke. That relationship with the coaches. Stepping away from that week at Duke, I feel much more comfortable in that aspect.

What did you learn about the coaching staff?

I got to witness firsthand all the great things that people say about Coach K, but I also got to ask him a lot of questions about playing time, recruitment, how he sees me developing. The way they handled it really helped me have a picture painted of how things would be for me if I went there.

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