Duke received a commitment on Saturday from 7-foot Marshall Plumlee, one of the top centers in the class of 2011 and the younger brother of current Blue Devils big men Miles and Mason. If Mason doesn't turn pro after his sophomore season next spring, it will be the first time in ACC history that three siblings will play on the same team, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.
Marshall, Rivals.com's 11th-ranked center, also considered Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina. Here's some excerpts from the conversation I had with Christ School coach David Gaines about Marshall's decision and what Duke fans should expect from the youngest Plumlee brother:
JE: How excited is Marshall to be following his older brothers to Duke?
DG: Lots of folks thought that him going to Duke a year ago, but really Marshall attacked this with the thought of what's best for me. My brother's are there, but that's their life. I've got to decide what's best for me. I think the week he spent there with Miles gave him an appreciation for what he would experience at Duke. He spent an entire week working out, hanging out and being around the players. It was a way for him to say this is really the place for me.
JE: A lot of folks probably thought that it was a no-brainer that Marshall would wind up at Duke, but that wasn't the case. How close did Marshall come to choosing one of the other programs that recruited him?
DG: Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, to me from the feedback I got from Marshall and his parents, those were schools he gave great consideration. The head coaches of those programs were people Marshall felt very comfortable around. North Carolina was another one, but that was a little different, because while coach [Roy] Williams came to a lot of our games and actively recruited Marshall, he still had not officially offered Marshall a scholarship.
JE: For Duke fans who haven't seen Marshall play before, how does he compare to his older brothers?
DG: One of the great things that is similar to his older brothers is that he will work and work to get better. He's also similar to the other two in that they all run the floor like guards. At 7 feet, he can fly down the court ... His defense and rebounding are certainly ahead of his offense, although I would say at the same time in high school Marshall has a greater array of post moves than his brothers. Now he doesn't shoot the ball with the same precision as the other two. He's not the outside shooter they were. I see him being a true five in college.
JE: Where would you like to see Marshall improve as a senior?
DG: We need him to dominate like a 7-footer with his skills can do. This past year he averaged more rebounds than points and averaged almost three blocks a game. That was great, but eight points a game is not enough and he would be the first to tell you that. I want to see more from him offensively.
JE: Does he grasp the history of potentially having three brothers on the same team at the same time for the first time in ACC history?
DG: I'm sure he does, but the great thing about it was that it wasn't intentional. There's no doubt he has to have a little bit of a comforting feeling knowing that at least one if not both of his brothers will be there for his freshman year. I'm sure it will be cool for him if all three are there. To do it at a place like Duke with the history they have, it's funny how it just worked out.