Stats & Info: Mason Plumlee

Numbers to know: November recap

December, 1, 2012

Lance King/Getty ImagesMason Plumlee had a huge month for the Blue Devils, averaging 19.9 PPG and 11.0 RPG.
Player of the Month – Mason Plumlee, Duke Blue Devils
Plumlee was the key to Duke’s 7-0 start, which included three wins over top-five schools. He averaged 19.9 points per game and 11.0 rebounds per game during the month. There’s a long season ahead, but it’s worth nothing that only Tim Duncan (twice) and Ralph Sampson averaged 19 and 11 in the ACC over the previous 30 years.

Plumlee’s month included multiple 20-point, 17-rebound efforts. Over the last 15 years, the only other major conference players to do that before the end of November were Michael Beasley and Blake Griffin.

Leading Scorer of the Month – C.J. McCollum, Lehigh Mountain Hawks
Topping 30 points on three occasions, McCollum averaged 26.3 points per game to lead the nation in November.

If history is any indication, McCollum could be lottery-bound this June. That’s where the past five players to lead the nation in scoring in November were eventually selected.

Defensive Player of the Month – Jeff Withey, Kansas Jayhawks
Withey averaged 5.7 blocks in November, the most blocks per game by a player in November since Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado in 2008. Withey alone had twice as many blocks (40) as Kansas’s opponents combined (20).

Could Withey average 10 points and five blocks this season? The last major conference players to do that were Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning in 1991-92.

Freshman of the Month – Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State Cowboys
Smart led the Cowboys to a 5-0 November, averaging 13.4 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 5.8 APG. Just how complete is Smart’s game? The last freshman to reach all three of those averages in November was Dwyane Wade in 2001.

Free Throw Shooter of the Month – Jordan Adams, UCLA Bruins
Adams was the bright spot in a forgettable month for the Bruins, and he did a big part of his damage from the line. The freshman went 35-36 (97.2 percent) on free throws. Having made his last 33, Adams stands 10 shy of Darren Collison’s school record.

3-Point Shooter of the Month – Ryan Sypkens, UC Davis Aggies
The Aggies senior averaged 5.3 3-point field goals per game, the most for a player in November since Rotnei Clarke in 2009 for Arkansas. Sypkens also made 63.6 percent of his attempts, the highest for any player with at least 20 attempts.

Rebounder of the Month – Jamelle Hagins, Delaware Fightin Blue Hens
Hagins led the nation in rebounds per 40 minutes and ranked second in defensive rebounding percentage. His 23 rebounds against Lafayette were the most for a Division I player in November since 2009.

Distributor of the Month – Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse Orange
Carter-Williams tallied 46 assists in five games to lead the nation at 9.2 APG. That’s the most assists-per-game in November for a Big East point guard (min. three games) since Omar Cook’s 10.0 in 2000.

Numbers To Know: Wednesday recap

November, 29, 2012
Player of the Night – Mason Plumlee
Plumlee scored 21 points and tied a career-high with 17 rebounds as the Duke Blue Devils came back to defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes, 73-68. It’s his second 20-17 game of the season. Over the last 15 years, the only other major conference players with multiple 20-17 efforts before the end of November were Michael Beasley and Blake Griffin.

Over the past four seasons, the only other player with a 20-17 game against a top-five opponent was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist last season against Louisville. The last Duke player with a 20-17 game against a ranked opponent was Shelden Williams in 2004.

Scorer of the Night – Derrick Marks
Marks poured in a career-high 35 points, including 28 in the second half, as the Boise State Broncos upset the Creighton Bluejays, 83-70. During one stretch, he scored 18 straight points for the Broncos.

Creighton had won 42 straight home games in November, a streak that dated back to 1989. This was Boise State’s first road win over a ranked non-conference foe in school history.

Distributor of the Night – Larry Drew II
The UCLA Bruins needed some good news after a pair of transfers and an upset loss to Cal Poly. Drew helped deliver with 13 assists in an 82-56 win against the Cal State Northridge Matadors.

It’s the most assists in a game by a Bruin since Darren Collison had 15 in 2007. Drew fell three assists shy of Earl Watson’s school record set in 2000.

Stat Sheet Stuffer – Jamelle Hagins
The Delaware Fightin Blue Hens fell short of the Lafayette Leopards, 63-60, but Hagins finished with an eye-popping 18 points, 23 rebounds and five blocks. Over the past 15 seasons, only four other players have reached all three of those totals in a game: Cincinnati’s Kenyon Martin (1999), New Mexico State’s Chris Jackson (2003), Louisiana Tech’s Paul Millsap (2006) and Rider’s Jason Thompson (2008).

Freshman of the Night – Olivier Hanlan
Wednesday’s best performance by a freshman was probably Rasheed Sulaimon’s 17 points for Duke. But Hanlan had a more interesting game.

Hanlan went 15-19 from the line on his way to 22 points, as the Boston College Eagles beat the Penn State Nittany Lions, 73-61. That’s the most free throws for an ACC freshman in at least the past 15 years. The second-youngest power conference team, BC’s top six scorers are freshmen or sophomores.

Duke readies for reloaded Wildcats

November, 13, 2012
(The No. 9 Duke Blue Devils face the defending national champion No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday at 9:30 ET on ESPN.)

Kentucky had six players -- including all five starters -- drafted in the first two rounds of the 2012 NBA draft. That’s the most for any school in the first two rounds of a draft in the common draft era.

So how are the Wildcats ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll?

That lofty ranking reflects head coach John Calipari's ability to recruit wave after wave of the nation's most highly regarded high school talent to Lexington. He had the No. 2 recruiting class of 2012, according to ESPN 100, and that might have been a "down" year because Kentucky had the No. 1 ranked class in 2009, 2010, 2011 and currently has the top-ranked class for 2013. This year’s class is the fourth straight year that Calipari has at least four of the top 100 recruits in the country.

That recruiting success is paying off on the the court. Calipari has won 103 games in three-plus seasons at Kentucky. The Wildcats’ 103 wins are the most in Division I since Calipari took over in Lexington. (The only other school with at least 100 wins is Kansas.) Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Duke have the third-most wins over that span with 95.

Kyle Wiltjer is the only returning player for Kentucky who averaged more than five minutes per game last season. Wiltjer shot 45.8 percent on catch-and-shoot plays last season, good for fifth in the SEC.

Largely because of the talent around him, Wiltjer excelled on unguarded catch-and-shoot plays, attempting 45 of his 71 catch-and-shoot field goals while unguarded. When he was unguarded last season, Wiltjer shot better than 50 percent from the floor and 50 percent behind the 3-point line. When guarded, Wiltjer’s shooting percentage dropped to 34.6 and made only 36 percent of his 3s.

While Kentucky lost all five starters from last season, Duke lost just one -- Austin Rivers.

Senior Mason Plumlee had three offensive rebounds in Duke’s season-opening win against Georgia State. Last season he ranked fifth in the ACC averaging 2.9 offensive rebounds per game. The question this season will be can he convert those offensive boards into points?

According to, Plumlee shot 41.7 percent on put-back plays in 2011-12, which ranked 57th out of 66 ACC players with at least 10 such plays.

On the perimeter for Duke, Seth Curry is one of the league’s best deep threats. Since joining the Blue Devils in the 2010-11 season, Curry has made 128 3-point field goals, which ranks fifth among ACC players.

This is the earliest the Blue Devils have faced a team ranked in the top three since Nov. 12, 1999, when they lost to No. 1 Connecticut. Duke has lost four straight games against AP Top 3 teams and does not have a nonconference win over a top-three opponent since a 97-66 win over No. 2 Texas in December of 2005.

The Wildcats have won a Division I record 2,091 games. They are one of three Division I teams with at least 2,000 wins and Duke could be the fourth member of that club if it can win 28 more games this season.

Kentucky leads the all-time series 11-8, but Duke has won six of the past seven, including four of five with Krzyzewski as Duke’s head coach.) Three of the past four meetings were decided by three points or fewer.

Ohio State Crafts Rout of Duke

November, 30, 2011
Two heavy hitters squared off Tuesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge as second-ranked Ohio State hosted fourth-ranked Duke.

Ohio State burst out of the gate with an 11-0 run and although Duke rallied early, the Buckeyes rolled to a 22-point rout over the Blue Devils. The victory gave Ohio State its 29th-straight home win, which is the fourth-longest active streak in Division I.

Jared Sullinger, who is one of five players in D-I averaging at least 19 points and 10 rebounds per game, led four Buckeyes in scoring with 21 points. Sullinger did most of his damage near the rim as het got 12 touches in the lane and went 6-9 with 12 points on possessions in that location.

Sullinger had 14 touches outside the lane and went 2-5 with eight points, as the Blue Devils had more success defending him away from the basket.

Aaron Craft chipped in 17 points and eight assists, but it was his defense that helped shut down Duke. Led by Craft, Ohio State held Duke to season lows in points and three-point field goals and did so by controlling the Blue Devils in the halfcourt.

Duke guards combined to score four points on 2-8 shooting when being defended by Craft with four turnovers. Entering the game, Craft had allowed opponents to shoot 25 percent from the floor as an on-ball defender this season, best in the Big Ten.

Entering this game Duke had won 35 consecutive games in the month of November, but the 22-point loss is Duke's worst in a regular season non-conference game since February 26, 1995, when they lost 100-77 to UCLA. It is also the Blue Devils’ second-worst loss ever against a current member of the Big Ten.

Austin Rivers scored a career-high 22 points in defeat. He and Mason Plumlee were the only two consistent offensive contributors as they combined for 38 points while the rest of the starters combined to score just seven and did not attempt a free throw.

Ryan Kelly who entered averaging 14.6 PPG and Andre Dawkins (10.1) were each held scoreless.

Duke’s next game is Wednesday versus Colorado State while Ohio State takes on Texas-Pan American on Saturday.