This is some fascinating reading on a morning that rumors are swirling that Amile Jefferson may make his college choice known today!
Check out this article about Mason Plumlee’s decision to return to Duke for another season.
Despite indications that he could be a first-round pick in the NBA draft, Duke post player Mason Plumlee has decided to return to the Blue Devils for his senior season.
And his former coach at Christ School disagrees with that decision.
Plumlee, the 6-10, 235-pound forward and former Christ School standout, pondered leaving the program following his junior season after averaging 11.1 points and 9.2 rebounds last season.
Plumlee couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.
David Gaines, his coach at Christ School, said he was surprised that the middle of three Plumlee brothers from Indiana who played for him and ended up at Duke didn’t leave early for the NBA.
“He’s gotten pretty good (information) from Miles’ agent (older brother Miles Plumlee, who finished his eligibility with Duke this season) and all but one source said he would be a first-round pick,” said Gaines.
“Last year I told him he shouldn’t go, (but) in my opinion he should go now. I disagree with how (Duke) is using Mason as (primarily) a screen-setter, shot blocker and rebounder. … If they are not going to develop him more as a total player, I think he should go to the NBA and learn that as a pro.”
I know that there are some people in Amile Jefferson’s camp that have a huge man-crush on Coach K. But, the prominent use of forwards in Mark Gottfried’s offense (especially when compared to the mis-use of the enormous talent that has come through the front line at Duke through the years) has GOT to mean something.
The importance for NC State’s recruitment of big men has grown in recent days after the announcement of DeShawn Painter’s transfer (link). The Wolfpack remain in contention for at least three potential big men that could step in and help immediately – UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi, JUCO prospect Andrew Young, and McDonald’s All-American Amile Jefferson.
Brett Friedlander has more on this very topic in this article today that also references the rumors about the potential departure of Jordan Vandenberg who took a redshirt last season.
The decisions of current N.C. State basketball star C.J. Leslie and top recruit Amile Jefferson took on even more meaning for the Wolfpack on Wednesday.
Thanks to the unexpected transfer of forward DeShawn Painter and the rumored departure of another big man, possibly Jordan Vandenberg, coach Mark Gottfried suddenly finds himself with a potential depth issue in the frontcourt next season.
It’s a problem that could get even worse if Leslie decides to leave school early and enter this year’s NBA draft. On the other hand, the blow could be softened considerably if Jefferson, a five-star prospect from Philadelphia, chooses State over Duke, Kentucky and Villanova.
Both decisions are expected to be made within the next few days, with Jefferson’s announcement coming as early as today.
The urgency surrounding them got kicked up several notches Wednesday when Painter, the first man off the bench for the Wolfpack last season, asked for and was granted permission to transfer. Painter averaged 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds last season, but his value went far beyond his statistics, as he developed into a reliable backup at both the center and power forward positions.
Without Painter, State’s only returning big men could be foul-prone senior Richard Howell, sophomores Thomas de Thaey and Tyler Harris – neither of whom played much last season, and the 7-foot Vandenberg, if he stays. Vandenberg played in only seven games in 2011-12 before being redshirted because of a shoulder injury.
The Wolfpack will also have 6-8, 230-pound McDonald’s All-America T.J. Warren as part of a nationally ranked recruiting class that could get even stronger depending on Jefferson’s upcoming decision. As an insurance policy, Gottfried is pursing 6-9 power forward Andrew Young from Monterey Peninsula Community College in California. He is expected to visit State this weekend.
Leslie, a 6-8 junior who would be a leading candidate for ACC Player of the Year honors if he returns, said Monday that he hopes to decide between entering the draft and returning to school by the end of this week.