In the week leading up to Duke basketball’s first game of the season Friday against Georgia State, The Blue Zone will preview all the expected contributors on this 2012-2013 squad, beginning with the freshman Monday and ending with the seniors Friday.
- Year: Redshirt Freshman
- Position: Center
- Senior year of high school: 11.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game at The Christ School
Game breakdown: Marshall, the youngest of the Plumlee brothers, is expected to be out about at least three more weeks with a stress fracture in his left foot. After redshirting last season alongside classmate Alex Murphy, the 6-foot-11 center hoped to get in and contribute this season for Duke, likely spelling Ryan Kelly and his older brother Mason, who sometimes takes the center position, but seems more comfortable at power forward. Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski has said that Marshall’s injury will likely be a concern all season. The big man’s absence early on in the season could really affect his production down the stretch—it's always tough to join a team midseason, and this being his first season on the floor, it will be even tougher. The coaches believe that when Marshall gets out there this season, he will be a surprise contributor, but they will have to patiently wait for him to find his groove.
Marshall was awarded Gatorade Player of the year in North Carolina upon averaging 11.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game his senior season at The Christ School in Asheville, NC. Although Marshall redshirted last season, he gained valuable experience at the collegiate level playing against his teammates in practice. Marshall, who was a high school McDonald’s All-American, brings intensity to the court every time down the floor. He’s got a good motor, runs the floor very well and attacks the rim with toughness. At just about seven-feet tall, Marshall has a solid outside jumper from 12 feet and has also worked tremendously on his back-to-the basket shooting.
Role on the team: Known for his spirit and enthusiasm on the bench last year, the Cameron Crazies would love to see him have the chance to display that energy on the court this season. Marshall’s passion for the game and his team is contagious both on and off the floor.
When he makes it into the lineup, Marshall will likely take the center position, allowing Mason and Kelly to be more flexible in their roles. His keen ability to attack the rim and his long arms will undoubtedly be valuable to the Blue Devils on the boards.
Marshall seemed to be in good spirits at Duke’s Countdown to Craziness just a few weeks ago as he hustled out, wobbling on his crutches and danced around on one leg as his name was announced.
Player comparison: Let's start off by saying that comparing Marshall to either of his brothers, Mason or fellow former Blue Devil Miles, would be a cop out. But from observing him on the sidelines last year, it is clear however that Marshall seems to exert more outward emotion toward the game than his two brothers. As the tallest of the Plumlees, Marshall will likely play more of a center position than his two older brothers who are more comfortable at the four spot as power forwards.
Although there is not much of a facial resemblance between Marshall and Cleveland Cavaliers' center Anderson Varejao, it's the best fit. Not only are both men 6-foot-11 centers, but both play with a lot of passion, fist-pumping and chest-bumping. Both Marshall and Anderson run the floor very well, utilizing their long strides to beat opponents down the floor. Marshall, who has been working a lot on his back-to-the-basket moves should take some notes from Varejao, who has come to master the hitch, turn and hook.
Check back tomorrow for Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton