Miles Plumlee Makes Most of Starting Nod

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Duke made a significant change to its starting lineup for the ACC Tournament, but it wasn't the one fans were hoping for when they saw No. 1 take the court for warmups Friday.

After a seven-point, 11-rebound effort against North Carolina in the regular season finale, junior Miles Plumlee was given the starting nod against Maryland for the first time since early in the year, and he didn't disappoint. The forward had a near double-double against the Terrapins, scoring 10 points and pulling down nine rebounds, including eight on the offensive end.

"Miles was a key guy for us," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said Friday. "When the big guys play like that, we're just a much better team. They give us second shots.... Miles had eight offensive rebounds--he was huge."

Plumlee's strong effort was rewarded with another start today, even though sophomore Ryan Kelly returned to form against Maryland with 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting.

Against Virginia Tech, the junior forward--along with Kelly, Kyle Singler and Mason Plumlee--had to deal with the big bodies of Jeff Allen and Victor Davila in the post. Allen was limited to only two points and seven rebounds after torching the Blue Devils for 18 and 15, respectively, in Blacksburg Feb. 26.

"The big guys were really good again," Krzyzewski said. "The matchup on Allen was a key one... to only have him get two points was a difference-maker for the ball game."

Plumlee will face his biggest test in tomorrow's ACC final, when Duke will need every bit of size against the talented frontcourt of Tyler Zeller and John Henson. The pair lit up the Blue Devils in Chapel Hill, but perhaps the newest addition to the starting lineup will be enough to tip the scales back in Duke's favor.


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