To say Mason Plumlee struggled in the first half of Duke's 73-57 win against Georgia Tech would be an understatement.
The National Player of the Year candidate shot 2-for-12 from the field. Yes, that means he missed five times as many shots as he made through the first 20 minutes.
Luckily for Plumlee, crazy things can happen at halftime in Cameron Indoor Stadium. In this case, it was a pep talk from head coach Mike Krzyzewski to his star forward.
"He just wanted me to start playing. I wasn't really playing in the first half," Plumlee said.
The message was most definitely received. Plumlee came out for the second half with almost as much energy as his legendary coach, canning three of his first four shots, including a dunk that triggered a quick timeout from Georgia Tech.
After hopping up and down on the sidelines for the first four minutes of the second half, Coach K just couldn't contain himself any longer, sprinting out to midcourt at the timeout and leaping into Plumlee's arms, which you can watch here:
"That's a hell of a coach to come out and give you a hug in the middle of a game," Plumlee said .
Krzyzewski's energy on the sidelines had a positive effect on the players not forced to unexpectedly catch their 65-year old coach.
"If you can’t get up for it…when he’s hollering and screaming, I don’t know what type of player you are," freshman forward Amile Jefferson said.
While the Hug Heard 'Round the World was shocking to everyone else, Coach K brushed it off as if it were nothing in his postgame press conference.
"I think I give emotion a lot during my 33 years here at Duke, so I am going to do whatever I think my team needs," Krzyzewski said. "I did that in 1980 and I should do it in 2013, so I thought that's what my team needed, it's what I gave."
With a win in the bag and the lasting memory of the half court embrace, the only thing left for the Blue Devil faithful to do is hope that one day soon Mason will return the favor and give the fans a comedic moment they will never forget by surprising Coach K with a leaping bear hug of his own.
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