ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Duke forward Mason Plumlee as itsOscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 10. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and will be handed out each Tuesday through Feb. 19 this season.


As the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week, Plumlee was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week.

Plumlee, a 6-11 senior from Warsaw, Ind., averaged 24.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 blocks while leading the Blue Devils to conference wins over N.C. State and Boston College. For the week, he was 15-22 from the field and 19-26 from the free throw line in the two games.

Last Thursday, Plumlee opened the week with 30 points and nine rebounds in a 98-85 win over N.C. State. In Sunday’s 62-61 come-from-behind win at Boston College, Plumlee recorded his 13th double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds and had several key plays at the end of the game, including a blocked shot and the game-winning free throw with 24 seconds remaining.

This is the fourth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week will be considered for the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, which will be released at mid-season.

Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player.

Oscar Robertson TrophyAt the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac will be presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 15, 2013, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. TheHenry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 32nd season, bigger and better in 2012-13. Blue Ribbon – long-known as “The Bible of College Basketball” – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit

2012-13 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
• Week of Dec. 9: Brandon Paul, Illinois (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Dec. 16: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Missouri Valley Conference)
• Week of Dec. 23: Victor Rudd, South Florida (Big East Conference)
• Week of Dec. 30: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA (Pac-12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 6: Trey Burke, Michigan (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Jan. 13: Elston Turner, Texas A&M (Southeastern Conference)
• Week of Jan. 20: Roosevelt Jones, Butler (Atlantic 10 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 27: Darrun Hilliard, Villanova (Big East Conference)
• Week of Feb. 3: Shane Larkin, Miami (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week of Feb. 10: Mason Plumlee, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)

Tickets for the sold-out rematch between Greensboro Day and Wesleyan will be impossible to come by, but you can still see the game. NetCast Sports Network will be broadcasting the game online at this link.

This game will feature several future collegiate players as well as some of the top basketball prospects in the nation, including Christian Hairston (SF, 6’7, ’13) of Greensboro Day who has signed with Furman and his teammate Reggie Dillard (SG, 6’3, ’13) who has signed with Presbyterian.

Greensboro Day has several other solid collegiate recruits such as Reed Lucas (SG, 6’4, 2013) which helped them remain undefeated until last week’s loss to Shannon Hale-led Christ School.

Theo Pinson Wesleyan

Wesleyan has guard JaQuel Richmond (PG, 6’1, ’14) who has offers from Indiana and Ohio State, Theo Pinson (SG/SF, 6’6, ’14) who has offers from North Carolina and Duke, Donovan Gilmore (SF/PF, 6’7, ’14) who has offers from several schools including College of Charleston, Trey Mitchell (SF, 6’7, 2013), a VMI commit and one of the top freshman in the nation, Harry Giles (SF, 6’8′, ’16) who has interest from Duke, UNC, NC State and Wake Forest.

Watch the game at this link, game time is 7 PM ET on February 5.

NetCast Sports broadcasts multiple games during the high school and AAU season, and while monthly subscribers will automatically have access to the game, NCSN has made available ‘day passes’ at a discounted price of $1.99.

Seth Curry Duke

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Duke @ Wake Forest

Duke Wins 75-70

Box Score

Seth Curry (6’2”, G, SR)

7-17 FG, 1-6 3 pt FG, 6-7 FT, 2 reb, 2 assist, 1 TO, 1 blk, 21 TP

Came out and really impacted the game on the defensive end, which I did not expect. Defended well overall this game, as he was active in the passing lanes, took some charges as the help defender, moved his feet, and even blocked a jump shot. Did a decent job of staying in front of C.J. Harris for Wake and contesting shots (C.J. was not 100% tonight and looked hampered with the goggles he has been wearing after an eye injury sustained against NC State). Most of Curry’s defensive contributions did not show up in the box score tonight, but he held C.J. to 4-12 shooting from the field and was active. Did not take any plays off on that end of the floor tonight.

Offensively, he was looking for his shot early on. He showed the ability to create his own shot by pulling up on the perimeter and had several drives to the basket as well, that he finished with lay-ups. Quick first step, better then I had thought coming in. Tremendous overall shooter, who is shooting better then 40 % from the field and from three, and is a plus 80% FT shooter for his career. Has a great release, rotation, follow through, he squares up nicely and is on balance and he can get it off against good defense with a quick release and by shooting the ball in rhythm. He showed he could hit shots from catch and shoot situations, coming off screens, off the dribble, and with feet set. When he misses, he follows his shot, and his misses are usually straight and off the back of the rim. Not just a 3 point shooter- hit several Rip Hamilton like mid range pull-ups from pin-down screens. Although he didn’t hit his first 3 until 2:45 remaining in the game after missing his previous 5 attempts from deep, he had the confidence to hit a huge 3 to put his team ahead at a critical part of the game.

Wouldn’t classify him as a playmaker, but he did show nice touch on an alley-oop pass to Plumlee when help came on a drive to the basket. Solid frame- looks bigger in the arms then the last year- is stronger.

Although it was not a big problem for Curry in this game, the fact that he is an under-the-rim type player with average athleticism at best, is going to hurt his ability to finish inside at the next level, similarly to what Duke alum Austin Rivers is experiencing now. He needs to improve his ball handling skills overall, is not capable at this point to advance the ball with pressure defense. Although he is a decent passer, he is not is not a PG and is not a playmaker, needs to develop in both of these areas. Questions then arise about what position he will play and defend at the next level.

Defensively he is content to switch all off the ball screens, which leads to him having to guard a bigger player- not going to work at next level. He did a decent job of staying in front of C.J. Harris this game, but C.J. was clearly not 100 % and I question his ability to defend NBA caliber PG’s.

Struggled shooting the three ball this game-missing his first 5 attempts from beyond the arc, but is a good shooter who Wake had to respect the entire game.

Curry struggled with his 3-point shot this game, but he played very well overall in my opinion, and was able to show off other parts of his game besides shooting because the Wake defenders ran him off the line. Played well despite suffering an ankle injury a couple weeks back against NC State. Curry did a solid job on the defensive end and his mistakes were minimal. Is having a career best year at Duke, averaging 16 ppg, which is second on team in scoring, and has helped Duke to 18-2 record. I believe he would be a solid pick for a team late in the second round. He will have trouble defending quicker PG’s and bigger SG’s but at worst he could be a knock down set shooter, and nearly every team could use one of those.

Although Curry is an undersized shooting guard with average speed and athleticism, all legit NBA concerns, he does bring consistent perimeter shooting, he comes from a good program, and he is going to work hard to improve every year, just like his brother did. He is a player you don’t have to worry about, as he is a high character guy, comes from a great family, and had a solid, consistent career for Duke for the past couple of years, after shining at Liberty as a freshman.

James Blackburn is the Director of Scouting for Basketball Elite and shares his reports with several NBA teams. You can follow James on Twitter right this second.

By James Blackburn

Austin Rivers
Photo Source: Bleacher Report

Game Scouted: Duke @ Wake Forest
Box Score

Duke wins 79-71

Scouting Report

Austin Rivers (G, 6’4”, FR)


5-12 FG, 0-3 3pt, 0-1 FT, 4 reb, 2 assist, 3 PF, 3 TO, 10 TP


Very quick first step- NBA ready. Showed versatility on defense tonight- matched up with Travis McKie (6’7, F) and guards in Chase Fischer, CJ Harris, and Chennault this game- smart move by Coach K- Rivers has done a great job neutralizing McKie by not allowing him to dribble drive. Plays the passing lanes well. Has a great understanding of spreading the court and court spacing- result of having Doc Rivers (NBA coach) as his dad. Very good in P/R situations with ball in hand- has ability to split double team and get to basket- has an effective floater and nice change of speed moves. Prolific scorer- can score in multiple ways and has the ability to hit tough shots over defense- very good offensive 1 on 1 player- with an array of finishing moves. Explosive going right. Tremendous ball handler- with a lightning quick crossover dribble. Great form on jump shot- struggled to a degree tonight with his shot- but has a quick release and solid form nonetheless. Confident in his game- wants the ball in his hands- makes highlights on the regular.


Needs to do a better job of making contact with McKie when he is crashing boards. Needs to improve help defense- concerned about man too much. On the several occasions when he plays at the PG spot and brings ball down court, he tries to do to much at times and forces the issue and is TO prone in that regard- still has only one thing in mind when coming off ball screens and that is SHOOT- doesn’t have a PG/pass mentality- not really a bad thing because his role on this Duke team is a scorer- but does cause him to force some shots- still must improve passing ability and vision and not have so much tunnel vision when driving to basket- one stat to back up this statement is the fact that coming into this game he has more TO’s (66) then assist (62). More explosive going right then left- went to the left side corner 90% of time so he could drive middle going right- same thing with P/R plays- the pick is always set when he is on left side of floor- so he can come off pick going to his right- had a really nice right to left crossover move and scored with lay-in, but used his right hand- not going to work as much at next level. When he did go off screen from right side of floor- going left, he wasn’t able to turn the corner as well and got bumped out. Struggles to get around/fight through screens- gets screened way too easy and is too content with switching- this goes with both on ball screens and off ball screens- not as much urgency to get back to man- comes out of stance. A little shaky from FT line- rushes it too much- shooting 65% for year- should be in 70’s.


Leads to team in points per game(15.5), minutes played, and field goals made(149). He leads all ACC Freshman in ppg, mpg, made field goals, and made FT’s. Seventh leading freshman scorer in country. Has been named ACC Rookie of the Week eight times this season- leads the conference. Entering this game averaging 15.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, and 2.1 apg.

Played more off the ball than PG tonight- when he did bring ball up, Duke always ran him off a pick and put him in P/R situation. Clearly he is more comfortable playing the shooting guard then PG at this point in his career- will be on the short side playing the SG at NBA level- but his scoring, athleticism, and first step will transfer to pro game and its style. His game play in meant for the NBA and he will be an effective scorer at next level. His ability to guard an NBA caliber shooting guard was not seen tonight, as Wake does not have anyone that fits that profile, but he has the IQ, quick hands, and average lateral quickness to stay in front- still vulnerable to post ups by bigger guards and ability to adequately defend taller shooters b/c of size and will still have to improve lateral quickness to stay in front of NBA guards- still somewhat of a tweener being 6’4” playing the 2G- but this would not worry me much if I was an NBA GM. More of a highlight reel- and a little bit more style/flash than substance, but he plays his role well for this Duke team and that is to score. With that said he has a low FG%(44), lots of TO’s, low assists numbers, low FT%, and plays a lot of minutes. He is an explosive scorer though and he is quick and athletic- all traits that will carry him to a good NBA career.

By Marcus Shockley

There are few truly “transcendent” rivalries in sports. There are rivalries at every level of sports, from JV volleyball to the NFL. But most rivalries are local. Only a few rivalries break out and become so known that media coverage pays attention.

To me, the two biggest rivalries in college sports are Ohio State-Michigan (football) and UNC-Duke (basketball). A couple of summers back we were chatting with Gerald Henderson. a former Duke player, about the rivalry. At the time, several of Henderson’s coaching staff were UNC alums.

What makes a great rivalry? In a word: balance. At one time in the not-too-distant past, UNC and Duke were not the Greatest of Rivals. NC State was UNC’s biggest threat, also being just a few minutes down the road from Chapel Hill. Consider that in 1982, Micheal Jordan, James Worthy and Jimmy Black brought a national championship home to Tobacco Road, and one year later, in 1983, NC State’s Thurl Bailey, Sidney Lowe and Dereck Whittenburg did the same. However, over the years, Coach K’s rise to prominence and NC State’s slump led to a changing of the guard. In 2009 UNC brought home another title, and one year later in 2010, Duke won another. The fact that UNC and Duke are always legitimate title contenders is part of what makes the rivalry strong. You simply can’t have a rivalry where only one team is a powerhouse. Both UNC and Duke boast a bevy of NBA alums, and both have HOF coaches.

The UNC-Duke rivalry has also two other components; the two campuses are physically closer than most high school rivals and they have longevity. The 2009-2010 back-to-back wasn’t the first. In 1991 & 1992, Duke won a pair of titles, then in 1993, UNC won Dean Smith’s second title. But that’s just the titles. Since 1981, either UNC or Duke has made the Final Four a whopping 21 times.

In order for a rivalry to exist, there must be balance, and the longer that balance is there, the bigger and more storied the rivalry becomes.

So today is UNC vs. Duke, round 1 of the 2012 edition of this rivalry.

JaQuel Richmond
Photo Source: NY2LA

JaQuel Richmond (PG, 6’1″, 2014) worked his way into the recruiting lexicon this summer as he started to get noticed – and recruited – by some pretty big name schools. JaQuel plays alongside some very talented AAU teammates on the CP3 All-Stars, and he proved he is an elite guard at the CP3 elite skills camp this year. JaQuel’s calling card is his quickness and ability to get to the bucket, and he has a knack of creating a mid range shot for himself seemingly at will.

We caught up with JaQuel on his latest offers, what he’s working on right now and few other things in today’s edition of 7 questions.

1. The first question is always about your current college options. Which schools have offered, and which schools are you currently considering/talking to?

Charlotte (UNCC), Virginia, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest and Georgetown have offered me so far.

2. Over the summer you got the opportunity to attend some of the biggest camps and events, such as the Chris Paul elite guard camp. What are your thoughts on how your summer went, from the events to playing against top competition?

I honestly would have to say my summer went good, I played against top guards that were in my class at the Peach Jam and in Florida Showcase/Nationals. Playing against those top guards and top players shows others that you can handle that type of pressure during the game and at crunch time, but knowing myself I love to be on the stage and all eyes are on you.

3. What do you think are the strongest parts of your game right now?

The strongest parts of my game right now [are] getting to the basket at any time and attacking that mid-range at all times.

4. What parts of your game are you currently working on?

I am constantly working on my 3 ball because most coaches know that I can get to the cup so they want to see if I can also shoot that 3 ball. So most of my workout I’m constantly putting up shots, at least 600 shots.

5. Do you have a player (at any level, college or pro) that you admire?

I would have to say I admire Kyrie Irvin because we both have that killer instict during the entire game and we can get to the basket with no problem.

6. Do you have any visits planned, or have you already taken any?

October 8th I’m going to Virginia Tech.
October 14th I’m going to Duke Midnight Madness.

JaQuel Richmond basketball
Photo Source: Naples News

7. If you could tell people one thing about you that you wish they knew, what would it be?

That I would never be cocky and that I’m always humble.

By Marcus Shockley

Alex Murphy Commit Duke

Duke basketball landed a talented junior in Alex Murphy (SF, 6’8″, 2012), who has stated for some time that Duke and Florida were the two schools that were recruiting him with the most intensity. Murphy took an unofficial visit to Durham and the Duke campus last month.

Murphy is a slender forward with a good shooting touch, if a little bit on the slow side with his release. Naturally, comparisons to current Blue Devil Kyle Singler are going to be made, but Murphy definitely will need to add strength and does not look like he’s ready to play much post at the college level yet, but has a good offensive game and can handle the ball.

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Gerald Henderson knows all about the Duke vs. UNC rivalry, and even though he’s focused on his own pro career now, he’s still well aware of the implications of the game. James talked with Gerald last summer, and here’s his thoughts on the biggest rivalry in basketball:

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By Marcus Shockley

The basketball season has moved into conference play in the ACC, with Duke winning it’s conference opener against Miami at home in Durham. No surprise, really. Sorry, Hurricanes, but you’ve got three potential All-ACC players on your roster and you play like you’ve never seen a man-to-man defense. But, let’s put that aside for the moment and take a moment to discuss the landscape of the ACC. My Big East pals hate the smack talk over the ACC, and they keep telling me how the ACC is down this year, except Duke. Now, I have a crazy amount of respect for the Big East, but I also know ACC ball, and the last two years, the ‘ACC is down’ story resulted in two national champions. Kyle Singler
I also know that ACC ball is tough, and the season forges out teams that are stronger at the end of the season than the start.

So, is anyone besides Duke really a threat in the ACC this season?

The ACC has some good coaches and stellar recruits. Despite everyone declaring them dead, UNC is playing like an NCAA tournament team, quickly leaving the awful season of last year behind. No, right now, they don’t look as good as Duke, but they are talented, albeit young. Duke versus UNC is a brawl, and there is a good chance that UNC will split the games with Duke this season. No, I’m not crazy. Not only is Roy good against K, UNC is getting better by the week and both teams play all out against each other. But UNC isn’t Duke’s only threat.

Maryland has managed to take it to both Duke and Maryland even in years when it looked like Gary Williams was trying to win with a team that he rounded up from the rec the night before. He’s got a legit star and is a good coach. He’s going to be a problem for the ACC this year.

Sid Lowe is my pick for a coach who’d better get it done this season. The good news for Lowe is that NC State has more talent on this year’s team than they’ve had since the 80’s. The bad news is that they are all young. Lowe finally has a team that could compete with Duke and UNC, but he still hasn’t proven that he can stand toe-to-toe with the heavyweights. He needs to get into the NCAA tournament this season, and he needs to give UNC and Duke the same fits that Gary Williams does.

Virginia Tech was supposed to be the team that could compete with Duke this season, but so far they’ve lost their way. Wake Forest tanked when they lost their point guard, and Georgia Tech lost too much talent to the NBA. Only Florida State seems like a team with promise to compete with the upper part of the conference.

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