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)

Mason Plumlee
Photo Source: MSN/FoxSports

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Ohio State vs. Duke (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

Duke wins 73-68

Box Score

Mason Plumlee (F, 6’11”, SR)

39 min, 6-11 FG, 9-12 FT, 17 reb, 2 assist, 1 blk, 21 TP

Another solid game for Plumlee who has had a remarkable senior campaign at Duke so far this year. Plumlee’s number one strength is his athleticism. He had several dunks this game including a big one-handed throw down that was SportsCenter “Top 10” worthy. Quick leaper. He plays the game above the rim and this will translate well to the pros. Something else Plumlee does extremely well is rebound, especially this year averaging 11 rebounds per game. He uses his athleticism to explode to meet the ball rim level and secures boards w/ 2 hands. Gets practically every ball in his area on the defensive end, and he also rebounds the ball at a solid rate on the offensive end. Something I was impressed with this game was his ability to run the floor. Reminded me of watching Tyler Zeller from UNC run the floor last year- runs hard rim to rim and gets easy baskets this way. Always beats opposing bigs down the court and beats opposing guards at times as well. He has a great build and sets hard/wide screens.

Duke uses him mostly in P/R and post ups. He excels in the short corner and showed the ability to face up and score using the jab step and spin moves. Post offense has improved- showcased a nice left handed hook. Is a better passer out of the post then his 1 assist indicates- but he jumps in the air to make most passes. He is in excellent shape as he played practically the entire game and didn’t show any signs of being tired. High motor and he never quits. Leader on the floor- gets players together in huddles.

Looking solely at the stat line and box score, there is little to critique based on Plumlee’s game tonight, but there are clearly areas where he must improve. The most glaring weakness in his overall game is his shooting. His jumper is flat and his release point is low- shot is exaggerated. He doesn’t have good form and is not confident in his shot, even hesitating to take open 15’ jump shots. His free throw shooting has improved significantly and he did well from the line tonight, but I would not call him a “good” FT shooter. Is barely over a 50% FT shooter for career, but is shooting 80% so far this season. Hit most of them tonight- has changed his routine to where he doesn’t dribble the ball at all and shoots. Shot needs a lot of work overall.

Offensively his post game is still raw, as he relies on his strength and athleticism to score. He has a drop step and a mini hook but that is about where it ends. Has a great build but struggled to secure deep post position this game. Also struggles to finish over athletic bigger players.
The other area of primary concern is on the defensive end. Defending the screen and roll, protecting the paint, and defending on the perimeter are areas he must improve in. He didn’t do a god job of showing on screens and getting back to his man- does a decent job hedging wide and stopping penetration- but its almost like fake hustle because he didn’t get back to his man quick enough allowing him to score. Needs to improve as shot blocker- with his athleticism should be blocking more then 1 shot- doesn’t even attempt to block the shot half the time and doesn’t protect paint like he should. He is a better on ball post defender then off the ball post defender and he struggled to defend on perimeter, which is something he is going to have to do playing the PF position at next level.

Plumlee is clearly the leader and best player on an undefeated Duke team. His rebounding and athleticism will translate well at the next level as well as his ability to run the floor. What I think scouts are over looking however is his in ability to shoot the ball and his defensive deficiencies. At the NBA level he is going to be asked to defend screens and defend on the perimeter, two areas of major concern for Plumlee. The majority of his scores come from his hustle for offensive boards, running the floor, and his athleticism. I believe he would be a solid offensive player who could get a team 8-10 points a night off the bench to go along with 6 or 7 rebounds. I see him being taken in the lottery, possibly top 10, but I do not think he is a top 10 player. I would draft him in the late first round or early second round.

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