Duke scored two solid wins this week behind the play of their two senior stars, Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry. Plumlee was a relative non-factor against Florida State, but his 32 points against Wake Forest keyed the victory. Curry, on the other hand, scored 21 points in both games while shooting 6-of-13 from three-point range.
But where do the freshmen fit in? This was a tough week for the new guys who at this point in the season are looking more and more like seasoned veterans. None of the four had one particularly outstanding showing, but the two rotation guys certainly contributed heavily to both wins.
Here’s this week’s edition of the Duke Basketball Rookie Report.
1) Rasheed Sulaimon
Starting as a freshman in the ACC isn’t a rarity at this point in time. But contributing to the level that Sulaimon has this season is something to be recognized and commended in some way, shape or form and the top spot on this list week in and week out is our way of letting him know we appreciate him.
After a poor performance against Wake on Wednesday, Sulaimon rebounded with a typical ‘Sheed game on Saturday against Florida State: 6-for-11 shooting (2-for-4 from three), 14 points, and a masterful defensive effort against Michael Snaer that took the Seminoles’ best player completely out of the game.
Performances like that are more valuable than 20-point games or breakaway dunks and that is why Sulaimon has been such a treat to have for Duke.
2) Amile Jefferson
Much like Sulaimon, Jefferson struggled in the Wake Forest game. Limited to just 19 minutes with foul trouble, Jefferson attempted just one shot — which he missed — while grabbing three rebounds with a steal and a block.
Also much like Sulaimon, Jefferson rebounded against FSU to have a typical Jefferson game. He was perfect from the field, making all four shots he took, and made a few trips to the free throw line while grabbing four boards and adding another steal and another block.
Foul trouble for Plumlee led to 29 minutes on the floor for Jefferson, much of which was spent playing with Josh Hairston. His activity on the offensive end helped him create his own opportunities and look like the player we all want him to be.
3) Alex Murphy
11 total minutes, no points. Another tough week for Alex.
4) Marshall Plumlee
This picture is why he is here. (h/t to Ben “Devilwolf” Swain for this)