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Mason Plumlee: Duke Forward's Huge Night Latest Case for Player of Year Award

DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 07:  Mason Plumlee #5 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates after a play during their game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 7, 2013 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIFebruary 14, 2013

Mason Plumlee is having a monster season for Duke. So much so that he could well clinch the Player of the Year award when the year is all finished.

At the start of the year, you'd have been lucky to hear Plumlee's name as a potential candidate, with Indiana's Cody Zeller the popular selection for the away.

Yet with a huge double-double performance in the win over fierce rivals North Carolina, the star forward provided us with the latest piece of evidence in his case for the Player of the Year award. And at the moment, it's looking like a pretty good case.

Plumlee finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds against North Carolina, and once again, came up big when his team needed him to step up the most.

It comes after a strong start to 2013 which recently saw the senior forward pick up the National Player of the Week award last week after leading the Blue Devils to wins over N.C. State and Boston College (per Digtriad.com), but also in light of a very strong season for Duke.

See, whilst this week's numbers against North Carolina were strong, they are simply no stronger than what Plumlee has been averaging all season.

His per-game stat-line of 18.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 blocks are nearly exactly what he chalked up this week, and nearly exactly what he has chalked up throughout the season.

His consistency and ability to step up when Duke needs him most has been arguably the biggest factor of his game this season, and key in his POY credentials.

Plumlee continues to be the primary cog in Duke’s engine and the primary reason behind their second-place standing in the Atlantic Coast Conference at the moment.

He was No. 3 in an ESPN straw poll last week, but given his recent performances, you'd have to think Plumlee has risen up that poll somewhat in the past week.

Perhaps even all the way to the top.

 

Will Mason Plumlee win the 2013 Player of the Year Award?

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