So I made this post in another forum, but in perusing the EK forum I did not see anything specifically devoted to honoring Miles as his senior day approaches. I figured I would share this here as well:
With apologies to any potential early-entrants on Duke's team currently, we do have a guy who will be playing his final regular season games as a Blue Devil this week. While not every senior class can have as significant of an impact as the Kyle/Nolan class or the Jon/Lance/Zoubs class, I think it is time to recognize and appreciate this year's senior for who he is.
And who is Miles Plumlee? Well, to my eyes he has been a highly entertaining player to watch over the last 4 years. Dripping with athleticism and a great attitude, he has done everything asked of him over that time. He showed some little flashes of brilliance as a Freshman, at a time when we thought he was our only hope for the future of having a solid low post game. Even started a few games, as you could tell that he had a ton of potential but was really struggling to gain confidence and comfort in the college game.
Obviously, he was a vital part of a national championship team- one of the most beloved teams in Duke history. Though Zoubs and LT eventually locked down the starting spots, Miles started over half of the games for a National Champion and Duke doesn't win the championship without him (imo.) I think of Miles' punctuating dunk against UNC in the 82-50 game, him closing the Baylor game out after Zoubs fouled out, his emphatic putback dunk against WVU in the Final Four, and perhaps most importantly, him getting to a loose ball and getting a shot up (while being held by multiple Butler players- no call) to avoid a shot clock violation in the national championship game.
The past two years since the NC game have gone by fast, and Miles has had his ups and downs as a player. Perhaps he hasn't become the "dominant" player in line with the potential that we all see in him. But I want to commend him for his hard work, for representing the Duke program with class, for giving his all, and for being an overall joy to have as a part of the Duke program.
I thought Miles deserved his own thread of appreciation during this, his senior week. Hopefully, he continues his recent upswing and continues to lead the way his role model, Mr. Zoubek did as a Senior. But whatever the outcome, and whether Duke has 4 games left or 11 games left, I am thankful that Miles came to Duke and will miss seeing MP1 in a Duke uniform.
With 11 rebounds tronight at Wake, Miles has now averaged 12.0 rebounds a game in his last six games (starting with his 22-rebound game against Maryland).
He's still not scoring much, but his work on the boards and at the defensive end have been Zoubekian down the stretch.
I am also enjoying Miles' play lately. The rebounding is great, and is largely a product of increased effort, focus and activity. He is even getting a lot of tap-outs which he doesn't get credit for statistically, but have been the equivalent of Oboards. His offensive role at Duke is pretty much defined by now: hit the elbow jumper if left alone, Obaord put-backs and dunks from interior passes. We seem to run pretty much 0 offense for him, but he continues to play with great energy.
Props to Miles (and this thread) in his Sr. Week!
Props to Miles...YES!
thank you miles, for all your hard work !!!!
"Either we're going down, or they are....... Kirk out!"
Thank you Miles. We just seem to me to be a tougher team when he is on the court. Love his attitude and how he is a team first man always.
I want in on this too! Miles, what a determined, tough-minded young man. I just love him!
That late one-handed rebound under the basket last night, grrrrrr.
Guts, guts, guts!
I has been a wonderful ride, watching Miles' game mature over the last four years. He is really hitting his stride now. Keep pushing, big boy, time to get all Zoubek up in here!
Eat Mor Jonny.
Couldn't agree more. Miles has been one of my favorites since the beginning. A player that we took almost as an afterthought and for the past 4 years been a great player. I think back and can't imagine where we would be had he not decided to attend. Any disappointment is simply that we saw so much potential in him that he never seemed to reach. It was disappointment for him, not in him. So glad to see he is finishing up his career in the starting spot and hope he still has quite a few games left in him.
"We just seem to me to be a tougher team when he is on the court".
I don't think this is just true during his recent increased production and starting role. He has consistently been at or near the top in +/- and I don't think it is a coincidence. We are tougher and more intimidating when he is on the floor. Other teams wear down faster when he is banging in the paint, and he hedges and rotates better than any of our other bigs.
He is still our most under-appreciated player imo, and I am more than pleased that this recent surge is giving him that little bit of extra attention that he so justly deserves. I hope he finishes off his senior season in memorable fashion.
Count me in on this. It is great to see a young man improve over time. Not only does Miles play tough, but he looks tough. That counts for something. Miles is also persistent on the boards - he is ready to go back up if the first shot fails. We will miss this talent.
With his intensity, effort, likeability, and good attitude, he reminds me of another Class of 2012 Duke athlete: Matt Daniels.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill
President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club
Miles is a tough low post defender who seems to be the best of our bigs in understanding rotations and being in the right place to defend (I'm not implying I understand it). With his increased aggressiveness and success rebounding the ball in recent games, he will continue to see maximum playing time down the stretch of his senior season.
United States Navy (Retired)
I have so very much enjoyed watching Miles play, learn, grow, and mature. The big guy is a great blue devil, and another great ambassador for Duke!
Let's show Miles the love and respect he deserves on his senior day in Cameron!
MILES PLUMLEE! clap-clap clap-clap-clap!
Without Miles there is no Championship in 2010. Miles, we are grateful to you for all your contributions to Duke. Thank you. We will be pulling hard for you on Senior night and every game that follows for this memorable team!
I want to say that I second all the sentiments in the posts above. Let's keep this thread at the top.
"With seven national titles and 20 Final Fours in the 64-team NCAA Tournament era, Duke and UNC have had more playoff success than any other CONFERENCE." - Al Featherston