INDIANAPOLIS (WNCN) – Five years ago, Duke won its last NCAA National Championship in Indianapolis, and they did so with the help of a couple of Plumlee brothers — Mason and Miles.
Fast forward to 2015, and Duke is back at Lucas Oil Stadium vying for another championship, this time with the younger of the Plumlees along for the ride.
“It’s special,” Marshall Plumlee said. “It’s kind of funny how things come full circle like that. But I’m just thrilled to be at the Final Four.”
Unlike his brothers, Marshall Plumlee is more of a role player, eating up minutes to give Blue Devils star Jahlil Okafor a rest. But playing close to home for the Indiana native could prove to energize the 7-footer, as it did a week ago in Houston when freshman Justise Winslow emerged as a force to be reckoned with.
Winslow had 16 points, including a big 3-pointer in the closing minutes, in Duke’s 66-52 rout of Gonzaga in the Elite Eight.
“Last round, Justise got to be home,” pointed out Duke forward Amile Jefferson. “So playing in places where our guys are from, it lifts our morale. It makes our guys happier to be in these places.”
But playing close to home does have its drawbacks as long-time friends look for those high-demand tickets as well Plumlee’s time.
“Yeah, there is a burden in coming home and the wave of people coming at you,” the junior center said. “But I’ve gotten some great advice, especially from my brothers, to stay focused on what Duke’s doing. Put the blinders on and stick to what’s gotten us here and don’t let the outside in. Just focus on what we’re doing as a team.”
And if the Blue Devils are able to maintain that focus, Marshall Plumlee might be able to get what his brothers already have — a National Championship.
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