Duke Basketball: Blue Devils That Will Shine Brightest in Big Dance

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2013

DURHAM, NC - MARCH 02:  Quinn Cook #2 and teammate Mason Plumlee #5 of the Duke Blue Devils react after a play against the Miami Hurricanes during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 2, 2013 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It's no secret that the Duke Blue Devils are going to make this year's NCAA tournament as a high-seeded team, especially with the great deal of talent head coach Mike Krzyzewski has on his roster.

Not only does Duke rank seventh in the nation in scoring, but the team is also 15th in field goal percentage and fourth in three-point percentage. The Blue Devils can score points, and well.

This is because when it comes to the key players on the roster, Duke is essentially set. The fact that so many players can score so well and so effectively is something that coaches dream about, and it has become a reality for the Blue Devils.

That said, when it comes time for the big dance,  a small handful of players on Coach K's roster are going to shine bright as the team continues its quest for yet another championship.


Ryan Kelly

The 6'11" senior has continued to be an electrifying shooter for the Blue Devils this season, even though he did miss 13 games with an injury. Kelly averaged 14.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this season and shot 49 percent from the field plus an eye-popping 53 percent from long range.

This young man can shoot and has proven to be deadly when left wide open. In the tournament, that's only going to help Duke in each and every game.


Mason Plumlee

In his senior season, Plumlee has gone above and beyond what is necessary to make himself a better player. Not only has he maintained a strong interior presence at 6'10", 235 pounds, but he has also become more aggressive and assertive on offense.

After posting 11.1 points and 9.2 boards per game as a junior, Plumlee upped those totals to 17.2 and 10.3 this year. He is also averaging 1.5 blocks per contest.

Moreover, Plumlee has proven to be the leader of the Blue Devils this year. So long as he can maintain his production and continue to be a voice among his teammates, he's going to make a big impact in the tournament as he prepares to enter the next phase of his career.


Seth Curry

Out of all the Blue Devlis that can shoot, Curry may be the most deadly of them all. The senior has posted 17.1 points per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from long range, establishing himself as yet another deadly shooter on Krzyzewski's roster.

Curry is not as strong a defender as brother and current Golden State Warriors' point guard Stephen, but his work on offense speaks for itself.

The fact is that unless opposing teams can slow down Curry or any of these mentioned players in the tournament, Duke is going to be in a prime position for a long and lucrative tournament run. Krzyzewski already has four championships on his resume, and his current group of players can easily make it five.

So long as these three can maintain production and get the necessary help from other important teammates like Quinn Cook and others, Blue Devils fans should have plenty of reason to be optimistic.