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This may be considered an unfair comparison as Mason works very hard, is a great defensive player and seems happy to be at Duke. McRoberts probably had more NBA aspirations and seemed to be just waiting for David Stern to call his name.
Both came to Duke with a lot of expectations, and are long athletic forwards that are very good at blocking shots and rebounding. Not to discount these qualities but a little more was expected of McRoberts and will be expected from Mason.
McRoberts preferred to settle for mid-range jumpers if a rim-rocking dunk was not readily available. This was perfect his first season at Duke but without Sheldon Williams, things got a lot more serious fast for McRoberts who was expected to take over from the Landlord.
The trouble is Williams and McRoberts are just two different types of players. The current Indiana Pacers forward loved to settle for the mid-range jumper, had very poor foot work in the post and always seem extremely mechanical when posting up, like Mason.
Mason is not much of a shooter but this team does not require that skill from him. He needs to improve his post moves and free-throw shooting. Having a forward that is able to get the opposing team's big man in foul trouble is critical.
Duke will be playing Ohio State in the Big Ten/ACC annual showdown. Power forward Jared Sullinger will do a lot of damage offensively but if Duke can get him in early foul trouble that would be a huge weight lifted from their shoulders.
Mason, who still has time to learn, will be an upperclassman next season and his little brother will be pushing him for playing time. That's a lot of motivation there.
If that's not enough, the NBA executives are just waiting for the middle Plumlee to get his game together and at this minute he is a lottery pick. The old adage "you can't teach height" applies here.
The downer for Mason is if this season is not favorable then it's curtains on the NBA lottery, but barring injury he still has the best chance between him and his brothers of being the first to bank an NBA check one day.