Plumlee Poised to Cement a Spot on the USA World Cup Roster

By Lenn Robbins | @lennrobbins

NEW YORK -- Add Syracuse coach and USA Basketball assistant coach Jim Boeheim to the list of talent evaluators who were surprised by the ability of Brooklyn Nets forward Mason Plumlee.

“I didn’t watch the Nets a lot last season because I tend to follow teams with Syracuse players,” Boeheim told BrooklynNets.com with a wry smile.

“But he’s really good and he’s going to keep getting better. It was obvious from the first day of practice that he was one of the more talented big men we had in camp.”

Plumlee did not play Wednesday night in a 105-62 rout of the Dominican Republic. Plumlee said Coach Mike Krzyzewski told him he probably wouldn’t play as he tried to get minutes for players who hadn’t seen action in Saturday’s win over Brazil.

Plumlee said he expects to play Friday night against Puerto Rico and remains confident he will be on the roster when the team heads to Spain for the FIBA World Cup.



“I just feel my whole body of work - obviously the public has seen the scrimmages, the intersquad scrimmage went well, I played well in Chicago. But just as much as that, I feel like I’ve practiced very well since [Las] Vegas, so I’m confident where I stand,” Plumlee said. “If they need me, I’m ready to go.”

Plumlee has been down this road before. Taken by the Nets with the 22nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, many thought he would spend a year in the D-League.

Plumlee didn’t get the memo.

He played 70 games (starting 22), averaged 7.4 points on 65.9-percent shooting and grabbed 4.4 rebounds. Plumlee was an NBA All-Rookie First Team Selection.

He was invited to join the USA Select Team, which was comprised of players not expected to make the roster. They were the basketball versions of tackling dummies.

Again, Plumlee didn’t get the message.

By the time the squad left Las Vegas, Plumlee had been called up to the National Team and he’s not looking back. He does not believe he needs to do anything special Friday night to cement a spot on the roster.

“If I am making a statement, it’s playing my game, doing what I do at a high level, not getting outside myself,” Plumlee said. “Just giving the team what they expect from me and what I’ve done up until this point.

“It’s a short period of time. We’re only with this team for a month and half so every game’s a statement game. Every practice is big. You can’t really have bad days in the U.S. program.”

Rapid Reaction: Nets vs Nuggets

Lenn Robbins recaps the Nets' 102-96 win over the Denver Nuggets.

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Rapid Reaction: Nets vs Nuggets

Lenn Robbins recaps the Nets' 102-96 win over the Denver Nuggets.
Dec 23, 2014  |  00:41

Plumlee's Rejection

Mason Plumlee rises to reject the Nugget shot attempt in the first quarter.
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Plumlee's Big Follow

Mason Plumlee works the offensive boards and throws down a strong two-hander.
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Plumlee's Reverse Jam

Jarrett Jack finds Mason Plumlee on the block and Plumlee throws it down reverse style.
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Jack Finds Plumlee Again

Jarrett Jack finds Mason Plumlee with a great no-look pass in transition.
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Mason Plumlee records 21 points and 12 rebounds, Jarrett Jack adds a double-double as the Nets hold off the Pistons.
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Garnett to Plumlee

Kevin Garnett fires a pass inside to Mason Plumlee for the reverse slam.
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Plumlee at Both Ends

Mason Plumlee strips Andre Drummond then finishes with an alley-oop from Sergey Karasev.
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Morris to Plumlee

Darius Morris tosses up a perfect alley-oop to a streaking Mason Plumlee for the dunk.
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Plumlee Is Active

Mason Plumlee gets the block on one end, and on the other converts the baseline jump hook.
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Plumlee Pummels It

Mason Plumlee spins off of Kevin Love and finishes with the strong reverse jam inside.
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Williams to Plumlee

Mason Plumlee takes the pass and finishes with authority.
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Plumlee And-One

Mason Plumlee gets fouled and sinks the shot.
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Johnson's Floater

Joe Johnson drains a nice shot during the first quarter.
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Knockin' It Down

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Karasev Flips It In

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