The Blue Devils' star power

Fast starts by Curry, Plumlee provide evidence of Duke's elite potential

Updated: November 14, 2012, 4:20 PM ET
By John Gasaway | Basketball Prospectus
Mason PlumleeDaniel Shirey/US PresswireMason Plumlee can be a force for Duke this season ... if he can stay on the floor.

A little more than two weeks ago the preseason AP poll was released, and I said I thought my fellow basketball writers were underrating Duke by ranking them as the No. 8 team in the nation and, more specifically, as the No. 2 team in the ACC (behind North Carolina State).

I soon learned that when you use "Duke" and "underrated" in the same sentence, you get a reaction. I got a reaction. "Duke?! Underrated?!" Surely I was joking.

Hey, just because Duke is Duke, and just because they really were overrated for much of last season, doesn't mean Mike Krzyzewski's team can't be underrated. Coach K's team was arguably underrated -- even as a No. 1 seed -- heading into the 2010 NCAA tournament, and look what happened.

So, yes, it is at least possible for the Blue Devils to be underrated, and with their 75-68 win last night over No. 3 Kentucky in Atlanta, this Duke team has raised the question anew. Just how good are these guys? Based on a very small sample size (131 possessions in two games), the answer to that question is plain. Duke is very good.