Landing the toughest coaching job in all of sports comes with pros and cons. Taking the helm after the job hasn’t been vacant in over 40 years isn’t just a blunder. Being worthy of this prominent position isn’t an easy task and getting hand selected from a very exclusive group speaks volumes. It not only reveals that you are ready for the task, but that you are trust worthy enough to continue a legacy that is the face of college basketball.
When consistency is the norm it spoils you. And why wouldn’t a normal Duke fan be used to the norm of winning. Mike Krzyzewski has brought in 5 National Championships, 3 Gold Medals, produced over 40 first round NBA picks, among a host of other achievements.
The new coach in waiting – leading associate head coach and former national champ Jon Scheyer – has been an assistant for eight years and spent four as a player. As Coach K said during his retirement press conference yesterday, Scheyer and assistant coach Nolan Smith have been molded and setup for success following his departure. He will still be around the program, obviously, but he wouldn’t have chosen Jon Scheyer for this prestigious position if he didn’t think he was the best candidate for the job. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the pick was in-house; a representative of the brother-hood. How that will affect recruiting remains to be seen. Playing for a Hall-of-Famer is one thing, but playing for the Duke brand is another.
How patient will spectators and fans be if Scheyer’s tenure starts off slow? Does Duke have the same appeal without Coach K? There will be growing pains, but one thing is for certain, heart can’t be measured and we know Jon Scheyer is as fired up as anyone to lead Duke after the legendary Coach K. What plays into Jon’s favor is his ability to adapt faster to a younger culture, alongside his coaching staff. That is something K admits took a bit of time for him to come around to. As Scheyer stated today during his introduction presser;
“I don’t expect anything to be easy, but I’m always going to show up. We’re going to be relentless in our pursuit of championships.”