No ‘Grace Period’ coming for Jon Scheyer as the new head men’s basketball coach at Duke University

Don’t expect a grace period for new Duke HC Jon Scheyer
from Eric Smithling, with

New Duke coach Jon Scheyer is following a coaching legend, but he won’t be graded on a curve.

Mike Krzyzewski defined Duke basketball for over four decades. As the Blue Devils embark on their first full season without him as head coach since the 1979-80 season, they’ve put the keys in the hands of first-time head coach Scheyer.

Scheyer, 35, wasn’t alive when Krzyzewski embarked on his legendary career. Krzyzewski retired with a 1,129-309 record at Duke. His 1,202 wins at Duke and Army make Krzyzewski the winningest coach in college basketball history.

His career nearly had a storybook ending as Duke made it to the 2022 Final Four before losing to rival North Carolina.

With the start of the 2022-23 season on Nov. 7, Scheyer won’t have to wait much longer to begin a new era of Duke basketball. They enter the season ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press preseason poll.

North Carolina’s Hubert Davis took the Tar Heels to the championship game last season in his first year following two-time national champion Roy Williams’ retirement. That the Blue Devils’ biggest rival was able to usher in a new era of basketball in Chapel Hill so effortlessly will certainly weigh on fans as the season evolves.

Before Davis a year ago, there was no recent precedent for the successor of a championship-winning coach to find immediate success. From Gary Williams’ departure from Maryland to Kevin Ollie’s firing at Connecticut, there were five instances of a team moving on from its championship-winning coach.

None made the NCAA tournament in the first season with its new coach.

Scheyer has been a key figure on the Blue Devils’ bench since the 2013-14 season, and the program expects that stability to lead to a seamless changing of the guard.

Center Dereck Lively II is ranked as the No. 2 prospect out of high school, small forward Dariq Whitehead at No. 3, and center Kyle Filipowski at No. 4, per 247 Sports. All three are projected first-round picks in 2023’s NBA Draft.

Per the Washington Post, players aren’t feeling added pressure in the build-up to the 2022-23 campaign, and that’s thanks to Scheyer.

Guard Jeremy Roach said: “It’s been a smooth transition…coach Scheyer is always going to give guys that confidence…he’s going to make you feel comfortable.”