Mike Krzyzewski Explains Why Jon Scheyer Is His Perfect Successor at Duke Blue Devils

Published 06/04/2021, 1:37 PM EDT
Jun 3, 2021; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski answers a question at a press conference at Cameron Indoor Stadium announcing his plan to retire after the 2021-22 season. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports


College basketball allows longevity of careers for both players and coaches, which is why it has many iconic legacies. And perhaps the most iconic of them all will end next season, as Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced his retirement following the 2021-22 season.

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Along with his retirement, Coach K also revealed his successor to take over at Duke. His current assistant, Jon Scheyer has been handed the reins to take over from the 2022-23 season. During his press conference, he was asked why he feels Scheyer is the right man for the job. Krzyzewski replied, “Well, look at 2010 National Championship. He and Nolan were running our team.”

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In 2010, Scheyer was a senior on the Duke team. He was named captain, and he led from the front throughout the season. He took them all the way to the NCAA tournament title that season, bringing home Duke’s first national title in almost a decade. Scheyer was the leading scorer on the team, averaging 18.2 points per game, and he was also their primary playmaker.

In his playing career, he showed that leadership, and he continued to do so when he joined Krzyzewski’s coaching staff three years later.

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Just a minute after his initial comment about Scheyer, Krzyzewski had another comment about him which he turned into a joke on himself. He said, “It’s ironic he’s 33. I was 33 when I was here. My only wish for him is to not replicate my first 3 years.”

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Krzyzewski began his head coaching career with Duke in the 1980-81 season. The Blue Devils had a 17-13 record and missed the NCAA tournament. Next season was worse, as they had a 10-17 record and no NCAA tournament once again. Coach K’s struggles continued in his third season too as they had an 11-17 record and didn’t qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski stares at an official during the second half of the Blue Devils 85-77 loss to Maryland Wednesday February 28, 2007, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/WireImage)

After that season, they consistently became a 20+ win team and were NCAA tournament regulars. So now Krzyzewski is hoping that Scheyer is able to avoid similar failure in his first three seasons, and get off to a good start. Succeeding the best NCAA basketball coach of all-time will be a huge task, and Duke fans will hope that Scheyer is up for the challenge.

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Aaron Mathew

1631 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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