Future of Duke basketball program could be closer than many think

Duke basketball coaching staff (Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball coaching staff (Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports) /

The future of the Duke basketball program could be right in front of the eyes of the many in Durham.

Mike Krzyzewski‘s days on the Duke bench are clearly numbered.

Whether it’s one year, two years, three years, four years, or more, no one knows when the 73-year-old Hall of Famer is going to hang up the suit and clipboard and give way to the next head coach of the Blue Devils.

Despite giving no indication of when retirement could come, speculation continues to roar on among Duke fans and those involved within the college basketball community of who takes over for Coach K.

The Athletic has been the latest outlet to discuss the million-dollar question as Dana O’Neil rattled off the slew of names that many have already discussed, including Jeff Capel, Chris Collins, Steve Wojciechowski, Tommy Amaker, Johnny Dawkins, Bobby Hurley, etc.

O’Neil also threw out the big-time names of John Beilein, Jay Wright, Brad Stevens, and Billy Donovan, none of which even seem like a pipe dream at the moment.

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However, Seth Davis, of the same publication, released his Forty Under Forty list, and it includes one of those potential future head coach candidates, Jon Scheyer.

Scheyer, 37, not only coaches at Duke but also played under Krzyzewski and led the Blue Devils to their fourth National Championship in 2010 and was an assistant coach during the 2015 run to the title.

In his short snippet of why he included the Blue Devil in his list, Davis says, “…if Scheyer stays in Durham, he possibly could succeed Coach K when he retires.”

Would Duke basketball really give the reins to the program to someone who has no head coaching experience?

If I had to give a definitive answer at this very moment, I’d say Duke goes with an experienced coach, but who really knows.

As a coach who has risen to the top of the assistant coaching tree in Durham and is one of the most highly regarded assistants in the college basketball world, Scheyer could very well be in line to be the successor to Mike Krzyzewski.

Nate James could also be under consideration to replace K, and he and Scheyer are the only two players in program history to win a National Championship as a player and a coach.

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The two know what it takes to win both on the court and on the sidelines, something that will be seriously taken into account as Krzyzewski certainly won’t be far away from the program once he steps down from the demanding requirements it takes to be the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils.

While fans are searching for the replacement to the best who has ever done it, the answer might be right in that trophy case that holds the five National Championships.

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