Duke basketball program has found its next head coach

Duke basketball coaching staff (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball coaching staff (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball program found its next head coach in its win over Boston College.

Jon Scheyer finally got his chance at being a head coach as he took control of the Duke basketball program on Wednesday night.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski was at home because of COVID-19 quarantine protocols after coming into contact with a family member who had tested positive, and game-day head coaching duties were bestowed upon the associate head coach.

Scheyer was in line to lead the Blue Devils in a Top-25 matchup against Florida State on Saturday night, but the game was postponed due to positive coronavirus tests within the Seminoles program.

Nevertheless, Krzyzewski remained in quarantine as Duke returned home to face Boston College, and it was finally time for the two-time National Champion to put his head coaching abilities on display in an audition for a potential head coaching job in Durham when the 73-year-old Hall of Famer retires.

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Not having five-star freshman Jalen Johnson or graduate transfer Patrick Tape already hampered Scheyer in his debut, and watching Boston College race out to a 16-point lead late in the first half certainly did not create a good first impression.

However, much to the credit of Scheyer and the rest of the Duke coaching staff, the Blue Devils cut the deficit to single digits at halftime and rallied to take the lead in the second half and hold off a late surge by the Eagles, winning 83-82.

Duke basketball players appreciated the efforts of their acting head coach

Following the victory, Jon Scheyer said he was happy that he was able to get his first victory as a head coach but wished it didn’t have to come in this fashion with Mike Krzyzewski in quarantine.

“It’s not how I dreamed about coaching my first game. Again, I think bizarre circumstances. All of us — Nate [James], Chris [Carrawell], Nolan [Smith], and I — you want to get that win for Coach. It’s just natural to feel that way. There’s pressure you put on yourself…we all felt that way,” Scheyer said after the game.

Krzyzewski praised the efforts of his staff as he tried to remain as engaged as possible throughout the week from his home.

After the best performance of his season and tying a career-high with 25 points, sophomore forward Wendell Moore also had high praise for Jon Scheyer.

“He won the game, so I think he did great,” Moore told the media. “He put us in all the right positions to be successful. He called the big plays down the stretch, and he just wasn’t scared of the moment. He knew we had his back, and we knew he had our back, and he was really big-time tonight.”

Not only can Jon Scheyer get things done on the recruiting trail as one of the nation’s top recruiters, but now he’s also proven he can make the in-game adjustments to defeat an ACC opponent, regardless of its records.

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Sounds like a future head coach in Durham.

Jon Scheyer could have another chance at leading No. 21 Duke (4-2, 2-0 ACC) as the acting head coach as it is unknown if Mike Krzyzewski will be out of his quarantine for Saturday’s game against Wake Forest (3-2, 0-2 ACC).

Tipoff is scheduled for 12:00pm EST (ACC Network) inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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