Duke basketball assistant interviews for job close to home

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

It might soon be time to offer a raise to one Duke basketball staff member.

Two weeks ago, Ball Durham noted that Duke basketball associate head coach and Chicago-area native Jon Scheyer has seen his name pop up in numerous articles speculating on potential candidates to fill a few coaching vacancies throughout the Midwest.

Now, according to a tweet on Monday from the Coaching Changes account — an invaluable resource right now as countless heads tend to roll around this time of year — it appears as if Scheyer has indeed interviewed to take over the DePaul basketball program, which parted ways with Dave Leitao a week ago and is located in the heart of the Windy City.

The account also noted that there could be mutual interest between the Blue Demons and nearby Loyola Chicago head coach Porter Moser, who has now led the Ramblers to more NCAA Tournament wins since 2018 (six) than either Kentucky or UNC.

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Thus far, the DePaul brass has reportedly talked to two other candidates as well, both 54-year-olds: former Blue Demon sensation Rod Strickland, who played 17 seasons in the NBA and is nowadays a program manager for the G League, and current New York Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne, a former recruiting wizard on the Kentucky basketball staff from 2010 to 2020.

A potentially lucrative gig for the Duke basketball gem

If DePaul falls in love with Jon Scheyer, who has won a national title with the Blue Devils as both a player (2010) and an assistant (2015), then there’s a chance the school will offer him a hefty contract.

Joe Henricksen of the Chicago Sun-Times implied as much when monitoring the search last week:

"“The word — and again, this is more the word than absolute fact — is that DePaul is willing to pay and invest top dollar into its new head coach if it’s needed, that the money is there to try and make a splash.”"

With that in mind, Duke should think about making a splash of its own by whipping out the checkbook in an attempt to keep the whiz kid in Durham.

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Remember, Jon Scheyer has been among the top five on the 247Sports Recruiter Rankings for four years running. Plus, he has already notched a 1-0 record as an acting head coach after passionately guiding the 2020-21 Duke basketball squad to an 83-82 victory over Boston College in January while Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski sat out due to COVID-19 tracing.