Duke basketball assistant potentially one step closer to leaving

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

A Duke basketball gem might now be one of two candidates for a job opening.

Earlier this week, there were multiple reports of Duke basketball associate head coach Jon Scheyer being one of three primary candidates who have interviewed to be the next head coach of the DePaul basketball program, which parted ways with Dave Leitao back on March 15.

The other two names on the Blue Demon radar at the time were New York Knicks assistant Kenny Payne and former DePaul standout Rod Strickland.

However, late Saturday afternoon, despite a report earlier in the day from The DePaulia sports editor Lawrence Kremer stating that DePaul was trying to finalize a deal with Payne, Knicks insider Ian Begley of SNY tweeted that the former Kentucky assistant has decided to stay put in New York.

In other words, given that there has been no serious word of any more names to pop up in DePaul’s ongoing search in recent days, it could indeed be just a two-man battle at this point — Scheyer versus Strickland — in the eyes of the Blue Demon brass.

That said, Loyola Chicago head coach Porter Moser, whose team lost to Oregon State in the Sweet 16 on Saturday, is a hot name most anywhere there happens to be an opening and, obviously, wouldn’t have to move his family if he was to end up at DePaul.

Following the news of Payne remaining with the Knicks, David Kaplan of NBC Sports Chicago summed up in a tweet what he thinks should be DePaul’s plan from here:

Why the Duke basketball treasure might be attracted to the DePaul gig

Not only is Jon Scheyer from the Chicago area, where DePaul is located, but the sharp-minded 33-year-old must also like that the Blue Demons play in an arena that is less than five years old and are now seemingly willing to invest a substantial amount into the future of the program.

With that in mind, a lofty contract could be in store for their next head coach.

Plus, the bar should be relatively low at DePaul right now in light of an NCAA Tournament drought that dates back 17 years. Yet the school does boast a fairly rich basketball tradition.

Scheyer, who sports a 1-0 record as acting Duke head coach after filling in for Mike Krzyzewski in a home win over Boston College in January, has been on the staff in Durham since the 2014-15 season when the program took home its fifth national title.

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Of course, as one of the most trustworthy senior guards to ever lace ’em up for the Blue Devils, Jon Scheyer was also part of a Duke basketball national championship in 2010.