Duke basketball: Why Jon Scheyer now has hardest job in world

Duke basketball head coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

The life of Duke basketball treasure Jon Scheyer is about to become Crazie.

It was only just over a decade ago that Jon Scheyer was a team captain leading the 2009-10 Duke basketball team to a championship.

After an attempt at a professional career was cut short due to an eye injury, Scheyer returned back to the place that helped make him into who he is. Since 2014, he’s played a key role in Duke basketball success stories as an assistant coach on the bench and by helping land recruits.

But now at year’s end, Scheyer will have the hardest job in the world.

Simply the end of an era for Duke basketball

The Duke basketball program will never be the same without Mike Krzyzewski, who is set to retire after the 2021-22 season but not before further grooming Scheyer, now the head coach-in-waiting. The Coach K era will always be referred to as the glory years.

Although significant success in Durham preceded his arrival, Kyrzyewski basically built the program from the ground up and turned it into one of the biggest sports brands in the world. The players come and go, but Coach K has always been there.

ALSO READ: Ranking the first 40 Duke teams under Coach K

There are now multiple generations living who have never seen a Duke basketball game without Coach K on the sidelines.

The argument could be made that Coach K is the most accomplished head coach in the history of the sport. Winning five national championships, over a thousand games, and being a national powerhouse every year is something that the majority of coaches would sell their souls for.

Coach K’s success has raised the standards and expectations so high that it will be impossible for anyone to ever get out of his shadow.

There are certain jobs in college basketball that nobody wants. Some jobs are so undesirable because there is no way to win whether it be the lack of administrative support or a long history of losing. Then there are jobs like Duke, which every coach would consider because of how good the program is, but few want all that comes with it.

Whenever Jon Scheyer goes through a tough stretch or loses a couple of games, people will be wishing Coach K never left. Even if Jon Scheyer has a ton of success, it will never be considered as great as the resume of Coach K.

With all of that being said, Scheyer is the ideal candidate to replace the living legend. Blue Devil fans already love him and will support him right from the jump.

Secondly, Scheyer has proven to be one of the best recruiters in the country. He played an instrumental role in getting some of the most talented players to come through Durham recently, such as Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum, Luke Kennard, Vernon Carey Jr., and Cam Reddish.

ALSO READ: Is Jayson Tatum the best NBA Blue Devil right now?

Scheyer will bring youth and will be better suited to manage the constant changes in NCAA rules, recruiting, and relating to the younger generations. He has also been able to learn firsthand from the goat himself as an assistant coach since 2014 and associate head coach since 2018.

He was also a four-year starter under Krzyzewski and helped bring him his fifth national title. If there is anyone who understands the pressure of being a Blue Devil and upholding the Duke basketball standard, it’s Jon Scheyer.

There will certainly be no shortage of pressure on Scheyer when he slides into the role. He will not only have to manage the team but also the expectations of one of the grandest, most widespread fanbases in sports.

There will undoubtedly be comparisons, but we have to remember that Jon Scheyer is not and never will be Coach K. Let’s appreciate him for who he is and what he does. His job isn’t to be better than Coach K, but simply to be the best version of Jon Scheyer.

Next. The 100 greatest Blue Devils under Coach K. dark

It will be a new Duke basketball era, which means things will never be the same. But it doesn’t mean that things won’t be even better.