Duke basketball clearly made right decision on coaching hire

Duke basketball coach Jon Scheyer (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball coach Jon Scheyer (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball program made the right hire in its coaching search. 

The consensus was that the Duke basketball program made the right decision in hiring Jon Scheyer to replace Mike Krzyzewski following the 2021-22 season until a report surfaced on Tuesday.

In his new book, Coach K: The Rise and Reign of Mike Krzyzewski, Ian O’Connor divulged the information that the program wanted to hire Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker while Krzyzewski wanted to hire Scheyer as his replacement.

Amaker, like Scheyer, played for and coached alongside Krzyzewski during his time in Durham, but there is no debate as to who should have been the next leader of the Blue Devils.

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The 56-year-old Amaker does have the experience of being a head coach at Seton Hall, Michigan, and Harvard, with a 437-287 career record, but does not have much postseason success to speak of.

Tommy Amaker only led the Pirates to one NCAA Tournament in four seasons and did not get to the Big Dance with the Wolverines in six years at the helm.

Harvard has been to four tournaments in 13 eligible seasons under Amaker but none since the 2014-15 season, and it recruits at a high level for an Ivy League school yet does not target players that Krzyzewski has during his tenure at Duke.

Duke basketball only had one option to replace Hall of Fame coach

Jon Scheyer only has head coaching experience in spurts when filling in for Mike Krzyzewski when he has been ill.

Despite the lack of experience as a head coach, Scheyer is the best recruiter in college basketball. The level at which the Blue Devils are bringing in top recruits is staggering.

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Duke has the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 and 2023, including three of the nation’s Top-5 players entering Durham next season.

If the experiment to replace Mike Krzyzewski is going to fail, and that’s not saying we expect it to fail, it has to fail first with Jon Scheyer at the helm because of the stability he brings to the program and his recruiting prowess.

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