Duke basketball: Biggest thing Jon Scheyer must get accomplished early in offseason

Jon Scheyer has to somewhat replicate last offseason's plan
Nov 29, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer talks to guards
Nov 29, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer talks to guards / Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

It was pretty amazing that Jon Scheyer didn't have one player transfer out of the Duke basketball program last offseason in this age of college basketball, and he's hoping to replicate some of that magic this offseason.

Things will surely be different this spring because the Blue Devils will have players that leave the program via the portal.

If every player that still has eligibility were to return next season, plus the six incoming freshmen, Duke would be four scholarships over the limit that is allocated to each program.

However, Scheyer is going to need to retain at least two members of his current backcourt of Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, Jared McCain, and Caleb Foster in the coming weeks.

Roach, who was a senior this season, does have one more year of eligibility remaining due to his rookie campaign being impacted by 2020-21 season which interrupted by COVID-19. It still feels like he will end his tenure at Duke and embark on his professional career, but hope remains for a fifth year.

If that is the case and he turns pro, it leaves the trio of Proctor, McCain, and Foster for the Blue Devils to try and keep.

It's so vital to keep these players, specifically Proctor and Foster, because the incoming group of freshmen do not have a true point guard and, while many members of the class appear to be prolific shooters, it's unlikely that any will live up to the reputation that McCain made for himself this season.

Foster suffered a stress fracture in his ankle in late February that kept him out of the postseason. Returning only him as the team's point guard could cause some to worry about his lack of experience playing in the biggest games of the year.

It makes the decision of Proctor, who has played in two NCAA Tournaments, that much more important. The Australian was originally supposed to be a freshman this season before he reclassified and joined last year's freshmen class. Many thought he was going to take a massive leap when he announced his return to the program for his sophomore season, but it never happened consistently.

Some even predicted he would be a NBA lottery pick this summer, but now he is not even on draft boards. Age is not an issue for Proctor, meaning he could afford another season in college, and Duke has a solid NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) infrastructure, so he could benefit from a junior season.

A backcourt of Tyrese Proctor and Caleb Foster would be a tremendous addition to a team that will have a lot of attention this offseason.

Trying to retain Jared McCain will be difficult given his prolific shooting and the emphasis that NBA teams put on quality shooters in the draft. He is projected as a 1st round pick in a very weak draft class, which could only improve his stock.

If Jon Scheyer is able to retain two players in the group of Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, Caleb Foster, and Jared McCain, which should be a major priority, than the Duke basketball offseason will be off to an amazing start and other pieces would fall into place shortly after.

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