Jon Scheyer hoping apology to fans pays dividends before ACC Tournament

The Duke head coach is hoping his players make his comments age well

Mar 9, 2024; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Jon Scheyer gestures during
Mar 9, 2024; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Jon Scheyer gestures during / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The aftermath of a Duke basketball loss to North Carolina is never good and the Tar Heels sweeping the Blue Devils makes things even worse.

It was so bad that Jon Scheyer apologized to some of the Cameron Crazies on his way off the floor following Saturday's 84-79 defeat.

"I'm sorry. We're gonna keep going. We're going to get this right," is what the reporters on press row documented the head coach said inside Cameron Indoor.

"I just want to thank our students, our fans, everybody. I mean, this environment – I don’t care where you go – it’s the best environment in college basketball, and there’s a part of you that feels like you let them down," he continued in his postgame press conference.

It puts Duke in a unique position.

Scheyer ripped into his team for its lack of hustle and effort when losing to the Tar Heels in early February and proceeded to go 8-1 in its next nine games until the loss on Saturday.

Did the team buy in to what its head coach said or did it just stack victories on what is a weak ACC? It was probably a little bit of both.

However, saying "we're going to get this right," to the fanbase certainly adds pressure to the Blue Devils, which might not need it at this time.

It feels likely that the two teams will meet again this Saturday in the ACC Championship Game and losing three times in one season to the Heels would be a real shock to Duke entering the NCAA Tournament.

The Blue Devils also have the small shadow hanging over itself of getting bounced in the Round of 32 last season and many projecting this team as a favorite to get to the Final Four, with four returning staters from last season and one of the top ranked recruiting classes in the country.

Apologies and words can only mean so much coming from this Duke program, now it's time to see those intentions put into action on the court starting on Thursday night in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN).