Jon Scheyer said Duke basketball needed to 'go to another level' with offseason moves

The Blue Devil head coach knew that his roster needed major adjustments this offseason
Louisville v Duke; Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer talks to the bench
Louisville v Duke; Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer talks to the bench / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

It was startling to see the Duke basketball team have ten players depart from its roster this offseason.

Two guys, Kyle Filipowski and Jared McCain, entered the NBA Draft while only one, Ryan Young, exhausted all of his eligibility and graduated. The rest saw seven players -- Jeremy Roach, Jaylen Blakes, Jaden Schutt, TJ Power, Mark Mitchell, Sean Stewart, and Christian Reeves -- enter the transfer portal.

Head coach Jon Scheyer said on the most recent episode of The Brotherhood Podcast that it was difficult to see those players leave Durham but it was needed to take the next step as a program.

"The way of building a team, and getting older, is tougher to do if you don't have any transfers," Scheyer said to Jay Bilas on adding talent to the roster.

"Having experience is still a valuable thing."

Scheyer said that conversations began with players on last year's roster the day after its loss against NC State in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

He never promised anyone on the the roster a starting spot, certain amount of minutes, or a guaranteed amount of shots this season.

"We had incredibly honest, heartfelt conversations with each one of them, whether they were going pro, coming back [to Duke], or leaving," he added.

"Our program needed to go to another level this year with the competitiveness and also the fit of the guys that we had."

Duke added four transfers, Syracuse's Maliq Brown, Purdue's Mason Gillis, Tulane's Sion James, and Rice's Cameron Sheffield, in addition to six recruits in its recruiting class.

Jon Scheyer added that he has "nothing but great things to say" about the players that he coached last season and offered to help them in any way possible after entering the transfer portal.

He also said that he would've welcomed those players back if they accepted not having a defined role on the team entering the summer.

Now, Duke moves forward with its current batch of players, led by returners Tyrese Proctor and Caleb Foster, to take the next step as a program under Jon Scheyer.