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Mike Krzyzewski’s shadow? Duke coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer embraces ‘hardest job in the history of the sport’

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Mike Krzyzewski’s shadow? Duke coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer embraces ‘hardest job in the history of the sport’

, USA TODAY
Published 2: 28 p.m. ET June 4, 2021

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Sports Pulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Wolken reacts to the information that Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski will retire after the 2021-22 season.

USA TODAY

Jon Scheyer walked into his introductory information conference Friday at Cameron Indoor Stadium together with his partner, Marcelle, daughter Noa, and son, Jett. Duke’s coach of the future took the podium as the original face of the program for the first time.

The spotlight shined brighter than in the nationwide championship video games he gained as a participant (2010) or piloted as an assistant coach (2015). “A sexy cool moment,” Scheyer acknowledged. 

The 33-one year-feeble confidently addressed the elephant in the room appropriate off the bat, acknowledging his succession of Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski to be the “hardest job in the history of the sport.” 

“I don’t interrogate it to be easy,” Scheyer acknowledged. “I don’t interrogate anything to be given to me. I’m constantly going to point to up. I realize how principal of a time it is for this program. I’m going to like this probability. We’re going to be relentless in our pursuit of championships.”

Coach Okay will retire at the finish of the 2021-22 season, meaning Scheyer will use one more season below his mentor as partner head coach sooner than he takes over in April. However Scheyer made it determined that his mentor’s towering legacy will likely be more of a blessing than a burden and that the culture Krzyzewski cultivated will live on. 

“Coach, one of the splendid items you have given all of us is every other. The Brotherhood,” a teary-eyed Scheyer acknowledged, making inspect contact with Krzyzewski, who turned into as soon as sitting in the crowd. “One of the most well-known things to me moving forward is to gain certain every frail participant knows they constantly have a station right here and are a fragment of what we’re doing.”

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OPINION:  No one will ever function it higher than Coach Okay, writes Dan Wolken

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Scheyer, who beat a plethora of Coach Okay disciples for the job, turned into as soon as requested by journalists what his legacy will likely be. He acknowledged “simplest time will describe” and he’ll favor to “make belief.” He also turned into as soon as requested how he’ll in the ruin coach in Krzyzewski’s shadow. He acknowledged he may maybe well maybe not. 

“It’s no secret the amazing success coach has had right here,” he acknowledged. “Following him is incredible because of this of of the foundation. I do know expectations near with that. One of (the) splendid (pieces) of recommendation coach has ever given me:  Apply my instincts fully. That’s what I’m going to function. I’m proper in who I’m.

“Coach Okay is one of one. I is likely to be unsuccessful if I attempted to be him. No one may maybe well also merely be Coach Okay. That acknowledged, I’m not slow, I have the splendid resource in (the) history of college basketball, I’m going to head to him if I must. I examine that as an advantage. Frankly not haunted about that in any appreciate.”

Duke College president Vincent Worth acknowledged beforehand there’s “no one higher though-provoking to carry on Coach Okay’s legacy.” And fittingly, Scheyer even paid homage to Krzyzewski’s introductory information conference when no one may maybe well maybe tell his name. 

“He’s 33,” Krzyzewski instructed journalists Thursday. “I turned into as soon as 33 after I bought right here. … He’s one of the smartest coaches in the nation. No one knows that in addition to I do know that. The avid gamers know that.”

A student of the game, Scheyer acknowledged sooner than he grew to develop into one of the most prolific scorers in Illinois high college basketball history he “constantly principal to be a coach” and turned into as soon as filling out misleading rosters on his notebooks. He regarded relief on two moments of destiny — every in Las Vegas — that drew him to Duke as a participant and a coach. 

The first turned into as soon as at a basketball camp when Krzyzewski instructed a younger Scheyer to dream astronomical. A photo of a prepubescent Scheyer posing with Coach Okay went viral Thursday and he acknowledged that turned into as soon as the begin of a protracted relationship sooner than his eventual recruitment. 

“After I turned into as soon as 16 years feeble, coach command out a imaginative and prescient for me that went previous basketball,” Scheyer acknowledged. “I wasn’t definite this turned into as soon as what you had in mind.”

Dream astronomical! 💙 pic.twitter.com/jeJkNhi8f4

— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) June 2, 2021

The other turned into as soon as at the 2010 NBA Las Vegas Summer League when Scheyer suffered an inspect injury that in the ruin performed a fragment in his professional profession being minimize quick. 

“I had an injury to my inspect. Instead of being teammates with LeBron, I had medical doctors telling me I could maybe also merely never play basketball again because of this of of losing permanent imaginative and prescient in my appropriate inspect. … That command me on a route this form … into coaching at a young age.”

Duke athletics director Kevin White — who is stepping down in August and is handing the torch to Nina King – acknowledged Scheyer indubitably “gained the job” over any other candidate in a search that simplest took 10 days nevertheless started long sooner than Krzyzewski instructed administration about his retirement opinion. White acknowledged he “long studied the marketplace.”  

White acknowledged Scheyer “represents the splendid in class relative to the next generation” together with his prowess on the recruiting path and in truth feel for the sport’s future with avid gamers in the ruin being compensated and competing in professional leagues command to lure away one-and-done skill. 

“Duke as a program is in the splendid station to switch forward in this landscape,” Scheyer acknowledged. “Or not it is immense to have (other) alternatives for formative years. Enormous to have that probability for formative years. The appropriate formative years will aloof favor to relating to Duke.” 

Apply college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson

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Mike Krzyzewski’s shadow? Duke coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer embraces ‘hardest job in the history of the sport’