When we run down our list of favorite Duke players, of course we have the usual suspects: Shane Battier, Tyus Jones, Jason Williams, Zion Williamson...you can probably put together a similar list and it could go on for a while.
But beyond the big names are a lot of other guys who we respect immensely. Take Matt Jones for instance, or Marshall Plumlee, in many ways the most impressive of the Plumlee brothers. You could put Quinn Cook here too, and a bunch of other guys who just showed immense heart and character.
And when you’re on that list, you have to include Amile Jefferson.
Jefferson was forced to play early at Duke, before he was ready, really because of injuries, and he gave his all despite being terribly slender.
He didn’t stay slender and became a factor, and, in 2015 when it worked better for him to come off the bench, he did that willingly and brilliantly.
And that was a big factor in Duke’s 2015 title run.
Mike Krzyzewski said recent that all of his hires were former captains, which we had not realized, but it makes perfect sense. And now, perhaps his final hire is another, as former captain Jefferson returns to Duke Basketball, this time as director of player development.
Coach K has long hired guys in secondary positions and promoted them when there’s an opening for an assistant.
So while no one can say for sure right now, it’s very possible that Mike Krzyzewski’s last hire could also be Jon Scheyer’s first as he’ll need to hire another assistant when he moves up to head coach next spring. Jefferson would be a great addition.