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More On The Transition To Jon Scheyer’s Duke Program

The changes he’s talking about sound really interesting.

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NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Practice
NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 01: Associate head coach Jon Scheyer of the Duke Blue Devils looks on during their practice session ahead of the 2022 Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four at Caesars Superdome on April 1, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

We’ve talked before about how Duke and UNC basketball tend to parallel one another as we saw last spring when assistants Hubert Davis and then Jon Scheyer were tabbed to take over for legendary predecessors Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski.

You can go on and on with this. Both losing on Black Sunday in 1979 is a great example. Both teams getting to the Final Four is another.

And here’s perhaps the latest.

After Davis took over last spring he made it clear that he was going to modernize UNC’s approach which basically meant opening up the offense to be outside in rather than necessarily inside out as Dean Smith, Bill Guthridge, Matt Doherty and Roy Williams did for more than 60 years.

And now we see Scheyer saying something similar: he told Sports Illustrated that he’s going to make “noticeable” differences.

Basically that comes down to getting players who are athletic but more like he was. According to SI’s Michael Rosenberg: “He has continued Duke’s recent philosophy of recruiting a new class of elite athletes every year, but Scheyer is increasing the emphasis on players who have a feel for the game like he did: passers, cutters, guys with court vision, who easily blend with others.”

Like Davis, there may be a learning curve and for all we know, it could be steeper. So again, it’s important for Duke fans to show some patience with their young coach and to support him as he forges his own identity and program. He’s going to get plenty of pressure. The last place he needs it is from us.