While we were sad to see Nolan Smith leave Duke for Louisville, we understood. It’s always been a part of his life, it ties him to his late father, and the draw is totally understandable.
But we were also really happy to see Amile Jefferson promoted. He’s now an assistant coach and our guess is that he’ll be really good.
We watched him last year and were impressed by his focus. He was taking notes - we have no idea what exactly he was writing down - but he was consistently taking notes on the bench.
He was a guy who was willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the team, and has always been a natural leader.
Watching him grow from a painfully skinny freshman to a well-muscled senior who could motivate his teammates, well, it was hard not to appreciate that.
He’s excited to start his coaching career, of course. It’s hard to know where it will take him but the strengths he showed as a player will also serve him well as a coach.