As we’ve mentioned before, and as the current DBR Podcast notes, the transition (or perhaps The Transition) is underway but we don’t really know what exactly to expect from new Duke coach Jon Scheyer. He’s given us some hints, both via comments and who he’s gone after.
He seems to be looking for players who - not suprisingly - reflect his own values as a player: intelligence, versatility and tenacity.
That said, there are a million things we don’t know. Mike Krzyzewski didn’t run two bigs all that often but Scheyer has at least two that are really good, possibly three. Will he go with athleticism? Or size?
It’s a great question. With Dereck Lively and Kyle Filipowski, you have two really talented big guys, but Coach K would typically revert to one big with four athletic players, with one preferably being a point guard.
But he could go with Lively or Filipowski as the bigs and surely Jeremy Roach and Dariq Whitehead. But who else?
Coach K’s semi-traditional mid-to late season adjustment would plug one or two guys in who could resolve some of the issues his current team was having. To us, that was always an amazing thing to see. You didn’t expect to see someone move up but that guy would start and the team would go on a late-season run.
But not everyone does things like that.
When Pete Gaudet ran the team in Coach K’s absence, he handled timeouts very differently, preferring to hold them like Dean Smith did. Coach K never hesitated to burn one when he thought his team wasn’t living up to his expectations.
Bill Foster tended to stick with a fairly tight rotation, much to the frustration of his bench.
People are different and teams take on the personalities of their coaches. Watching The Transition play out on the court is going to be fascinating.
One underrated thing about Jon Scheyer is that he was intensely competitive. He’s a very genial guy who seems happy-go-lucky but that’s surface. It’s going to be interesting to see how hot his fire burns.