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Duke Recruiting: Jon Scheyer, Boldly Going Where No One Has Gone Before

Just look at the names on this list - and how much older they were, too.

 CLEMSON, SC - JANUARY 14: Duke Blue Devils head coach Jon Scheyer during a college basketball game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Clemson Tigers on January 14, 2023, at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C.
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After Josh Pastner was let go by Georgia Tech last spring, he suddenly had plenty of time on his hands but being an industrious Dale Carnegie type, Pastner has found something to do with his probably excessive freedom: podcasting!

Pastner is contributing to the Field of 68 podcast and over there he had this to say about Jon Scheyer’s recruiting: “They have recruited better - and it’s nothing against Coach K - who’s maybe the greatest ever and maybe of any sport - Jon Scheyer has actually recruited, and Duke Basketball has recruited better in the last two years than they were even with Coach K as the head coach! It’s incredible.”

When you think about it, who has recruited better, historically speaking?

Dean Smith had Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Sam Perkins on one team (of course he also had Matt Doherty, but you can’t have everything). A few years later, he had Kenny Smith and Jordan and in the 1990’s, he had Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse in the same class and Antawn Jamison was a load. So Dean is certainly up there.

John Wooden managed to get both Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, which is kind of crazy, and a ton of other phenomenal talents. At some point though, Wooden turned a blind eye to some fairly aggressive cheating. And John Calipari was killing for a while at Kentucky, regularly reeling in the best talent even if he didn’t always get his money’s worth for his trouble (you know it’s true, especially you Kentucky fans).

Even so.

Wooden’s home run recruiting came in the last decade or so of his career, it took Smith about a decade to really ramp UNC up, not to mention the ACC still being segregated at the beginning of his career, and Kentucky is Calipari’s third head coaching job.

We can’t think of anyone who did what Scheyer is doing at the start of his career. There’s literally no no one even close.