The Duke Basketball banquet was held Thursday and now the video of Jon Scheyer’s speech is posted.
It’s heart felt and good in many respects. His first season was a big success and he's clearly poised for bigger things. And when you consider that he wasn’t that far off from finishing first in the ACC regular season and that Duke did in fact win the ACC Tournament in his first season, it was a rare accomplishment.
Duke Basketball is in good hands and we should all be pretty happy about that. Just 35, Scheyer’s coaching future is blindingly bright.
We do have a minor criticism though.
Scheyer could work a little on his public speaking. Nothing huge, but there were some whiffs, like saying “I’m not going to lie to you,” which only suggests the possibly that, well, he might.
One of his predecessor Mike Krzyzewski’s great accomplishments was to develop a public speaking style that essentially allowed him to coach far beyond the basketball court. When he speaks, you sit forward a little. It’s a secondary gig but you could make the argument that Coach K has become a better speaker than he was a coach.
Scheyer’s not there yet but then again neither was Coach K in his first season. And he has to have time to grow into his role in many ways. Clearly he’s doing well in the most important parts of his job and public speaking is secondary. But as Krzyzewski proved, it can really add a lot to your skill set.
We’ll say this though: when Scheyer was introduced as Duke’s next coach in that presser, he looked like a nervous teenager. A couple of minutes into his comments, and he looked and sounded like he was in control.
If you saw him at last year’s banquet, it was a similar phenomenon: he seemed quite nervous at the beginning then settled down.
He’ll be fine at public speaking eventually too.