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The Transition - Is It Complete?

Not quite but very close.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Duke
 Feb 20, 2023; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Jon Scheyer reacts during the first half against the Louisville Cardinals at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The first question you have to ask about Duke going forward is pretty simple: is the transition over?

The question is simple but the answer isn’t.

The much discussed transition between retired coach Mike Krzyzewski, who had an unbelievably brilliant 42-year run at Duke and Jon Scheyer, who just completed Year I, is at least mostly complete - and successful.

Scheyer finished his first season 27-9 and as ACC Champions (the tournament winner is recognized as the ACC champs and gets the automatic bid). That’s an amazing first year, not least of all because of the pressure of following a legend.

He also has been recruiting brilliantly and will have a tremendous group next season. There are parts of the transition we can’t see, but in general?

Based on what we can see, it’s gone very well.

In December, it didn't seem like that so much. The Blue Devils struggled early and were extremely turnover prone.

But defense was a constant from Day One and the offense certainly came along. There is still likely to be some roster movement going forward, so it’s not possible yet to know what Scheyer will have to work with. But you can look ahead in some ways and there are two key things, we think, for next year’s team: versatility and quality shooting.

Next season, Duke will have Mark Mitchell, Mackenzie Mgbako, Jared McCain, TJ Power and, assuming he returns (we haven’t heard anything, but you just never know these days), Jaden Schutt.

That is potentially a lethal three point attack, and once you have that, the pressure to guard the perimeter leads the inside open to penetration.

As far as the transition goes, you have look past the record and ask: has Scheyer put his stamp on the program? And by that we mean as an individual coach.

And our answer to that is yes and no. This was his team - he recruited everyone except for Jeremy Roach and Jaylen Blakes. But he hasn't had the players (much less the healthy players) to open the court up.

He should next year, and that will change things quite a bit.