When news broke this week that Amile Jefferson was being pursued by the Boston Celtics, that obviously opened a spot on Jon Scheyer’s bench. And while his predecessor Mike Krzyzewski would have certainly hired a former Devil and one of his captains to boot, Scheyer is doing things his way, as he should.
Our first reaction to the vacancy was: hire Quinn Cook. And we have said for a long time that we think he’s born to coach. He’ll be a great coach if he decides to pursue it.
But we’re still learning about Scheyer and how he’s building his program. He could certainly hire Cook, if he’s interested. He could go outside the program again, as he did when he hired Jai Lucas from Kentucky. Or maybe he could just hire from within.
Mike Schrage, currently a Special Assistant to Scheyer, has deep experience with Duke Basketball and he also has head coaching experience.
Like a lot of young coaches in recent years, Scheyer went after an experienced head coach to function somewhat like a consigliere, minus the morally repellent things that those men are required to do. Mike Schrage knows the ropes of running a program from scheduling to recruiting to what to do if the bus breaks down on a road trip.
That was a great role for the former Duke staffer and Elon Phoenix head coach, but there’s no reason why he couldn’t be promoted to assistant coach.
Whatever Scheyer decides, we’re looking forward to it as another indication of how he will run his program.
One other sign: there are rumblings that Duke could play Kentucky, presumably in this year’s inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge and that, moreover, the game could be in Rupp.
He had his reasons obviously, but whatever they were, we can’t imagine Krzyzewsi taking a Duke team into Rupp.