Jon Scheyer on How Duke Recruiting Works

Assistant has seen Coach K change over 15 years
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As associate head coach, Duke’s Jon Scheyer plays a major role in recruiting. He’s seen his role evolve, even though Duke’s process for recruiting players has remained stable.

“I don’t think it’s changed much,” he said. “I would say the biggest thing—I was very fortunate, the time I came in, eight years ago as a special assistant. Wojo (Steve Wojciechowski) was still here, Cape (Jeff Capel). I became very close with them, and obviously, Coach (Nate) James, who I’ve known ever since I was a player. Just to see how those guys handle the recruiting process. Obviously, guys are coming here to play for Coach K. That is why our guys come here. That’s a big deal. For us, we have a very unique thing as a staff, to work as a team. If one guy is communicating more with a family or with a player, all of us are involved. All of us talk about every situation. It makes for a lot of success, not to mention Coach K—how he is, what he does, how great a recruiter he’s proven to be. It’s fun. I’ve enjoyed it. I learned lot from Cape and Wojo. Just working as a team is the biggest thing we do really well at a high level here.”

Scheyer has known Mike Krzyzewski since Coach K started recruiting him more than 15 years ago. He’s seen the Hall of Famer change over that time.

“I could write a book on this one,” he said. “Shorter practices now then when I was a player, not as much yelling. I could go on and on. Give Coach a lot of credit. He’s been coaching here over 40 years. I can only speak to what I saw first-hand as a player (that has changed): The style of play we had, even the practices—the length of practice, the kinds of things we’re doing and him adjusting to how players today need to be coached which is different. Even the recruiting process. Coach K and I weren’t texting when I was being recruited. It was mainly on the phone. We were talking about defense today in our staff meeting, and he’s open to doing things he’s never done before. I don’t know too many Hall of Fame coaches—the best coach ever—who’s doing something he’s never done before. It’s a credit to Coach and why he’s been so successful all these years.”