Duke's Jon Scheyer Talks Pandemic's Impact on Recruiting, College Season and More

Jason Jordan

Over the last decade Duke associate head coach Jon Scheyer has gone from leading the Blue Devils to a national title as a player, helping to guide them to another as an assistant coach and having to deliver the news to players that they wouldn’t even get the chance to compete for one.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep the world on pause, college basketball coaches around the world are settling into the new normal, specifically in how they go about luring elite players to their schools.

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“It’s such an unusual time,” Scheyer said. “This is really that time of year where we would’ve already seen some of our recruits multiple times in person.”

Recently, the NCAA extended its recruiting dead period to June 30, which means an abundance of Zoom calls and virtual campus tours between recruits and college coaches.

“I give Coach K a lot of credit, he’s gotten really good,” Scheyer said of Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s savvy with Zoom calls. “Same thing with our staff and figuring out ways we can connect without seeing them in person. We’re lucky to have a creative team, and it’s really been a great challenge.”

Scheyer said the key for coaches in this time is to “remain flexible,” a notion he’ll likely have to apply to not having famed Cameron Indoor Stadium at capacity whenever the college basketball season starts.

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Athletic directors are already announcing that football games will not be at capacity this season.

“It’s hard to envision that,” Scheyer said of Cameron Indoor not being at capacity. “I’ve probably been a part of a couple hundred games in Cameron and every one has been full. Even when you’re in Cameron and it’s empty it has just an aura to it and a feel. I think that will still be there no matter what, but of course, just like anything, it’s the people that make that place special and so we’ll have to adjust.”