12 Duke Blue Devils

Nov. 23, 2009
Nov. 23, 2009

Table of Contents
Nov. 23, 2009

  • Feeling good and finally content with a reduced role in the offense, LaDainian Tomlinson is rediscovering the joy of running as San Diego makes its move in the AFC West


12 Duke Blue Devils

Last February, as Duke was in the midst of a dismal stretch in which it dropped four of six games, associate head coach Chris Collins called guard Jon Scheyer into his office and administered some tough love. "He didn't think I was playing with an edge," says Scheyer, now a senior. "It was hard to hear, but he was right." The pep talk provided a jolt, but what truly electrified Scheyer was the decision by coach Mike Krzyzewski to move him from shooting guard to point guard following a loss at Boston College on Feb. 15. After the switch Scheyer averaged 18.6 points, 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals over the Blue Devils' final 12 games and was named MVP of the ACC tournament. "Jon was in a rut," Collins says. "The move allowed him to wipe the slate clean."

This is an article from the Nov. 23, 2009 issue

This season Scheyer is hoping for a happier ending. The Blue Devils were blitzed by Villanova 77--54 in the Sweet 16 last March, the fifth consecutive year they failed to reach the Elite Eight. Scheyer, who will resume point guard duties full time, is one of four returning starters on the biggest team Krzyzewski has coached in 30 years at Duke. The perimeter, which already included the 6'5" Scheyer and 6'2" junior guard Nolan Smith, will get taller this year when versatile junior Kyle Singler—one of six players on the roster who are 6'8" or taller—moves to small forward.

All that size will reduce the team's overall quickness and limit the end-to-end pressure that has been a staple of Krzyzewski's best teams. He has already said this team will play more zone defense than his others. This time the Blue Devils' biggest asset will be the experience and competitiveness of its nucleus.

Over the summer Scheyer discovered that his parents still had the Villanova debacle on their DVR. Though he grew frustrated watching the game, he also gleaned a better understanding of what it will take to maintain his edge next March. "They were tougher and more together than us," he says. "We can't let that happen again."



Mike Krzyzewski (30th season)

2008-09 record



11--5 (T-2nd)

NCAA tournament

Sweet 16

View this article in the original magazine

PGJon Scheyer6'5"Sr.14.9 ppg2.8 apg
SGNolan Smith6'2"Jr.8.4 ppg1.7 apg
SFKyle Singler6'8"Jr.16.5 ppg7.7 rpg
PFLance Thomas6'8"Sr.5.3 ppg3.6 rpg
CMiles Plumlee6'10"Soph.1.8 ppg1.4 rpg
CBrian Zoubek7'1"Sr.4.1 ppg3.7 rpg

Returning starter


Nov. 13 UNC Greensboro

Nov. 16 Coastal Carolina*

Nov. 17 Charlotte or Elon*

Nov. 21 Radford

Dec. 2 at Wisconsin

Dec. 5 St. John's

Dec. 15 Gardner-Webb

Dec. 19 Gonzaga†

Dec. 29 Long Beach State

Dec. 31 Pennsylvania

Jan. 3 Clemson

Jan. 6 Iowa State‡

Jan. 9 at Georgia Tech

Jan. 13 Boston College

Jan. 17 Wake Forest

Jan. 20 at North Carolina State

Jan. 23 at Clemson

Jan. 27 Florida State

Jan. 30 at Georgetown

Feb. 4 Georgia Tech

Feb. 6 at Boston College

Feb. 10 at North Carolina

Feb. 13 Maryland

Feb. 17 at Miami

Feb. 21 Virginia Tech

Feb. 25 Tulsa

Feb. 28 at Virginia

March 3 at Maryland

March 6 North Carolina

*NIT Season Tip-Off (semifinalists play in New York City on Nov. 25 and 27)

†in New York City

‡in Chicago


This game could decide the ACC regular-season title, and it's also a chance for the Blue Devils to end Carolina's recent dominance: The Tar Heels have won four in a row at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

my SI

Get the latest and best Blue Devils stories, statistics and fan blogs from across the Web, handpicked by the editors of SI.

PHOTOBOB ROSATOJON SCHEYER Coming off a strong finish last season, the 6'5" point guard leads a big lineup with bigger ideas than the Sweet 16.PHOTO