First-time Duke coach Jon Scheyer on filling the shoes of his legendary predecessor Coach K:
To the list of life assurances – death and tax – you can add. Presence of Duke University In the NCAA March Madness tournament.
The Blue Devils already have one victory over Oklahoma’s Oral Roberts University on Thursday night. While their presence in the tournament is nothing new — this is their 45th time playing in it — they have a new face leading the team this year after the legendary coach. Mike Krzyzewski retired. After 42 seasons with the team last year.
For former Duke player and new head coach Jon Scheer, it’s the start of a new era.
“I’m never afraid of a challenge, and I understand what a challenge it is. I understand the incredible expectations, but at the same time, I think our program is set up for amazing success,” he said. told “CBS Mornings.” ”
Scheer met Krzyzewski, also known as Coach K, as a teenager. He was recruited out of his suburban college high school and helped Duke win the 2010 NCAA Tournament, his fourth. (They added another victory to their total in 2015. Won five tournaments..) In 2014, he joined the Blue Devils’ coaching staff and had the opportunity to learn from Krzyzewski.
“I don’t know that anybody in their right mind … thinks ‘OK, I’m going to be a, I want to be Coach K’s place,'” Scheier said. “But obviously, when the opportunity came, I was all in.”
While Krzyzewski No longer coaching the team, he is still the mentor of Shear.
“I love her. She’s family to me and, you know, her support means the world. She’s the best motivator. She has a feeling, an ability to relate and connect. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what set him apart and made him a special coach,” Scheer said. “Obviously the Xs and Os and all that takes (their) care. But for me, you know, I’m proud of the relationships, you know, just the relationship with our guys … ready to play them. To be able to do, to believe in themselves at the highest level that they can.”
Scheer has big shoes to fill, but it’s been a fairytale season so far: He led the team to 23 wins in the regular season, setting the school record for most wins in a first season. However, he is not resting on his laurels.
“I’m going to use the year after to reflect on the accomplishments and be proud of them. Right now, (my) focus is on the next game and making a special run here,” he said.
While Duke has a long history of doing well in March Madness — they’ve made it to the Final Four 17 times and won 119 games in the tournament — Scheer said the team is just getting started.
“For me, it’s all about controlling what you can control,” he said. “I promise that my expectations for our success are as high or as high as anyone outside of what we can achieve, as far as wins and losses in this program. The margins are very slim. ‘Small.’ plays’ (can be) the difference in winning or losing, and so for us, handling it right, controlling what we can control, we position ourselves to make a certain run. I’ll put it in. And that’s it for me.”