Sports: It's Jon Scheyer's time to lead Duke men's basketball. He's ready for the challenge

Duke basketball: Coach K's 42 Blue Devils teams, ranked: Which one is No. 1?

  Duke basketball: Coach K's 42 Blue Devils teams, ranked: Which one is No. 1? Mike Krzyzewski has won five titles and had 13 teams reach the Final Four. But he won't get into a debate on which of his teams ranks No. 1.“Just like I don’t rate my daughters or my grandchildren,” he said last week.

GLENBROOK, Ill. — Chris Collins says Mike Krzyzewski would crack the same joke on Jon Scheyer that he’d rib him with on recruiting trips to Chicago.

“Coach K’s humor sort of surprises people,” said Collins, head coach at Northwestern for the last nine years and a 13-year assistant for Krzyzewski. “He’d always say to players that he was a true inner city Chicagoian, then say about me: ‘He’s not from real Chicago. He’s from the suburbs.’ Then he’d talk about knowing all these city streets and shortcuts. That same joke he’d use with me, he’d use with Jon.”

Duke associate head coach Jon Scheyer, right, talks to head coach Mike Krzyzewski during the first half against Florida State at Cameron Indoor Stadium. © Rob Kinnan, USA TODAY Sports Duke associate head coach Jon Scheyer, right, talks to head coach Mike Krzyzewski during the first half against Florida State at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Both Collins and Scheyer played high school basketball at Glenbrook North and were Illinois Mr. Basketball, albeit 14 years apart. That suburb connection is what helped Collins, Krzyzewski’s top assistant at the time, recruit Scheyer to Durham, North Carolina — where he became an All-America guard and helped lead Duke to the 2010 national championship.

How to Watch the X-Men Movies in Order

  How to Watch the X-Men Movies in Order Twenty-two years ago, Hollywood was introduced to the glorious cast of characters known as the X-Men, and it hasn't looked back since. The past two decades has seen a whopping 13 movies based on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's beloved comic series, which range from films about the whole X-Men clan to origin stories for individual characters, like Wolverine and Deadpool. What's so great about the X-Men movies is that they all stand pretty well on their own. But, like most franchises, (especially within the MCU), there are also a ton of sneaky little threads that hold them all together and make the X-universe a fairly cohesive one.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

“I’ve known him since he was a teen to where he’s now in his 30s,” said Dave Weber, who retired as Glenbrook North coach in 2020. “What set him apart back then wasn’t even his talent scoring 50-point games, it was his leadership ability. Wherever he’d go people would follow and he’d back it up by working harder than anyone.

"I watch Coach K and of course now we see all the (pageantry) but it’s been his ability to lead his assistants, the community, the university, the players and work so hard. I see the similarity in who Jon is as a person. It’s not something you acquire. It’s something you’re (born with).”

Following Duke’s Final Four loss to North Carolina, Krzyzewski waved goodbye to a 42-year career that made him the winningest coach in men’s college basketball. But Coach K’s succession plan has been in place since last spring, with Scheyer hand-picked by the 75-year-old coach to step in. The plan saw Krzyzewski lead one final team, while Scheyer went out and hauled in the No. 1 recruiting class for 2022-2023 (per 247 Sports).

Final Four winners and losers: UNC and first-year coach Hubert Davis riding high; Duke and Coach K face cruel exit

  Final Four winners and losers: UNC and first-year coach Hubert Davis riding high; Duke and Coach K face cruel exit Hubert Davis has a chance to become the first coach to win his first NCAA title in his first year. Kansas' Bill Self is going for his second title.But that was just the undercard to the main event: No. 2 Duke and No. 8 North Carolina in the first meeting between the two rivals in men's NCAA Tournament history.

GOODBYE: Coach K's gift to his players after Duke's Final Four loss: Easing their pain

OPINION: Duke's Coach K is greatest of all time. But UNC ruined biggest moments of his last season

“I wanted to announce (last year) so the program could move on while I’m here for one more year,” said Krzyzewski, not wanting to be unethical and mislead recruits that he was staying. “I thought that was a good move for succession. When (Duke officials) decided who was their head coach, it worked out great. I told Jon, ‘go out and recruit all summer. I’m going to dive in with this team.’

Coach K added: “Anyone who thinks I’m going to hover around the program, you’re wrong. I’m ready to move on.”

Moving on means a new man in charge for the first time since 1980. Who is Jon Scheyer, the 34-year-old Krzyzewski heir taking over one of the most storied programs in the sport? He’s no Mike Krzyzewski. Scheyer separating himself as a new coach out of the shadow of a legend — while leaning on Duke’s tradition — will be essential.

2022 Grammy Awards: Jon Batiste Wins Album of the Year for 'We Are'

  2022 Grammy Awards: Jon Batiste Wins Album of the Year for 'We Are' The 2022 Grammy Awards broadcast wrapped up with an upset victory of sorts, with Jon Batiste beating out the likes of Taylor Swift and Kanye west to take home Album of the Year for his excellent "We Are." That was his fifth win of the night, following four wins during the "Premiere Ceremony," where all of the awards not deemed cool enough for television were handed out, hosted by the always wonderful Levar Burton. Batiste also accomplished aThat was his fifth win of the night, following four wins during the "Premiere Ceremony," where all of the awards not deemed cool enough for television were handed out, hosted by the always wonderful Levar Burton.

"He connects with us as people and relates to us because he's not that far removed from being a player," said Wendell Moore Jr. during the Final Four. "This (past) season, we had two guys we could really trust. Coach (Scheyer) knows the game and is one of the best out there. We all knew that."

“Jon is definitely equipped to be the guy. I have full confidence in him taking over at Duke,” Collins said.

That’s high praise coming from the coach who was a possibility to take over for Krzyzewski for many years before Northwestern came calling — and even for a few years after when the Wildcats made their first NCAA Tournament in program history in 2017. Of all the former players — nearly a hundred showed up to Krzyzewski’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium to honor him — a dozen are head coaches at other programs, all with viable credentials to contend for the Duke job. Yet Scheyer’s trajectory as an up-and-coming coach lined up perfectly with Krzyzewski’s retirement plans.

“One of the best pieces of advice I got from Coach K when I left Duke to come to Northwestern was, ‘don’t try to be me.’ Be yourself and trust the things you’ve learned from me,” Collins said. “I try to impart that same advice onto Jon. We’ve become more like brothers now. I tell Jon, ‘look, no one is going to be able to live up to Coach K’s legacy. If they tried, they’d fail miserably.’ Duke will always be Coach K’s. But hopefully Jon’s ready to imprint his own legacy.”

Scarlett Hefner joins the list of celebrities who became parents this year

  Scarlett Hefner joins the list of celebrities who became parents this year Find out which stars have welcomed a baby in the last few months.

Weber said he knows his former player will be ready to usher in Duke 2.0.

“I think having this year, where he’s known he’s going to be head coach, it’s given him a lot of time for planning and organizing, recruiting and building for the future while at the same time being present for this team,” Weber said. “In his mind, when this is over, it’ll be time. I think he’s ready to step into that chair. And you could see this year, it looked like Coach K was leaning on him more if you really looked close.”

Scheyer, an assistant on Krzyzewski’s staff since he was 25, knows the fanbase and future players are gunning for more. That’s the type of expectations Coach K built in four decades of winning.

“Guys didn’t just come here to play in the NCAA Tournament, they came here for national championships,” Scheyer said during a fall interview. “Sometimes, you don’t like that something challenging happens to you, but you need it to happen to you to lead to something else.”

The baton handoff from Krzyzewski to Scheyer has the feel of a track relay with a large lead given Duke’s tradition and resources. Scheyer said that privilege is something he doesn’t take for granted. But “pressure” isn’t the right word for what he’s felt at the inevitability of taking the reins from Krzyzewski.

“I’m blessed with this opportunity to coach somewhere I truly love, so the sales (pitch) is easy for me,” Scheyer said. “I still plan to keep winning championships here. That’s not going to stop. I wouldn’t say it’s pressure I feel. It’s more just the level of responsibility because of what Coach and Duke is all about – as a global brand in the world and how people take pride in our program. I don’t take it lightly, but at the same time it doesn’t overwhelm me.”

New Orleans flair lights up national anthem at men's NCAA Tournament final

  New Orleans flair lights up national anthem at men's NCAA Tournament final Social media lit up after Tarriona "Tank" Ball and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the Kansas-UNC game.Cued in by the notes of a trumpet, Tarriona "Tank" Ball performed the silky, upbeat vocals to "The Star-Spangled Banner" with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band playing behind her in a funky two-minute rendition.

Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: It's Jon Scheyer's time to lead Duke men's basketball. He's ready for the challenge

WNBA Draft: Destanni Henderson riding NCAA title game stardom to pro ball and national celebrity .
WNBA teams noticed when Destanni Henderson scored 26 points and defended UConn's Paige Bueckers in South Carolina's NCAA title game win last Sunday.The Fort Myers High School graduate has seen a career-best performance in the final game of her South Carolina career, a 64-49 NCAA championship game victory over UConn, reverberating in her pursuits as a professional basketball player, social media personality, and entrepreneur.

See also