Jon Scheyer (Duke)
Kenny Payne and Jon Scheyer are both first-year head coaches in the ACC. They each previously won NCAA championships as college basketball players and have now returned to their alma maters to take on head coaching roles for the first time in their careers. However, that is just about where the similarity between the two coaches’ situations comes to an end.
While Payne left an assistant coaching position with the New York Knicks to take over a struggling Louisville basketball program that had fired two head coaches in the last six years, Scheyer was promoted from within after the retirement of the all-time winningest college basketball coach ever, Mike Krzyzewski.
Jon Scheyer inherited a Duke program that, in 2022, won the ACC regular season title and made it to the Final Four. On top of that, Coach K, Scheyer, and the rest of the coaching staff had already lined up the nation’s top recruiting class for the upcoming season.
Despite such seemingly perfect circumstances, Scheyer’s first season with the Blue Devils has been a bit of a disappointment considering the program’s exceptionally high standards. After starting the season ranked in the top 10, Duke has fallen out of the rankings and has suffered blowout losses to Purdue, Miami, and NC State.
That said, Duke is still one of the ACC’s better teams and appears to safely be in the NCAA Tournament field with an overall record of 21-8 and a conference record of 12-6.