We recently got a chance to interview Jon Scheyer, which times perfectly with Countdown to Craziness just a few days away. As a senior, Jon Scheyer helped lead Duke Basketball to its 4th national championship. Jon then went on to play basketball professionally for 3 years before returning to Duke to work on the basketball staff as a special assistant. This last April, Jon was promoted to assistant coach on the Duke Basketball staff. The following is our interview with Jon.
DR: What was it like coming back to Duke as a former player to working on the Duke coaching staff?
JS: It’s a great feeling being back. Obviously this place means a lot to me. I enjoyed playing here and I’m excited to now share with the guys what I learned through my experiences.
DR: How has playing at Duke for four years and professionally for three years helped you in your work as a coach?
JS: I think it’s given me a different perspective. I think it’s great when you see the best in the game in Coach K and see the way he does things. You get a different perspective of the professional game – internationally, NBA, D-League, whatever it might be – and you bring some new things to the table where they’re not just hearing the same message. I think that gave me great perspective to look at the game differently.
DR: How do you feel your role will change this year going from a special assistant role to being an assistant coach?
JS: I think it will change a lot. Obviously I can do more, be involved with the players. I’m excited to just grow with them to do more.
DR: What are your three best moments from being a player at Duke?
JS: One is beating Carolina by 32 at home my senior night. It doesn’t get much better than that to go out in your last game at Cameron like that. The second one is obviously winning the national championship. That was a pretty cool thing. The third one is when we won my first ACC Championship as a junior beating Florida State. That was our first time winning, so that meant a lot to me.
DR: What qualities or traits have you gained from playing for and working with Coach K?
JS: One, how to interact with people. Two, I think I’ve become tougher. Just having perspective on the game and learning to play through tough things. Tough things happen in life, tough things happen on the court, and I think that’s what I’ve learned most with Coach as a player and now coming back – how to deal with those challenges.
DR: What are you looking forward to most about this upcoming season?
JS: I look forward to just getting out there with the guys. I think we have a young group, I think we have a lot of talent, and I think we can do something special. We don’t have any experienced guys where they’ve accomplished so much, which is exciting. We should have a really hungry team, so that’ll be fun everyday getting to work with really hungry players.