Jon Scheyer is waiting, and working

NEW ORLEANS – After coaching the last game of his storied career, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and his wife, Mikey, rode a golf cart into a hallway near the pressroom of the Superdome late Saturday night.

The Blue Devils’ season came to a sudden and dramatic end after a 81-77 loss to North Carolina, their tobacco road rival, in the Final Four. As one of the photographers and journalists took videos and photos of the Phalanx Moments, Krzyzewski said, “Maybe you can suprise the sunset.”

As the golf cart confronted the media with Krzyzewski, he added, “Thank you, sir.”

Coach K, known as 75, may be retiring after 42 years, but hopes to remain nationally affiliated with Duke of Shire, which oversees the program.

Duke can lose five players in the NBA Draft, most notably Paulo Benchwood, the star freshman forward and a projected top pick. Two graduate students Forward, Dave John and Bates Jones, also the younger brother of Giants quarterback Danielle Jones, are taking over.

But Duke brings the top ten players in the recruiting class at No. 1 nationally by The group includes three players in the top five of the class: 7-foot-1 center Derek Lilley II, 6-foot-11 forward Kyle Flippowski and 6-foot-6 wing Darke White, a Newark native who plays. Did. Powerhouse Montverde Academy, which won the sixth GEICO National Championship for independent schools on Saturday.

Lilley was named Morgan Vaughn National Player of the Year, while Whitehead was named the McDonald’s All-American Game Most Valuable Player and Nesmith Player of the Year.

“Next year, it’s the beginning of a new era,” Lilley said in a recent television interview. “And I’m ready for all the recruits and coaches John Shearer to work on.”

When Krzyzewski announced last June that he would retire after the 2021-22 season, Duke once said the share would succeed him. Shearer, 34, has never been a coach at any level, and will be under tremendous pressure as he leads the ranks of a man who won 1,202 games – the most in Division I men’s basketball history – and five nationally. Championships Sharehold was the captain of Duke’s 2010 national championship team, and has served as Duke’s Associate Head Coach since 2018.

Announcing his retirement a year ago, Krzyzewski and Shire were allowed to distribute responsibilities systematically. Shire focused on recruiting last spring and summer, while Krzyzewski had more time to get on campus and work with his team.

“With the succession plan we had, I was able to see my friends every day,” Krzyzewski said on the Final Four. “And we brought our new ones in, three and a half weeks ago. And they took a course and were kind of exposed to the Duke.

The plans seemed to be working: Duke won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title and won 32 games before falling to North Carolina in the Instant Classic of the national semifinal, and three of his 2023 recruiting classes also ranked No. 1 by 247Sports. آهن. .com

“So I think there was an urgent need to announce next school coaching and plans for Coach K where we can continue to recruit at the highest level and to bring in great players,” shared In an interview in the fall told The New York Times.

Now it will be Scheyer – and not Coach K – who guide these big players. He has the pieces to succeed, but also the big shoes to fill.

That’s what college basketball does, with Krzyzewski’s retirement coming a year after Roy Williams, who has long been a North Carolina coach.

Kansas coach Bill Self, who defeated North Carolina on his second national championship win Monday night, believes a group of young coaches can help fill the gap.

“I don’t think you’re going to see a person step into the role as a coach or anything like that,” he said. “But I think overall I think we can do a good job of having a voice because our game is great, but our game also needs changes.”

He added: “We need to continue to grow. There are countless coaches, including myself, who need to be a voice and be active and responsible in helping these change events happen.

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