The Duke men’s basketball program didn’t take long to make adjustments to its coaching staff after associate head coach Jeff Capel announced he was leaving for Pitt on Tuesday. Within hours, Duke promoted Nate James and Jon Scheyer to be associate head coaches.
“Nate and Jon are former captains who clearly understand Duke and our culture,” said coach Blue Devils Mike Krzyzewski according to 247Sports. “They’re both national champions who’ve played an integral role in our success over the past two decades. As good as they were as players, and they were both excellent, they have been remarkable, distinguished and instinctive coaches who have earned this opportunity. With Nate and Jon assuming additional responsibilities in their associate head coach roles, I am excited about the makeup of our staff moving forward.”
Both Scheyer and James have been on the Blue Devils coaching staff for at least the last five seasons. James just finished his 11th season on the Duke staff, including his eighth as an assistant coach. Each coach was on the staff that helped the Blue Devils win the 2015 national championship. James was also part of the 2010 team that won it all.
James and Scheyer will have their hands full, though, in replacing Capel, who most believe was largely responsible for landing the top recruiting class in each of the last three years. Furthermore, with Capel leading the way, Duke has landed 4 5-star prospects every year since 2015.
It will be interesting to see if James and Scheyer can help Krzyzewski continue to land top one-and-done prospects or maybe Coach K will once again adjust his recruiting strategy.