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Duke men’s basketball head coach Jon Scheyer addressed the media on Tuesday afternoon in his first public availability ahead of the upcoming 2022-23 season. Scheyer, along with the assistant coaches and all players, were made available to the media as part of Duke’s annual Preseason Media Day inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

A day after first official practice as Duke’s head coach, Scheyer began the day with his press conference, followed by the coaching staff and players having an opportunity to meet the media. Duke then held its second practice of the season, with the first 15 minutes being open to the media.

The next preseason events for the Blue Devils include the ACC Tipoff in Charlotte on Wednesday, Oct. 12, Countdown to Craziness at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday, Oct. 21 and an exhibition game against Fayetteville State on Wednesday, Nov. 2.


Opening Statement:
“Alright, thanks everybody for coming. Appreciate you guys. For me, first day practice is some something that I’ve had marked down on my calendar for some time. And also, we’re here. So now’s the second day. It’s a exciting time for our team. We’re really getting a feel for each other, and we have a lot of work to do. But it’s exciting group, they work hard, it’s been a lot of fun. I’ll give a quick update on DariqDariq got an x-ray today. Really positive news, he’s moving in a great direction. He’s right on schedule, as far as his recovery goes, if not even ahead. We’ll just continue to work and he’ll be able to start to progress, to do more on the floor more of the court. Now he’s out of the boot. He’s doing great, working his butt off and can’t wait to get him back. But really good news and we’ll continue to monitor him and bring him bring him along, obviously, as fast as we can, we want him back out there but as safely as possible. There’s no rush on our end, we want him to be fully healthy, and all the way back before he plays.”

Talk about the team’s chemistry:
“You know, the first thing is the fuel off the court and how this team gets along in a great way. We have different ages on the team, different backgrounds — we have four graduate transfers, we have seven freshmen and they get along; you wouldn’t know who’s who. I think that’s the cool part for this group is that chemistry is there. They like one another. We’ve done some great things off the court, we have our Brotherhood CEO program where we’ve put them in positions where they’ve had to talk to one another and getting to know about each other in a different way. So I think that set us up well, for now as we get on the floor and start developing roles and who can do what and how to play together, that base of a friendship, but also the trust is there. On the court to be honest with you, we haven’t really had our full group out there in the week. Dereck (Lively II) has been out the last couple of weeks. He’s back and fine, but we just had some bumps and bruises And we’ve been cautious. So for us, yesterday was the first time in a couple of weeks that we’ve had our whole group out there to get a feel for what it looks like. So, that was exciting for me as the coach to get a chance to really see what this team could possibly be.”

How important is Jeremy Roach’s role:
“Jeremy is going great. Jeremy is in a great spot right now. You know, Jeremy, he’s in a new position, not only with his role on the team and his experience from coming off of last year. We have a great relationship, but he’s figuring out what I’m like as a head coach and the things that I’m looking for him to do. Hopefully that means it can be exciting because it’s not like he’s just doing the same thing. It’s a different role, and he’s done a great job. I think Jeremy’s not a guy that necessarily is going be the loudest on the floor all the time, but he has great experience. He’s been a winner his whole life, so he knows what it takes to win. I would just encourage him to follow his instincts continue to talk continue to lead, not just by example, but continuing to be comfortable using his voice and whatever way that means. So, he’s done a great job. He’s in a great spot to really have a heck of a year. He’s gonna be our guard and I’ll put them him against any guard of the country.”

On the team’s playing style:
“Well, it starts with our defense. We have great athleticism, great length, and being an elite defensive team — that’s a goal for us. We know it’s not going to happen overnight, but that’s something that’s really important. You know, of course, we want to cost you  — create turnovers and put pressure on the defense. But it really starts with protecting our paint using our length and that’s something that we’re really focusing on right now. Now, we’ve got a long way to go. Trust me, we got a long way to go to get there. We have a team that can put on the court, three, four or five guys, they all know how to play. They’re smart, they can pass, handle and shoot, and so really sharing the ball. Just being a team that shares the ball plays together. It may not be where we have the same leading scorer every game, maybe it is someone different each game. But really were that on the defensive end that we play the right way and together on offense. That to me is what Duke Basketball is all about.”

On the leadership on this team, with such a young roster:
“Well, with Jeremy (Roach), for one, it’s great to have him because he’s a great player. Two, the experience, I’ve learned personally through my playing career, you get a better sense of what it takes when you go through it yourself and somebody else isn’t telling you that this is what it’s going to be like. And so for our guys, having that perspective, having a Jacob Grandison, who has been a part of championship teams at Illinois, Ryan Young, who has really battled for four years in the Big Ten. They bring great perspective, just as Max Johns and Kale Catchings in the Ivy League, they also do the same thing. I think the balance is key. It’s not about winning one of this, one of that — is it’s just the balance. They’ve all got along well and in each of them in their own ways feel they have a lot to learn, which we all do collectively. Like for us as a team. We’re going through this for the first time and only time together. That’s been our approach to learn together, grow together, and good things will happen.”

Will you continue to look at getting graduate tranfers in the future:
“We don’t plan on that being the main way for us to continue to put our roster together, but it’s been really good for us. I mean, you guys know Theo John the importance that he had Bates Jones, last year’s team. We feel Ryan Young and Jacob Grandison will have that same impact on the court for us, and who knows what that looks like even more. But that’s it. It all depends on what our team looks like, who comes back — there’s guys every year that have decisions to make, and we’ll help them through those decisions. But the graduate the transfer, whether it’s graduate or not, that’s never going be the main thing that we do. Although, we’d be foolish not to bring in a good player. You know, Ryan Young is available. Jacob Grandison. Absolutely, those guys have been great for us.”

On what Jacob Grandison brings:
“His ability to stretch the floor is key, but I think his best quality is he’s a winner. He knows how to play the game, and he knows how to make others better. He plays at a great pace. He’s not about himself. He’s not about his statistics; he’s about one thing, and that’s did we win or not. That’s when you have a guy like that and he is somebody else that can defend really multiple positions. On the offensive end, he can space he can, he can drive, and he’s a really good passer. I can’t say enough about the impact that he’s made so far for us. He’s been terrific.”

How have the conversations been with Coach K:
“We actually haven’t had puppy conversations recently. I know we have everything, we talked about everything. And I see him, but he travels a ton. So I haven’t seen him. Well, actually I saw him yesterday … We have a great relationship. We haven’t gotten into the depth of our team because frankly, I haven’t gotten into that yet with what we look like in practice and all that, but we have a truly special relationship. We talk as much about how he’s doing, how I’m doing and that’s the that’s the fun part. It’s not about basketball all the time. It’s just about life. And I’m sure we’ll there’ll be plenty of times we do get into that though.”

On the addition of Tyrese Proctor:
Tyrese is a really good player. His international experience has really served him well with knowing how to play through contact, knowing how to play with really good pace, and he’s somebody that can score it, he can pass it, he can defend. He’s really easy to play with. He’s easy to coach, off the court, he’s done everything we’ve asked. It’s been great having him, and for someone that missed the summer, to get adjusted as quickly as he has is pretty remarkable. Obviously we have big expectations as we move forward, but his ability to make others better, while also scoring and doing what he does is a big asset for us that we have to continue to develop and help him come along just to get a feel for the college game. It’s just different. And so I think that’s the next transition for him just to understand how the college game is played.”

On Dereck Lively II’s preparation:
Dereck has done great. Derek has an amazing attitude. He has an infectious personality, you know, he’s one of those guys when you’re in the gym with him, he brings the level of energy up every single day. He’s always talking. He’s always same motor, you never have to coach effort with Dereck. And of course, he has an incredible amount of potential with his ability, and his athleticism, and then I mentioned his motor. He’s been great. And you know, Dereck, the past couple of weeks, we’ve been playing it safe with him. He got dinged up and got hit in the calf. But now he’s getting his flow back offensively and he’s gonna be a guy that can impact games, maybe without even scoring that much. Now, he may have some big scoring games, too, but he impacts the game, way more than just scoring. It’s been fun to coach him every single day. He’s a guy I love to coach because he’s coachable. You can get on him hard. You can tell him the truth right away and he responds to and then does it. He’s been great.”

Has your recruiting pitched changed now that you’re head coach?
“I think it definitely has changed. I think it has to change. For one, I’m not Coach K, so I can’t say the experiences that he’s had and that’s why you should come here. I think there’s a different perspective that I have to offer. But, what’s similar is the fact that it’s Duke University, it’s Duke Basketball. I mean, that’s a that’s a huge selling point right there. Our strategy, I would say has changed just because the landscape has changed. And so, like in our class, you know, Dereck (Lively II) and Dariq (Whitehead) and Kyle (Filipowski) and all them, we really identified them and went after them with no backups. We felt like they belonged here and fortunately, they felt the same way. And they’re here. We’ll still do that with the guys that we really know early on. But there’s way more influx of guys that can go the professional route. There’s reclassification, that happens way more and so understanding we have to have a wider scope, at least in the beginning is key, but the message is always going to be authentic to what Duke is about, what I’m about as a person as a coach, and when our staff is about. That part won’t change.”

On lessons from last season:
“I think last year is a perfect example of staying the course of staying together. We had couple of tough moments. I mean, end of the year, we lose the ACC championship Game to Virginia Tech, we lose here at home, we make a run and you are a play away from going to the National Championship game. You’re right there, you want to be in that position. So when we we’re losing to Michigan State with a few minutes ago, in the second round. Texas Tech comes out and kicks us in the teeth the first few minutes. Just staying tough and staying together, you never know what can happen. I think you look back at the years that we’ve won it, the years that we’ve been close to winning it. There have not just been one moment in all of them, but there’s been multiple moments where people brand us off or doesn’t look very good. You can’t get tougher without going through some adversity, going through some experiences. So to me, I look back at last year is a prime example.”


On being Coach Scheyer’s top assistant:
“We’ve been together for five years now, really total seven years. I was on the staff for two years while he was a player, and five years together on staff. We’ve been around each other, so I can tell when he’s upset, I can tell when he’s happy because he’s joking and smiling around. I can be really honest with him. I can tell him how I feel. Whether he agrees or not I really don’t care. I’ve got to tell him what’s real. Jon has done a really great job of being organized and throwing it out there. To be honest with you you’re not going to be perfect at this, taking over for the greatest coach ever is tough but he’s been doing it in a different way than coach and I feel like you have too. You learn from coach; you take a lot from coach, but nobody can be him. So, Jon’s done a good job of trying to be himself.”

On the different philosophies between Coach Scheyer and Coach K:
“I thought Coach (K) was the greatest motivator of all time, his presence was amazing. Jon has a new way of thinking. The way we are going to play on both ends of the floor. You know some similar things, but its definitely different than what I’ve been a part of my four years back with Coach (K). That’s been fun, and we’ve got a different group, so you’re not going to do the things with last year’s team because last year’s team was unique. We had five (draft) picks and four first rounders, and Trevor Keels probably should’ve been first round pick, so you’ve got to do things differently and Jon’s done a really good job of mixing it up and throwing out some different things in there.”

On working with Mike Schrage (Special Assistant to the Head Coach):
Schrage is the best, he’s the best. Schrage got out in the 90s so we kind of understand each other a bit better than the guys that were playing in the 2000s. With Schrage, he’s been a head coach, a big-time assistant in Power 5 conferences. He knows how to run a program, usually when he says something its spot on. He gives a different perspective that us as assistants and Jon in his first year as a head coach hadn’t even thought of. Schrage has been great.  We lean on Schrage; we lean on him a lot. If I’m thinking about something most of the time I run it by Schrage, and if he gives me a thumbs up it’s pretty good.”


On what he’s liked and seen from the team so far: 
“One of the things you never want to coach is energy and effort, and we haven’t had to coach that yet. Some stuff we still have to clean up just from being young and having a lot of new players from different places as well as freshmen, so just getting them to mesh together and get them to mold. But the biggest thing that you takeaway is just how hard they play and compete, which is something you never want to coach and we’re not having to do it.”

On the goals for the team stylistically and on the offensive and defensive sides of the court:
“With what we have, we want to be pretty positionless. So, by doing that, offensively you have multiple guys who can dribble, pass and shoot. It’s not your traditional big man, throw it in, both blocks covered. So, we feel like we have that. Defensively, that kind of lends to switching a lot. We have those kind of mobile bigs that are able to do it. You’ve got guys like Dereck (Lively II) who can pretty much guard five positions. We feel the same way about Mark (Mitchell) and then some of our other guys too. So, we feel like we should be able to be pretty good defensively and feel like that should be our calling card. Offensively, we should be able to do a bunch of different things so you can’t really take anything away from us. We just got to get it all together and with practice starting yesterday, it’s something we’re working towards.”

On what ultimately led him to Duke
“He [Coach Scheyer] was the biggest influence just because of what I think he’ll be able to do here. Where I see college basketball going, I see him as one of those new coaching pioneers with this new wave of what college [basketball] is going to be. The second part was just Durham and my ties and my family being here. I felt that it was an opportunity to keep a legacy alive in the city from what my grandfather has been able to do here with education and stuff like that, then just my father’s tradition and my mother’s family, her too. So, all of it just kind of felt right.”


On the transition from player development to assistant coach:
“It’s been a great summer. For me personally, stepping into this bigger and larger role has been an honor. I’m super excited and hit the ground running just because we had a lot of moving parts. It was me, Coach Scheyer and Coach Carrawell on the road … it was the three of us tackling a four-man job. We were spread out going different places. I got to go to Spain this summer which was really cool. I was at FIFA watching guys from a bunch of different teams recruiting, scouting and spending time with other coaches. It was a big step for me in just being able to evaluate talent. I learned a ton and I thought it was a really good summer.”

On potential pressure with a new coach:
“When your aspirations and goals are as high as ours, there is always pressure. Every year I’ve been here, either as a player or pivoting on the staff now as an assistant coach, our goal remains the same … it’s to win a National Championship. When you’re trying to have success at that high of a level, there’s always pressure. I think everyone knows it and feels it and we accept it. Not only do we accept it, but we embrace it. The biggest thing for us is meeting that challenge and finding ways to keep our guys focused. We have a ton of new, so instilling our culture on those guys and showing everyone not only what it means to be part of the program and the Brotherhood but the foundation that was created by Coach K for decades and we carry that into Coach Scheyer at the helm. He’s a part of that tree and he loves this place … he bleeds this place. Putting that into our guys is the biggest thing.”


The vibe around yesterday’s first practice:
“It’s generally the same. I mean obviously Coach (Jon) Scheyer has played with Coach K and he’s coached with him too. I mean they kind of embody the same culture and of coming in every practice giving 110%, bringing the energy, so it means kind of the same thing.”

How has your role changed from last year:
“It’s changed a lot. I knew coming into this year that I was the only returning player who has played big minutes, so Scheyer’s just been harping on me to be the leader, show guys where to be, how to do things around campus, and just different things around the campus that I have to do now that I kind of wasn’t doing before. So it’s definitely been good.”

On his play in last year’s NCAA Tournament:
“Definitely brought a lot of confidence in me. Just trying to bring that confidence that I have and kind of instill it into all these other guys just to know what’s to come for the season and what kind of target we are going to have on our back and to know that we gotta get back to where we were last year.”


On his first official Duke practice:
“It was great. Just being able to officially practice with these guys and play for Coach Scheyer and under our first practice, be official and go for a lot longer than over the summer. It was great we covered a lot and we still had fun. The intensity was there, the energy was there. It’s a lot to look forward too because it’s like a sneak peek of what’s to come in the future.”

On any nerves with first practice:
“I think there was a lot more anxious feelings over the summer. Right when I first got here, I was feeling like that, kind of curious to see what it was like a bit. Those went away. The first practice was great, the summer helped us a lot to bond as a team get to know one another better. By the time of our first practice yesterday we were already clicking and knew what was going on and expected.”

On the team’s versatility:
“Without a doubt, the people Coach Scheyer brought in for this group everyone is unique in their own way. As the type of players, we all are we might share some similarities here and there. Like all being able to shoot a play around the perimeter, post up. We are all interchangeable and we all play through one another as well. It’s just because of everything we’re all capable of we’re able to adapt to one another’s games and that’s what makes it so special.”


On his versatile position within the roster:
“Yeah, I just play all over, I don’t really play in once place. I bring the ball up. I post-up small defenders, I do a little bit of everything. We’ve been mixing it up together. We all play together; we play against each other we all mix it up all the time.”

On being a high-profile recruit and now playing for a high-profile team:
“Yeah man, I can’t wait it’s something you always dream of growing up. You can’t run from it. I’m just more excited than anything to play here, to play for Duke, play in front of the Cameron Crazies and have a good time.”

What are the things Coach Scheyer has been challenging you to improve at this summer?:
“I think just being confident all the time, not deferring. Coming into a place like this you don’t want to overstep your boundaries, but I think just always being me and always being myself and just attacking. You know I’m not deferring to anybody or anything. Because naturally I am a team player, I’m a team guy. I’m never going to be a ball hog or anything like that So always just being in an attacking mode all the time. Just for myself and for others because that’s something I do well.”


Describe your own game:
“I think I play the game honestly. I’m a good shooter but that’s kind of a product of what I was doing at Illinois. I’m sure if you looked at my stats at Holy Cross, I was doing many other things, when I went to Illinois was doing many other things. So, I think I’m pretty good at finding the niche, finding what I need to do to make a team successful and it doesn’t really matter what that is. I feel like I have a lot of tools in my belt to reach from and well see what I pull out this year.”

What about Coach Scheyer do you believe in?
“He’s kind of like Tom Brady-esque. He’s pretty calm even though it’s a pretty fast paced environment he’s in. It’s his first year. It calming to see him be very calm as at a new position. I already feel like he has confidence in me, and I pretty much fully trust him. I’m very excited to be coached by him. He’s just a great dude. We’ve been here for not that long and you don’t know someone until you’ve gone through something with somebody. I’m excited.”

What are the things Coach Scheyer has been challenging you to improve at this summer?:
“I think just being confident all the time, not deferring. Coming into a place like this you don’t want to overstep your boundaries, but I think just always being me and always being myself and just attacking. You know I’m not deferring to anybody or anything. Because naturally I am a team player, I’m a team guy. I’m never going to be a ball hog or anything like that So always just being in an attacking mode all the time. Just for myself and for others because that’s something I do well.”

On helping build the program under Coach Scheyer’s mentorship
“I think that’s a little bit of the unspoken obviousness.  Just knowing coming here just through what we had talked about I know that is his vision to build something upon, you know not just fall in and be somebody else after one of the greatest coaches ever. Because its his time now. It’s funny actually on the visit we were talking about narratives and pressures and stuff. And not doing things for the media or for the fans. And he was like ~Dude you don’t think that I have the most pressure in the world to do what Coach K did. I don’t care I’m here to win.~ I think that statement answers that question the best way I know how to do so. It’s all about winning, the building of all that and all the banners and stuff comes from winning and putting the work in and that’s what its all about.”


On his game and how his versatility will help the team: 
“Yeah, definitely. I can play 1-3, I think I’m a combo guard. My passing is a big thing I’ve worked on, which I feel like can complement other players. Just coming off pick-and-rolls, finding guys and then just being able to score the ball at any position. But you know just guarding 1-3, 1-4 positions, I feel like I can do.”

On how his international play will help him in the ACC: 
“I think the tempo is a big thing that we’ve got back in Australia. Just pushing the ball, full court pressure, just all on the ball wherever it goes and just being a real good communicator on the court.”

On Jeremy Roach’s leadership/On his relationship with him: 
“Yeah, he’s been great. Just giving me pointers on and off the court. In practice, just telling me what he sees, what other people might see and just helping me on the court a lot. Whether its defense, offense, whatever it is, he’s just always talking and, in my ear. … Yeah Jerm, even before I got here, just messaging me a little bit, just getting on the same page and since I’ve got here he’s just welcomed me with open arms. Giving me pointers on what I can do on the court and then off the court, hanging out all the time. Whether that’s watching football games or chilling, talking – he’s been there for me since my first day here.”

On his relationship with Coach Scheyer and what drew him to Duke: 
“Yeah, I think just how open he was. I think we built a connection that first conversation over the phone. He knows I trust him, and he trusts me, so I just think that relationship we made early on was a big reason why I came.”


On the feeling of being on campus and the upcoming season: 
“It’s just excitement. I’m just waiting on opportunity. I know everybody in the gym is just waiting for their time to shine and I know that we all are ready to shock the world… Since we know that everybody is looking at us as a new team, a new coach, a new era, we’re being able to play together with a new group of guys – being able to know that we’re playing together, playing smart and make sure we just win games. We’re all not out here looking for ourselves benefit, we’re looking for Duke’s benefit.”

On playing off Kyle Filipowski: 
“Well, both of us are able to be very unselfish. We love being able to pass the ball and get our teammates open, because we know everyone is so focused on us being able to score the ball or just to stop us. So, knowing that one day he’s going to have his games, one day I’m going to have my games, and just vice-versa. So that we know that whenever he’s open, I’m going to get him the ball, and when I’m open, he’s going to give me the ball.”

On the team chemistry and being able to play together so well: 
“I would say it comes down to just unselfishness. We’re all just excited to play basketball [and] we all know everyone’s looking at us to make a mistake. So, we know we’re going to make mistakes, we’re going to move past them and we’re going to get past them together.”