SDBB – 2017-18 Coach K’s Assistants at Duke …

By Bill Wheeler

Duke is unique from other major college basketball programs with 4 Assistant Coaches who played their college ball at Duke under Coach K.   There are 3 who were on National Championship teams.   This brings solid continuity to communicating and implementing the Head Coach’s expectations.   One question we ask is if the impacts challenges to the Coach K’s idiosyncrasy of limiting player game development to 7 or 8 players in the past several seasons.  So, without further adieu, here are Coach K’s Right Hand Men …

Nolan Smith, Special Assistant to Coach K

Nolan is the latest Duke graduate to join the team as a Special Assistant in February 2016. He played for the Blue Devils from from 2009 to 2011, and helped lead Duke to the 2010 NCAA title.   His duties now include assisting the coaching staff in developing game strategies, breaking down game film, planning practices and contributing in staff meetings..

He has volunteered with Teen Cancer America and was named its North Carolina State Ambassador in the summer of 2016.

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Jon Scheyer, Assistant Coach

Jon is in his 4th year as an Assistant Coach after joining the staff as a Special Assistant. Jon  Duke to the 2010 NCAA title, and named MVP in the Championship game.  After graduation in 2010, he played in the NBA’s summer league and suffered an eye poke to his right eye that resulted in optic nerve damage and legal blindness. “Mentally and physically, it took a lot of hours in the gym to get my skill back.”   Jon has been instrumental in developing Duke players Tyus Jones, Frank Jackson and Luke Kennard.    This year he recruited Alex O’Connell.   This past May, Jon married the former, Marcelle Provencial.

The following is a link to a Sporting News article about Scheyer’s injury:

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Nate James, Assistant Coach

Nate is in his 11th year as a member of the Duke staff.  He played on Duke’s 2001 NCAA title team and was an assistant coach on the 2010 and 2015 title teams.    Following his Duke graduation, Nate played professionally in the United States and overseas.   He has served as an Assistant Strength Coach, Special Assistant and Assistant Coach.   Nate has a knack for training front-line players including Jabari Parker, The 3 Plumlee brothers, Jahlil Okafor and Harry Giles.  He was instrumental in recruiting 4 ranked forwards on this season’s team:   Jordan Goldwire, Javin DeLaurier, Marques Bolden, & Antonio Vrankovic,

Nate and his wife Bobbi have a son Nathanial.

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