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:

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/news/4498716-jon-scheyer-duke-assistant-blind-in-one-eye-blue-devils-2010-champions-coach-k

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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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Thanks for the read !!!

We remind you that we welcome your comments both here and at our Twitter site at:

@SimpleDukeBB

 

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SDBB – Duke 2017-18 Player Profiles – Antonio Vrankovic

By Bill Wheeler

Antonio was recruited to Duke by Nate James 2 years ago.  This year as a Junior, he is listed as a 7′ 269 lb Center who will again wear #30 for Duke.  Last season, Antonio played in 13 games, averaged 7.8 MPG, 2.5 PPG and 2.6 RPG.  From the bench, he was one of the most vocal leaders and maintained a great attitude.

Like his father, Stojko, Antonio fills out a solid physical like a statue.  Stojko played in the NBA for 5 seasons in the 1990’s and in 2 Olympics for Yugoslavia.

As Marques Bolden returns at Center and a strong roster of 5 Forwards, it is questionable Antonio will see more playing time.  If Duke plays big, then we may see Antonio play more minutes with the second group, however, he needs to improve his aggressiveness on Defense and Free Throw completions.  In a couple of games last year he showed flashes of his Defense and Offense skills on Blocks and Put Backs.  We expect the coaches to draw on his leadership in practice, and off the court to help out with leading the 8 Freshmen.

Antonio’s hometown is listed as Zagreb, Croatia; he was born in Minneapolis and is the son of Stojko and Lovorka Vrankovic.  He has two older sisters Andrea and Matea.

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Thanks for the read !!!

We remind you that we welcome your comments both here and at our Twitter site at:

@SimpleDukeBB

SDBB – Duke 2017-18 Player Profiles – Jordan Goldwire

By Bill Wheeler

Jordan is a 6’2″ 172 lb Guard who will wear #14 this year for Duke.

This young man is an interesting recruit for Duke, who was not highly ranked.  He has impressive highlights of with play-making skills, such as being able to penetrate the arc and passing the ball back, out, or underneath.  He has a good shot from all points on the floor and has defensive skills.  By his Junior or Senior year, Jordan may impress the Cameron fans with his solid ball handling skills.

Duke “… didn’t promise me anything, they said they needed another ball handler who would be able to run the second group. It’s a great opportunity for me. I would like to thank Coack K for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime … and continuing my academic career.”

Jordan landed offers from UNLV, Towson, Hofstra, Coastal Carolina, & Eastern Kentucky until Nate James and Jeff Capel came calling.  It didn’t take long for him to commit !!!

Jordan is the son of Courtney and Connie Goldwire.  He has a sister, Jaylen.  College Basketball run deep in this family with his cousins playing in college as well.  They are Devin Mitchell, who plays at Georgia State, and Jalen Mitchell who plays at Clark Atlanta University.

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Thanks for the read !!!

We remind you that we welcome your comments both here and at our Twitter site at:

@SimpleDukeBB