Jon Scheyer Is on Point for Duke

Justin McTeerCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2009

BOSTON - MARCH 26:  Jon Scheyer #30 of the Duke Blue Devils drives against the Villanova Wildcats during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regionals at TD Banknorth Garden on March 26, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Blue Devils' point guard issues have been well documented over the last few seasons, so there's no need to go on-and-on about the carousel ride that was Duke's starting point guard role last season.

While Duke fans are eagerly awaiting the decisions of potential future point guards (Kyrie Irving will visit Durham this weekend, and 2011 prospect Austin Rivers was on campus this past weekend testing his "commitment" to Florida), the Blue Devils are looking to solve their point guard problems this season with senior guard Jon Scheyer.

Skepticism regarding Scheyer's apparent lack of quickness—he's deceptively athletic—and playing out of his natural position will be common among analysts. But there is no denying that Scheyer excelled at the point last season.

He was at the helm of Duke's offense for the final 12 games of the season, and the Blue Devils won 10 of those games, losing only to North Carolina and Villanova, both of whom were Final Four teams.

During that span, Scheyer averaged 18.6 points, 2.4 assists, and only 1.2 turnovers per game.

There may be doubts about Scheyer's ability as a point guard, but numbers don't lie and Scheyer's numbers are All-ACC caliber.

In just his second game running the offense for the Blue Devils, he scored 30 points and committed only one turnover in 37 minutes of action as Duke defeated Wake Forest at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

In Duke's late season loss to North Carolina, Scheyer scored 24 points on a perfect 10-for-10 from the field (on the road no less), dishing out five assists and committing zero turnovers in 39 minutes of floor time.

In the ACC tournament finals against Florida State, Scheyer scored 29 points on his way to earning ACC tournament MVP honors.

Needless to say, Scheyer didn't struggle to be productive as Duke's point guard.

As impressive as Scheyer was at the point last season, many overlook the fact that he stepped into that role on a moment's notice.  

He did not spend the previous offseason preparing or practicing for the position, but rather showcased his adaptability midseason when the Blue Devils were in desperate need of a point guard solution amidst the struggles of Nolan Smith and Greg Paulus.

This offseason, of course, has been different.

Scheyer participated in the Deron Williams Skills Academy in June, honing his point guard skills against players such as Kansas' Sherron Collins, Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney, and upcoming Texas freshman Avery Bradley.

He has spent his summer preparing to return as Duke's point guard, conditioning himself to be ready for 40 minutes per game in light of the Blue Devils' diminished guard depth.

Will his performance this season match or exceed his late season play last year?

One would think.

Scheyer has had an entire offseason to prepare for his role, and his competition in the ACC is certainly less than last season, as so many elite ACC point guards have moved on to the NBA.

Let's not forget that the performances mentioned earlier were turned in against NBA-level point guards Jeff Teague, Ty Lawson, and Toney Douglas.

Those factors point to a promising season for Scheyer.

After all, if Scheyer was able to be so successful last season with little preparation while playing against one of the best crops of ACC point guards the conference has seen in years, what will he do this year being better prepared and playing against lesser competition?

Perhaps a better question: What won't he do?

Scheyer has certainly worn a lot of hats in his days at Durham.

He was the freshman that exceeded expectations and started ahead of a higher-ranked future NBA lottery pick in Gerald Henderson.

He was the sophomore who moved to bench but contributed as much as any starter in the ACC.

He was the junior who took control of the offense and spearheaded a remarkable midseason turnaround for a team seemingly in a state of free fall.

This season, expect him to be the All-ACC senior who leads his team to the top of the conference.

No matter what the season brings, Duke's Scheyer is on-point and hungry for success.


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