Does Jon Scheyer Deserve To Have His Number Retired?

Mike MehtaContributor IIAugust 24, 2010

Before we put the National Championship season behind us, let’s examine one of the senior leaders that helped carry Duke to the program’s 4th title.

Jon Scheyer was an integral part of Duke’s success last season; a member of “The Big 3” which included Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith.  Together, they were the highest scoring trio in the NCAA and brought back memories of another high powered trio: Jay Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Mike Dunleavy.

Scheyer, who was accustomed to playing shooting guard, transitioned over to the point guard role and assumed leadership of the offense. 

Everyone knows that Coach K demands a lot from his point guards, as they are the extension of the coach on the court.  Jon attended the Deron Williams Skill Academy to refine his skills during the summer (Nolan Smith attended the camp this summer) and as a result, finished 4th amongst all college basketball players with an Assist-To-Turnover Ratio of 2.98.

For the most part, teams had a very difficult time matching up with Scheyer since he was bigger than most traditional point guards.  Consequently, Scheyer was strong with the ball and coupled with his high basketball IQ, rarely turned it over.

Jon elevated his game to another level last season, something that was desperately needed after Gerald Henderson declared early for the NBA draft and the surprise transfer of freshman Elliot Williams. 

He finished his senior season by leading Duke in minutes played, points, assists, steals, and free throw percentage.  In other words, 36.8 minutes/game, 18.2ppg, 4.9 assists/game, 1.6 steals/game, and a .878 free throw %.

His career totals stand as such (according to  144 games played, 40.6% field-goal, 38% 3-point, 86.1% free-throw, 522 rebounds, 440 assists, 208 steals, and 2,077 points.  (Side note, he also averaged 20.7 points/contest against those other guys 8 miles down the road.)

His career rankings at Duke (according to Wikipedia):

Most consecutive games played with 144 (tied with Chris Duhon)

3rd all-time in minutes with 4,759 minutes (also 3rd in ACC History)

3rd all-time free throw % with .861 (also 6th in ACC History)

3rd all-time in total free throws with 604

4th all-time in 3-pointers with 297 (10th in ACC History)

4th all-time in total games with 144

9th all-time with 2,077 points

9th player in Duke History to average double figure points for 4 seasons

He is the only player in Duke History to record at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, 250 3-pointers, and 200 steals in a career.”

(There are plenty of other statistics not mentioned above)

Scheyer was also named 2nd Team All-American, 1st Team All-ACC, Senior 1st Team All-American, ACC All-Tournament Team, top six  Finalist for the Bob Cousy Award (nation’s top PG), and finished 2nd for ACC-Player of the Year.  He was also a 2-time Team Captain for the Blue Devils.

The guidelines for having a player’s jersey retired in Cameron Indoor Stadium are stringent.  The player must graduate from Duke and be recognized on a national level (Player of the Year, Defensive POY, hold an NCAA record, or earn All-American honors).

So does Jon Scheyer warrant his # 30 jersey to be hung amongst the greats that Duke University has ever showcased?   

Speaking to fellow Duke fans last season on this topic, there was one criteria still pending:  What has Jon Scheyer done in the NCAA Tournament?  Well that was answered a resounding way with a National Championship.

However, Scheyer has never been 1st Team All-American, did not win Player of the Year or even ACC Player of the Year.  Do his second places finishes bring him down despite the National Championship?

Another factor to keep in mind, there are only 37 numbers eligible for use in NCAA Basketball.  (They include: 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 50, 52, 52, 53, 54, 55.) 

Also, Seth Curry wore #30 at Liberty and his brother, Stephen Curry, wore #30 at Davidson, so maybe it’s a family thing?  On the other hand, Seth wore #3 in the Blue-White game last season, so he may decide to stick with that.

Despite the fact that Jon didn’t meet every eligibility requirement for having his jersey retired, he embodied everything a true Duke legend stands for during his time as a Blue Devil. 

He made us all proud to be Duke fans and even brought back the National Championship.  It would be great to see #30 raised among the greats, and hopefully Jon Scheyer will receive that honor someday.