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Basketball Recruiting

Jake's Nuggets: A Look at Jon Scheyer's loaded 2022 recruiting class

October 29, 2021

On June 3rd, Duke dropped an (obvious) bombshell.

Coach K’s successor would be none other than his right-hand man, Jon Scheyer. A guy he coached and won a national championship, both as an assistant coach and player, will be taking over for one of the game’s greatest coaches ever. To live up to the expectation of following five national titles, 41 NBA first-round selections, and over 40+ years of experience, isn’t an easy task.

For Scheyer, he took a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and ran with it... right away. Scheyer wasted no time on the recruiting trail, recruiting what would be his first-ever class as a head coach which is ultimately the 2022 recruiting class. Just days removed from learning he’d take over, Scheyer instantly went to see arguably the ‘22 class top-rated recruit, Dereck Lively II.

Just over one month removed from earning the job, Scheyer would also land his first commit as the coach-in-waiting. He landed five-star senior and one of 2022’s top forwards, Kyle Filipowski. This is a guy who I believe fits that mend and the brotherhood of Duke basketball. One scout used the word ‘coachable’ when describing Filipowski, a player I’ve scouted since he was an unranked sophomore.

Filipowski wasn’t too bad of the first pick-up for Jon Scheyer. Talk about a versatile prospect at 6-foot-10 who can do a bit of everything. Averaged nearly 22 points and 13 rebounds last season during his junior year, also shot the ball extremely well from multiple levels, and can also handle the ball better than most guys at his size.

Point blank, this is a fit for Duke. You look at a guy who’s 6-foot-10 doing everything, they got a guy by the name Paolo Banchero who fits that exact description.

Just three days later, Scheyer was at it again.

He’d end up landing another Top-10 prospect, this time it was New Jersey native Dariq Whitehead. One of the most consistent prospects in the 2022 class, Whitehead has been a part of arguably the top prep school we’ve seen over the last few years, Montverde Academy. You start with the experience. Whitehead has been competing against top talent both on the high school scale and AAU scale for years.

From competing in practice with guys like RJ Barrett, Cade Cunningham, just to name two, Whitehead has battled and shared the court with some elite-level talents. His game? elite as well. Talk about a quick first step, a three-level scorer, a versatile defender, and a high-IQ guy, Whitehead is a coach's dream and will do whatever it takes to be a win-at-all-costs type of guy.

Many feel as if Whitehead is a legit No. 1 prospect in the 2022 class and feel as if he has some of the highest ceilings out of any of the prospects in that loaded 2022 national recruiting class. 

Scheyer wanted shooting and another guy who fits that Duke culture and he went out of Illinois to land him. His name is Jaden Schutt. Schutt, a UAA Champ after this summer, is one of my under-the-radar guys and a name who I believe Duke fans will hear a lot over the next few years. 

You’ve heard names at Duke like Luke Kennard, Grayson Allen, and Joey Baker. Guys that can spot up, get you a bucket, and do it in a smooth manner. Schutt is arguably the best shooter in the 2022 class and once more, like his future classmates, he’s a winner. He won the UAA title as the team’s lead guy and it ultimately led to a hot pursuit from Jon Scheyer, one that he ended up winning.

Capping it off with arguably the nation’s top-rated prospect, Dereck Lively II. This is a guy that was heavily pursued by not just the staff, but, his fellow recruiting classmates in Whitehead, Filipowski, and Schutt. Lively II is a guy I’ve seen up close over the last few years, witnessed his breakout game at the PSA Showcase in Dec. 2020 where he had a monster double-double and won game MVP against Brewster Academy.

Gifted would be the one word I used to describe Lively II. You talk about a true five-man playing his role and doing it in terrific fashion, that’s DLII for you. Obviously, one of the nation’s top shot-blockers and a guy who has tremendous versatility and a nack for just playing to his role. Do you need buckets, rebounds, defense, a vocal leader, and an absolute physical specimen? that is what he will bring.

Now, many of these guys won’t be there long, but, if you’re a Duke fan, cherish this 2022 class because it’s a good one. Crazy thing is, they might not be finished. Mark Mitchell is now the main target for the Blue Devils. He heard chants of “We need Mark,” during his official visit, not we ‘want’ Mark, they feel as if they need him. Now, they’re all-in.

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