JON SCHEYER HAS done enough recruiting to know how ridiculous this story sounds, but he swears every word of it is true.

It was 2013. Scheyer was 25 years old and just getting started as a special assistant at Duke. One weekend in July, with Mike Krzyzewski off coaching Team USA, Scheyer was dispatched to an AAU tournament outside Chicago to watch a player they'd offered a scholarship to the week before, a sharpshooter named Luke Kennard.

Scheyer's job, essentially, was to show up and make sure Kennard saw him in the stands. But as a wide-eyed novice on his first road trip, Scheyer couldn't help but take a look around.

That's when he saw Jayson Tatum.

"I'll never forget it," says Scheyer, who became Duke's head coach this spring after Krzyzewski retired. "All the courts were right next to each other. Luke was on Court 3. So as I'm walking into the gym, the games are going on beforehand, and on Court 1, I'm walking through and I stop and I look, and I see this skinny 6-7 kid, who has the biggest baby face you've ever seen, just dominating. ...

"From that point on, it was my mission. I felt like he belonged [at] Duke."

Scheyer had enough self-awareness to know he might have been getting a little ahead of himself. Who spots a future NBA superstar 10 minutes into his first recruiting trip? But he did his best to convince Krzyzewski and the rest of the staff that the 15-year-old wing was special. Eventually, he established a rapport with the family, and soon Tatum's mom, Brandy Cole, was texting Scheyer after Tatum's high school games, typing things such as, "He needs to f---ing rebound!"

The Blue Devils wound up winning the 2015 national championship, and a few days later, Scheyer, Krzyzewski and associate head coach Jeff Capel traveled to Tatum's 900-square-foot home in University City, a suburb of St. Louis. Cole made her famous tacos, and the Bud Lights flowed. It was the first and last time Scheyer had seen Krzyzewski drink beer -- "he's a big wine guy."

Krzyzewski was giving his pitch, he was rolling, and Tatum was so overcome with nerves that he didn't say a thing.