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X-Factor: Proctor's playmaking and scoring instincts key to Duke men's basketball vs. Bellarmine

Tyrese Proctor pulls up for a jumper during Duke's exhibition game against Fayetteville State.
Tyrese Proctor pulls up for a jumper during Duke's exhibition game against Fayetteville State.

Fresh off a commanding win against Delaware, the seventh-ranked Blue Devils next take on Bellarmine at home Monday evening. The Blue Zone is here with a player on each team who can make a difference:

Duke: Tyrese Proctor

The Blue Devil from Down Under doesn’t disappoint. Tyrese Proctor had a strong Friday game against Delaware, chalking up 13 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds, while tying Dereck Lively II with four assists. The Sydney native is quick on his feet and has an eye for a pass, assisting Lively with a slam dunk just under two minutes into the first half. As quick as he may have been on his feet Friday, it has not been a fast start to the season. In Duke’s first game against Jacksonville, Proctor only scored two points and fell behind his starting teammates for game time. It was the same narrative against USC Upstate and for the first half against Kansas, where his influence was limited.

As a top-25 recruit, Proctor has been a key addition to the Blue Devils. During his time at the NBA Global Academy, Proctor was a key player in the 2021 Australian Under-20 Championships, averaging a stunning 13.8 points and 4.4 assists per game, all while being one of its youngest players. In spite of his age, the freshman was making a name for himself before that, and led the New South Wales Metro Under-18 team to fourth place at the 2018 U-18 Championships. As he has transitioned to the American game, Proctor will look to recapture that form and prove himself as a key player on this Duke team amongst other talented guards.

The 6-foot-5 guard is on his way to become a stellar shooting guard, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. With the upcoming game against Bellarmine Monday, Duke’s deadly number five will hope to cement his place and make a real difference.

Bellarmine: Peter Suder

Bellarmine is entering its third year of Division I basketball in the ASUN, and the young team has shown its dominance on the court thus far. The Knights defeated Jacksonville in the final of last year’s ASUN tournament, yet the team was ineligible to receive a bid for the NCAA tournament due to its transition from Division II. As the young team makes its mark on the conference, its young players are too—especially freshman Peter Suder. The Carmel, Ind., native is averaging 13.8 points per game this season and had an impressive run against Morehead State, scoring 24 of the team’s 55 points. Add in shooting 57.1% from deep in the Campbellsville-Harrodsburg game, and the freshman has certainly proven his supremacy on the court.

The success for Suder isn’t new. He paved the way for his high school team to have an 18-6 record in his senior season while averaging 13.6 points per game. Ending his high school career with 1,062 points and 572 rebounds, the Mr. Basketball finalist isn’t looking to end his stellar career so soon. The rookie is quick and dangerous, making Suder a potent threat against the Blue Devils.

The newfound talent the Knights have might be a bump in the road for Duke. Ensuring that a strong defense is kept throughout the game is the best strategy the Blue Devils can employ against a young, resilient team and its deadly rookie. 


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