X-Factor: Proctor's playmaking key for Duke men's basketball against Notre Dame and sharpshooter Goodwin

Tyrese Proctor celebrates against Virginia.
Tyrese Proctor celebrates against Virginia.

Following two tough road defeats, Duke returns to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on Notre Dame Tuesday evening. The Blue Zone is here with a possible difference-maker on both teams:

Duke: Tyrese Proctor 

It is no mystery that Duke has done a poor job taking care of the ball. In its loss against Miami, it turned the ball over 21 times, and in its controversial overtime loss against Virginia, it had 22. While no player is responsible for the problem, Proctor may present the best option for a solution. The freshman has grown into the Blue Devils’ primary ball-handler, and the team plays at its best with him functioning well at the helm. In the win against North Carolina, he had five assists and only three turnovers, but against Miami, he had five turnovers and just a single assist. And, down the stretch against Virginia, Proctor put his teammates in positions to succeed time and again. In order for Duke to find success Tuesday and for the rest of the season, Proctor will have to find a way to manage the offense and reduce its tendency for sloppiness. Another area of the game that Proctor will prove critical to is Duke’s 3-point shooting. He only shoots 28.8% from deep, and the team shoots just above 32% as a whole, both numbers that need to improve for Duke to take the next step. While Proctor rarely scores the most points for the Blue Devils, his play often has the biggest impact on their chances of winning. Coming off three straight contests with teams near the top of the ACC, Proctor and the Blue Devils should feel more comfortable on offense against struggling Notre Dame. 

Notre Dame: Dane Goodwin 

The first time Goodwin faced Duke, then-star freshman Zion Williamson scored 26 points. Now, four years later, the Notre Dame guard will play what may be his last game against the Blue Devils. While the Fighting Irish are struggling this season—they have won just two conference games—Goodwin and fellow fifth-year players Nate Laszewski and Cormac Ryan form an experienced Notre Dame lineup. So, while Duke has done a remarkable job containing the 3-pointer throughout the season, keep an eye on Goodwin from behind the arc. The Upper Arlington, Ohio native is shooting 38.3% from behind the arc this season and has shown the ability to hit shots in any environment throughout his career. His 6-foot-6, 214-pound frame also presents a challenge for Duke’s guards. While the Blue Devils’ size down low is a strength, Goodwin could use his size to take advantage of Jeremy Roach or Proctor if they switch onto him. For Notre Dame to have any chance of being the first team to beat Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium this season, Goodwin’s experience will need to shine. 

Dom Fenoglio | Sports Managing Editor

Dom Fenoglio is a Trinity junior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 120th volume.


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