Duke men's basketball 2023-24 player review: Tyrese Proctor

<p>Sophomore guard Tyrese Proctor attacks the N.C. State defense in the Elite Eight.</p>

Sophomore guard Tyrese Proctor attacks the N.C. State defense in the Elite Eight.

As the Blue Devils’ season comes to an end, the Blue Zone is here to break down every player’s performance this year, and compare it to our preseason predictions. We already looked at TJ Power, Sean Stewart, Jaylen Blakes, Ryan Young and Caleb Foster. Next up is Tyrese Proctor:

Tyrese Proctor

Year: Sophomore

Height: 6-foot-5

Position: Guard

This year’s stat line: 30.4 MPG, 10.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.7 APG

The Blue Zone's projected stat line: 27.5 MPG, 11.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 4.2 APG

Season breakdown: After an overall solid rookie campaign in Durham, Tyrese Proctor had a choice — declare for the NBA draft and likely earn a late selection, or attempt to boost his draft stock with a strong sophomore campaign. Though choosing the latter ultimately lowered his professional prospects, it aided the Blue Devils in the 2023-24 season.

Proctor’s second year started out promising. In Duke’s opening contest against Dartmouth, the sophomore notched eight assists. Arguably his best game of the season came against La Salle two weeks later, where the Sydney, Australia, native scored 22 points while adding seven rebounds and four assists. Facing Louisville Jan. 23, Proctor scored a career-high 24 points in a blowout away victory. When the Cardinals played in Cameron Indoor Stadium a month later, the sophomore showcased his offensive versatility, only taking seven shots but scorching Louisville with a team-high seven assists.

There were moments of inconsistency in Proctor’s season as well. For example, he went 1-of-6 from outside the arc in an early-season loss to Arizona. Against North Carolina Feb. 3, Proctor played solid defensive minutes yet only registered two points on 1-of-6 shooting. Additionally, for having deemed himself “the best free-throw shooter in the nation” following a clutch performance at the line against Clemson, the sophomore shot an unimpressive 75.5% from the charity stripe. 

Proctor would be sidelined for nearly a month following a sprained ankle against Georgia Tech. Afterwards, he competed for playing time with freshman guard Caleb Foster, starting just eight of his next 15 games played. After Foster went down with his own ankle injury, Proctor started for the remainder of the season. In the NCAA tournament, Proctor shined throughout Duke’s first three games. The sophomore scored 18 points against second-round opponent James Madison, then made critical defensive plays down the stretch against Houston to lead Duke back to the Elite Eight. 

All good things must come to an end, however, and the Blue Devils were denied a Final Four berth by in-state rival N.C. State. Proctor, who has struggled against the Wolfpack throughout his college career, flamed out with an 0-for-9 shooting performance. While this marked a disappointing end to his season, his two-way abilities were critical to get Duke to the Elite Eight in the first place. He had a good season as the Blue Devils’ point guard, but not the great one that many Duke fans were expecting.

Results relative to expectations: Coming into this season, Proctor was expected to perform as one of the best point guards in college basketball. While the Preseason First Team All-ACC nominee certainly showed flashes of this potential, he never truly hit his stride during the season. His shooting numbers showed improvement — 35.2% from 3-point range compared to 32.0% last season — yet he never truly made a sustained impact from outside the arc. However, Proctor remained a capable on-ball defender, as evidenced from his strong show against Houston. Additionally, Proctor’s assist-to-turnover ratio ranked 25th in Division I basketball, showing that he is a good, albeit imperfect, choice to captain Duke’s offense.

With Proctor reportedly electing to return to Duke for his junior year, it’s entirely possible that he will become the best version of himself on offense next campaign — a true three-level scorer and strong facilitator. This season, he at times displayed glimpses of reaching those expectations, but ultimately, his individual production was a disappointment for Blue Devil fans.


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