Duke basketball: Is Tyrese Proctor the best point guard in the country?

Duke basketball point guard Tyrese Proctor (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball point guard Tyrese Proctor (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball program could have the best point guard in the country. 

Tyrese Proctor, the sophomore point guard on the Duke basketball team, has rapidly emerged as one of the leading candidates for the title of college basketball’s best point guard.

Throughout the 2022-23 season, Proctor captivated the Duke fanbase and left NBA scouts salivating over his potential, and he is now set to embark on his sophomore campaign with the Blue Devils as aspirations of a championship grown.

Proctor possesses an extraordinary skill set that sets him apart from his peers.

He possesses excellent positional size, standing at an impressive 6-foot-5 with long arms, and his strength exceeds initial impressions.

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The Australian native is a pass first point guard who consistently keeps his head up, seeking opportunities to advance the ball ahead of the defense, and is incredibly fast when moving in straight lines with the ball.

Although not particularly shifty, Proctor excels as a ball-handler by using a variety of moves to create space and get a clean look at the basket.

Tyrese Proctor’s court vision is undoubtedly one of his strong suits after averting 3.3 assist per contest as a freshman and there is potential for those assist numbers to go up during his sophomore season.

Proctor is a dynamic pick-and-roll player who exhibits exceptional poise and the ability to react quickly and accurately to the opposing team’s defense. He shows outstanding court awareness in making second and third level reads when the primary read is not available.

One minor issue with Proctor is his tendency to leave his feet while passing, which has led to careless turnovers.

Duke basketball point guard can improve with shooting abilities

Tyrese Proctor has a good-looking shot with a quick release, but at this stage the numbers don’t show it after shooting just 37-percent from the field and 31.5-percent from 3-point range.

However, he projects to be a good shooter with more repetition.

His catch-and-shoot numbers, while unguarded, were very good and there is a lot to like about the shot creation off the dribble.

Creating off the bounce is certainly where Proctor will do most of his damage after he struggled to shoot a high percentage when guarded on the catch-and-shoot jumpers but that will improve in time.

There have been many encouraging flashes of elite shot creation and separation with improved efficiency and consistency being the key for his next step.

Last year, Proctor reclassified causing him to miss Duke’s off-season workouts and needed time to adapt to the college game like most freshmen.

Eventually, he gained Jon Scheyer’s trust and began establishing himself as a vocal leader for the Blue Devils with his constant display of unwavering work ethic.

After completing a full season and undergoing a summer of development with the Duke basketball program, the expectation should be to see a more consistent, well-rounded, and confident player to emerge, especially if he is named as a co-captain for the upcoming season.

Defensively, Proctor possesses an elite skill that sets him apart from other players on the court.

His point-of-attack defense and relentless ball pressure make him a true disruptive defender and his tenacity allows him to effectively navigate through screens, enabling him to stay closely connected to his defensive assignment.

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Additionally, he exhibits excellent anticipation skills in the passing lanes, effectively disrupting the opposition’s offensive flow and could easily make an ACC All-Defensive team next season.

Tyrese Proctor possesses immense potential and is poised to earn a position on one of the Associated Press All-American teams.

This season can set the stage for him to become a lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft as his leadership will be crucial in Duke’s quest to secure their sixth championship.

The Blue Devil roster is built around high-level returnees, Kyle Filipowski, Jeremey Roach and Mark Mitchell, and a highly regarded freshmen class which is ranked No. 2 in the country.

A second-year leap from Proctor paired with a loaded roster enhances the chances of attaining the ultimate goal of another championship.

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