Aussie men in NCAA Division I: Eight names to watch
NCAA Division I basketball has always had a strong Australian presence. Here are eight players to watch in the men's competition.
As we approach March Madness, it’s time to recap the standout Aussies from the 2022-23 NCAA Division I men’s basketball season. From freshman starters to four year stalwarts, and everything in between, here are eight names to watch as the college action heats up.
Tyrese Proctor (Duke University Blue Devils)
Coming out of the famed Duke University program, Proctor is probably the most recognisable name on this list, but also one of the youngest. At just 18 years of age, the Sydney native is a regular starter for the Blue Devils, who are chasing a sixth NCAA Division I championship. Freshman year has been a rollercoaster ride for Proctor. Per ESPN, he currently averages 8.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists on 36% shooting from the field, and 28% from beyond the arc.
Never one to shy away from a contested jumper, Proctor has at times been punished for his cavalier shotmaking, with a less than stellar field goal percentage in the box score. But perhaps more importantly than the numbers, he has never lost the faith of his coaching staff, spearheaded by a rookie head coach in Jon Scheyer. Even with the Blue Devils currently sitting on a 17-7 record —which is good for most teams, but not a powerhouse program— Proctor has been trusted to log heavy minutes in key matchups.
He recently played 38 out of 40 minutes when Duke travelled to face their biggest rival - North Carolina. The Aussie recorded 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists in an important 63-57 win, thus earning some trust among the Duke faithful. However, as per the up and down nature of his season, Proctor scored just three points in 19 minutes the very next game, where Miami thumped Duke by a 81-59 scoreline. Proctor is still young, and we can’t forget that he reclassified into the class of 2023, after originally targeting a 2024 college berth.
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