One and done? Duke University could make Tyrese Proctor's NBA dreams a reality
Tyrese Proctor has joined collegiate powerhouse Duke University, and will be eligible for the NBA draft as soon as 2023.
In an era of NBL Next Stars contracts and G League Ignite opportunities, Tyrese Proctor will traverse a more traditional path towards the NBA. The Sydney native has committed to NCAA powerhouse Duke University, albeit with one eye on the 2023 NBA draft, where he could follow in the footsteps of Josh Giddey and Dyson Daniels. Like Giddey and Daniels, Proctor developed his craft at Canberra’s NBA Global Academy, and quickly emerged as Australia’s top 2004-born prospect.
“I had the NBL Next Stars and the G League and some other colleges but to be honest, it just felt like the right thing for me,” Proctor told ESPN, regarding his decision to join Duke.
Proctor’s flashy handles and fearless stepback shooting have drawn attention for several years, but his star truly grew at the 2022 Australian Under-20 Championships. Aged just 18, the double bottom ager averaged a tournament-high 27.4 points, which was over eight points clear of second place, and added 6.1 rebounds per game. While Proctor’s presence couldn’t quite save New South Wales from a quarter final exit, his individual brilliance laid the foundation for a major decision.
Proctor was originally a class of 2023 prospect, but having finished high school in late 2021, there were suspicions that he would reclassify to the 2022 college recruiting class. After thoroughly dominating a national Under-20 competition at age 18, Proctor had nothing left to achieve on home soil, and the rumours about his reclassification were proven to be true. The rising star announced in early June that he was North Carolina-bound, joining a stacked Duke roster that includes ESPN’s two highest rated prospects from the class of 2022 - Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead.
Proctor is a key recruit for incoming head coach Jon Scheyer, who will replace the retiring Mike Krzyzewski, a legendary figure in college basketball. Scheyer, a longtime assistant coach under Krzyzewski, will face the burden of fans’ expectations from day one, as his mentor won five NCAA tournaments with the Blue Devils. Proctor could also feel this pressure indirectly, as the next season isn’t just about player development at Duke - he is expected to contribute towards the win column.
From a positional standpoint, Proctor will face stiff competition from returning Duke guard Jeremy Roach, who started in 18 out of his 24 appearances last season. It’s possible the Aussie could see starter minutes off the bench, but he will most likely have to earn his stripes on one of America’s most storied collegiate basketball programs.
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