The growth Tyrese Proctor showed throughout his freshman season indicates a breakout sophomore campaign is on the horizon.

A little over a year ago, five-star guard Tyrese Proctor announced he was skipping his senior season of high school to enroll a year early at Duke. The Blue Devils lacked proven backcourt options outside of Jeremy Roach in Jon Scheyer’s first season at the helm, so the opportunity was there for Proctor to get immediate minutes.

It didn’t take long for him to start earning those minutes. Proctor wowed in the preseason and earned a starting spot next to Roach for the season opener against Jacksonville. Duke cruised to a 71-44 win, but Proctor struggled — something that became a trend in nonconference play. Poor shooting and poor decision-making really limited his effectiveness, causing him to look like the latest in a line of reclassifying guards who struggled in college.

There have been some successes, sure — but the cautionary tales are there, too: Devin Askew, Emoni Bates and Khristian Lander all come to mind.

However, as the season went on, Proctor started to get his proverbial feet underneath him. Turnovers were still an issue as he adjusted to being a full-time point guard, but he was scoring more efficiently and playing with much more conviction. By the end of the season, he was arguably the best player on the roster.

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Testing the waters

That kind of growth, especially given his five-star pedigree, had NBA scouts excited about his potential. Scouts I talked to believe he likely would’ve been selected in the first round — but with a weak 2024 draft class on the horizon, there was a belief he could go higher if he waited another season.

Proctor took that feedback and made the decision to return for his sophomore season a little over a week after Duke’s loss to Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament.

“There was definitely talk about leaving. I wanted to make my decision early,” he told teammate Ryan Young on The Brotherhood Pod. “I got all the feedback from all the NBA teams obviously. It was good feedback; it just wasn’t sort of what I wanted. It put me in a position where I didn’t want to go.”

Proctor also knew he had time to be patient.

“I could’ve gone through the whole draft process and tried to go late first round but, yet again, reclassifying gave me a year. I should be a freshman going into this year.”

So, what changed, and what should Duke fans expect from this rising star in the coming season?

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