Proctor set to explode for Duke

THERE are plenty of Australians that make their way overseas to pursue a career in basketball at the highest level, but arguably none are producing more buzz than combo guard Tyrese Proctor.

He is projected to be a first-round draft pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, following in the footsteps of recent draftee Dyson Daniels, albeit they took different paths to the big stage.

Proctor is similar to Daniels in the sense that he is taking the next step, no longer spending the next year in the NBA Global Academy stationed in Canberra, which has helped develop Daniels and Joshua Giddey.

Instead, Proctor has signed with the biggest NCAA club in the world in Duke, who have produced some of the best players the NBA has ever seen. It is the powerhouse college club, and should see plenty of spotlight on the youngster.

Over the course of the preseason, there have been nothing but positive reviews surrounding the Aussie guard, already a contender for the Jerry West Award, which is given to the nation’s best shooting guard at collegiate level. The Duke coaching staff have apparently named him as the side’s best player, which is a huge wrap given the talent that the Blue Devils acquire.

Coming out of Sydney, Proctor stands at 6-foot-5, so there is a bit of size on him for a guard, but given he is set to spend most of his time at the two, he should be moderately matched against his peers.

Proctor’s biggest strength is his ability to score, and should be one of the most productive offensive players in the 2023 draft. He can shoot the ball well thanks to his reliable shooting motion, which is as smooth as any NCAA player.

He can also create his own shot, which should thrive in an NBA environment that relies heavily on isolation scoring. With the shot clock winding down, NBA teams will be encouraged that Proctor can still conjure a good shot without needing to create space off the ball.

Inside, Proctor is just as handy, able to work around screens and picks to get to the rack with ease. While he is not the most explosive or consistent finisher at the rim, he still creates plenty of opportunity inside, and should improve as he grows into his frame.

With ball in hand, he is a crafty dribbler, able to disrupt the balance of the defender with an ability to change the pace and remain unpredictable. Proctor is also a solid passer and facilitator, so he should lift his teammates and will not hog the ball too much.

As is the case with a number of offensive-minded players, Proctor has room to improve as a defender, but he is not awful by any stretch. He has shown the capability to switch defensively, and can stay in front of the ball handler a lot of the time, but against the NCAA’s best, he may be exposed on occasion. However, there is plenty of upsize in this area, thanks to his length.

Proctor should see plenty of action for Duke in its upcoming campaign, and with plenty of upside in an already-strong game, is set to gain plenty of attention over the coming months.

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