Tyrese Proctor's 'Pro-Level' Play Earns Praise on Twitter In Duke's Loss to Tennessee

Adam WellsMarch 18, 2023

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 18: Tyrese Proctor #5 of the Duke Blue Devils dribbles the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Amway Center on March 18, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Jon Scheyer's first season as Duke head coach ended with Saturday's 65-52 loss to Tennessee in the second round of the 2023 NCAA tournament.

The Blue Devils' youth, which showed up early in the season before they turned things on down the stretch, seemed like it came back to bite them in their biggest game of the season. They only made six of 21 attempts from three-point range and committed 15 turnovers.

If there was one young player who looked right at home on this stage, it was Tyrese Proctor. The freshman guard finished with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field, six assists and two steals.

NCAA March Madness @MarchMadnessMBB

Tyrese Proctor with a smooth finish at the rim 🔥<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchMadness?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MarchMadness</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/DukeMBB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DukeMBB</a> <a href="https://t.co/zjdOHLc1n8">pic.twitter.com/zjdOHLc1n8</a>

Even though Duke is going home sooner than some might have anticipated after it won the ACC tournament, Proctor earned rave reviews for his "pro-level" play to keep the team in it for most of the game.

Kyle Irving @KyleIrv_

Countless pro-level plays from Tyrese Proctor today. He's kept Duke alive

Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie

Tyrese Proctor is HERE. My god. This was absolute filth. Absolutely sick move out of this ball screen. <br><br>This is why he will be a first round pick at some point. The flashes of some of the stuff he can do out of ball-screens (mixed with the passing and defense) is sick. <a href="https://t.co/9e7fuGBzrZ">pic.twitter.com/9e7fuGBzrZ</a>

Wes Rucker @wesrucker247

Tyrese Proctor is carrying Duke.<br><br>Pro moves from the touted freshman.

George Hathaway @hathawaygeorge9

Tyrese Proctor is 18 years old and dropping buckets for Duke. <br><br>Talented kid.

John Fanta @John_Fanta

Have been impressed by Duke's poise and man, Tyrese Proctor has gotten better.

Rafael Barlowe @Barlowe500

I think I'm going with Proctor as Duke's best prospect long term

Tony Jones @Tjonesonthenba

Proctor <a href="https://t.co/3YyOr84Bzs">https://t.co/3YyOr84Bzs</a>

Matt Murschel @osmattmurschel

Duke's Tyrese Proctor is the real deal that's for sure. If it wasn't for him, not sure how far down Blue Devils would be right now. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchMadness?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MarchMadness</a>

Collin Gillespie @Colling1021

Proctor is nice

Andrew Carter @_andrewcarter

Maybe it's because he wears the same number, maybe it's because of the physical resemblance, maybe it's because he's hit some big second-half shots to keep Duke in it, but I get Marcus Paige vibes from Tyrese Proctor. Sorry if that's sacrilege for both fan bases.

Zion O. @DukeNBA

Tyrese Proctor, you are a special talent.

The Brotherhood @BrotherhoodCBB

Tyrese Proctor will be the first big NIL test at Duke. Should be backing up the brinks truck straight to his dorm to keep him for another year. We'll see how it plays out.

It was easy to overlook Proctor because he came into the season as part of Duke's top-ranked recruiting class that had four 5-star prospects, per 247Sports. He was a 4-star player coming out of the NBA's Global Academy in Australia.

Proctor was the Blue Devils' third-highest scorer during the regular season with 9.2 points per game, but he only shot 37.7 percent from the field. He did lead the team with 3.2 assists per contest.

The combo guard's 16 points against Tennessee were tied for his third-most in a game all season.

Duke could see a significant talent drain this offseason with Dariq Whitehead, Kyle Filipowski and Dereck Lively II projected to be first-round draft prospects by B/R's Jonathan Wasserman.

Proctor may have shown enough in this game to convince NBA scouts he can play at the next level, but another year of growth in college could do wonders for him. He would almost certainly start the 2023-24 season as the best player on their roster if he returns.

Scheyer showed he can do a fine job of carrying the torch passed by Mike Krzyzewski. He led Duke to 27 wins and an ACC tournament title in his first season.

There's plenty of good things for the Blue Devils to build on, and they are on track to have another top recruiting class next season.

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