Duke PG Tyrese Proctor will stay in school for sophomore season

Tyrese Proctor averaged 9.4 points per game in his freshman year at Duke. (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Tyrese Proctor averaged 9.4 points per game in his freshman year at Duke. (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The Duke Blue Devils will return one of their best players from their ACC championship squad after freshman point guard Tyrese Proctor announced he would return for his sophomore year.

"This is the best decision for my career, both present and future," Proctor told ESPN on Monday. "Coach [Jon] Scheyer and I share the same vision; we have unfinished business. We have the best staff in the country, and they will push me each and every day."

Proctor, 18, joined Duke in 2023 after he reclassified to enroll a year early from the NBA Global Academy in Australia.

He averaged 9.4 points, 3.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game during his first year with the Blue Devils. He came on strong at the end of the season, too. Proctor averaged 10.2 points, 3.5 assists and 3 rebounds during Duke's six-game winning streak before they went on to win the ACC tournament. Proctor also averaged 10.8 points, 5.4 assists and 2.6 rebounds in five postseason games (three in the ACC tournament and two in the NCAA tournament).

Duke advanced past only the first round in the NCAA tournament, though, after the fifth-seeded Blue Devils fell to fourth-seeded Tennessee, 65-52.

"It's all about winning, and that starts this summer," Proctor added. "Having a full offseason on campus will be extremely valuable for my continued development, and I am looking forward to leading our talented incoming class.

"I'm going to spend a few weeks back home in Sydney. I want to see my sister Kaila compete. She's a very talented young player. And then I'll be right back at Duke with my teammates prepping for the season. I spent last summer playing with the Boomers, so I'm looking forward to having a complete offseason to work with the coaching staff at Duke and pave the way for us to hang another banner in Cameron."

Duke's 2023-24 outlook

Proctor's return will be huge for the Blue Devils, but the future of other Duke stars is yet to be determined.

Yahoo Sports' Krysten Peek has three Duke players in her most recent mock draft: Freshman center Kyle Filipowski, freshman forward Dariq Whitehead and freshman center Dereck Lively II. Filipowski led the Blue Devils with 15.1 points and 9 rebounds per game, while Whitehead averaged 8.3 points per game and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Then there's junior guard Jeremy Roach, who averaged 13.6 points per game this season. Roach also averaged 16.2 points per game in postseason play. Freshman forward Mark Mitchell could also be on the radar of NBA teams after he averaged 9.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season.

At the very least, though, Proctor gives Duke a solid foundation for whatever the team looks like next season.

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