Kyrie Irving and RJ Barrett are two lighthearted sensations that come to mind when Tyrese Proctor thinks of his favorite former Duke basketball players, the Australian college freshman told Blue Devil Country at the annual pre-season media day on Tuesday. from the program.
“Certainly Kyrie [Irving]“, noted Proctor. “Kyrie was one of the iconic guys here, and then obviously being a guard, kind of sneaky like him, I try to watch him a lot. And then RJ Barrett, when they had their run in the tournament and in their season, I watched him a lot that year. But those are probably the two that stand out the most.”
How much basketball did Duke Proctor, a potential immediate starter for the Blue Devils, watch growing up in Sydney?
“A lot,” replied the 6-foot-5, 180-pound combo guard, who upgraded in June to join the 2022-23 Blue Devils, finished No. 27 on the 247Sports 2022 Composite, said he was confident of playing at the 1-3 positions, and could well serve as the general on the ground to push the team’s tempo whenever junior point guard Jeremy Roach is on the bench.
Proctor later explained that due to jet lag, he and his father usually had to make do with reruns of Duke basketball games, but could occasionally watch the Blue Devils live on weekends.
Of course, now the broad-shouldered 18-year-old is a blue devil. And as the Blue Devil, Proctor enjoyed the upside of playing alongside Barrett in an open run when the current New York Knicks star and 2018-19 one-and-done visited his old stomping ground there. two weeks.
Clips of Proctor and Barrett greeting each other in the program’s practice facility are just a tiny fraction of the following 13-minute look at the instantly likeable Blue Devil that Duke Basketball’s creative team released Thursday night:
The video – the ‘evil’ first episode of this season – also includes a tour of Proctor’s dorm room, a drive-thru wait with three other Blue Devil rookies, a visit from the current Boston Celtics and basketball star Duke 2016-17. and does Jayson Tatum, a barbecue at first-year head coach Jon Scheyer, and more.
Taken together, Proctor’s seemingly sincere engagement in interviews and his assured demeanor in front of a Duke camera—again, with the added pressure of being this year’s first “Devilish” feature—reveal a Blue All-in-one Devil eager to display its overseas repertoire and up-tempo engine while embracing Scheyer’s vision.
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Scheyer confirmed it, praising Proctor on the media day.
“His international experience has served him really well to know how to play in contact, to know how to play with a very good pace,” Scheyer observed of Proctor. “And he’s someone who can score, he can pass, he can defend. He’s really easy to play with. He’s easy to coach. Off the pitch, he did everything we asked for.”
It sure looks like Scheyer is impressed with Proctor, which suggests he’s probably planning on getting a lot of playing time.
“It was great to have him,” added Scheyer. “And for someone who missed the summer to adapt as quickly as he did is pretty remarkable. Obviously we have high expectations as we go forward. But his ability to make the other bests, while scoring and doing what he does, is a big asset for us that we have to continue to develop and help him come in just to get a feel for the college game.”
On that note, how many minutes Tyrese Proctor receives at the start should depend on how quickly the skilled playmaker can adapt (as well as other factors, such as the recovery of freshman small forward Dariq Whitehead of a foot injury).
RELATED: Detailed observations on the status of Dariq Whitehead
“It’s just different,” Scheyer said. “And so I think that’s the next transition for [Proctor]just to understand how the college game is played.”
Maybe that’s where the hours spent studying supercharged Duke basketball guards as a kid will pay off.
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