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Why Tyrese Proctor's return is huge for Duke basketball | Locked On Blue Devils

Tyrese Proctor's return to Duke clears the path for him to take over as the starting point guard, making them a serious national title threat in 2023-24.

DURHAM, N.C. — Australian point guard Tyrese Proctor told ESPN on Monday he plans to return to Duke for his sophomore season, rather than declaring for the 2023 NBA draft.

"This is the best decision for my career, both present and future," Proctor told ESPN. "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 originally reclassified to join Duke a year early, so the decision to stay another season in Durham certainly makes sense, especially with the assumption that Jeremy Roach will be moving on.

Locked on Blue Devils host JJ Jackson believes Proctor will be handed the keys to the kingdom by coach Jon Scheyer next season, even with high level freshmen guards joining the team.

"The first game of the year it's going to be Tyrese's show to run," Jackson said. "Got a couple of really talented guards coming in Jared McCain and Caleb Foster, Foster more of the traditional point guard, but I think Proctor has definitely earned that right to be the lead guard for this Duke team."

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Proctor's age certainly didn't impact him on the court last season, as the 18-year-old freshman averaged 9.4 points, 3.3 assists, and 3.1 rebounds while playing 29.4 minutes per night. 

He has some work to do from an efficiency standpoint, shooting just 43.9% on two pointers and 32% from deep, but it's easy to see how a transition to lead guard would help him excel in year two.

Duke now awaits announcements from Roach, Dereck Lively, and Kyle Filipowski. Getting even one of these guys back helps Duke tremendously as they look to get back into the conversation as a national championship contender in 2023-24.

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