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How Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor are progressing in Duke basketball's backcourt

Steve Wiseman, The News & Observer on

Published in Basketball

NEW YORK — Duke’s “backcourt-that-might-have-been” gathered at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

They just weren’t on the court together.

Trevor Keels, now playing professionally for the New York Knicks’ G League affiliate in Westchester, New York, watched his former high school and Duke teammate Jeremy Roach have another solid game for the Blue Devils.

About an hour after Roach scored 22 points, leading No. 15 Duke past Iowa, 74-62, in the Jimmy V Classic, Keels surrendered to nostalgia.

“I really miss playing wit (sic) Jeremy Roach,” Keels wrote on his Twitter feed, followed by the emoji depicting a pleading face with sad eyes.

In high school, Keels and Roach teamed to win a state championship at Paul VI in Fairfax, Virginia.

 

Last year, they were teammates once again and Duke won the ACC regular-season championship and reached the Final Four.

Now Keels is a pro, which had him sitting courtside alongside another Blue Devil-turned-NBA rookie Mark Williams, at the Garden watching this year’s Blue Devils play Iowa.

For parts of Duke’s first 11 games this season, the backcourt clearly missed Keels’ ball-handling and shooting as the offense went through three games where they shot 36% or worse.

But Roach is starting to ease those concerns. Freshman guard Tyrese Proctor, who reclassified to come to Duke a year early once Keels decided to stay in the draft at the withdrawal deadline last June, is doing more good things to make the situation better, as well.

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