Duke basketball (Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports)
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A center who grew up watching Duke basketball remains on the staff’s radar.
As pointed out here at Ball Durham after the Duke basketball coaches first directly contacted Westtown (Pa.) junior Dereck Lively II back in June, the 7-foot, 205-pound four-star’s game appears to reflect the adjective that is his surname: lively.
However, in a class loaded with supreme talent, particularly big men, Lively will have his work cut out to boost his current No. 38 overall ranking on the 247Sports 2022 Composite. If the No. 5 center hopes to end up on Duke’s offer sheet — the Blue Devils haven’t officially entered the race for any 2022 recruits just yet — he may need to pack on a few pounds.
Also, after watching his latest mixtapes, it’s clear that Lively needs to further develop his repertoire of post moves. As it is, the lengthy, lightfooted big man seems to rely on rim-running alley-oops and putback dunks for the bulk of his points; plus, on the other end of the floor, outside of his penchant for timing blocks, he’s not exactly a bullish defender.
But with two seasons to go in his high school career, time is on Lively’s side. And as Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers reported this week, the bouncy athlete expresses lofty aspirations when it comes to the schools he’d like to see aggressively pursue him:
“Growing up, Lively said that he would always watch Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina play, so to be recruited by them is something intriguing…”
Evidently, the Duke basketball coaches haven’t forgotten about him
When reeling off to Weingarten the programs he’s heard from lately, Lively mentioned all three of those bluebloods he studied as a kid:
“I’ve recently been approached by Kentucky, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Florida State, North Carolina, Duke, Memphis, Auburn, LSU, and many more schools, but I’m still keeping my options open.”
At the moment, Lively holds roughly a dozen offers, including a few from the ACC in Florida State, Miami, and Pitt.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t seem as if Mike Krzyzewski and his gang are in a rush to prioritize any 2022 talents; rather, they’re focused on finalizing their already superb 2021 haul. That said, it does seem as if Lively is among the top candidates to eventually receive a Duke offer.
Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting news and views.