Duke basketball: Blue Devils eye lively 7-foot prospect

An energetic, lengthy prep star recently entered the Duke basketball radar.

The Duke basketball recruiting team reached out this week to a rising high school junior whose surname sure seems to fit with his style of play around the basket.

Westtown School (Pa.) center Dereck Lively is a 7-foot, 205-pound four-star who ranks No. 40 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite. As a bouncy big man with a reported 7-foot-2 wingspan, he’s best known for aggressively seeking out blocks and putback dunks — particularly effective on the receiving end of alley-oops in transition.

Lively, the grandson of a Xavier men’s basketball alum and the child of a former 1,000-point scorer for the Penn State women’s hoops program, currently holds 11 offers, including from the alma maters of his mom and now-late granddad in addition to notable recent ones from Pitt, LSU, and Maryland. Meanwhile, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has yet to extend any scholarship invites to the 2022 class.

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Interestingly, two years ago at a summer tournament, Big Blue Banter compared Lively to a slightly older 7-footer who eventually earned a five-star rating and is now Durham-bound:

“He moves better than many of the big men here in the 2020 class and could end up with a similar trajectory as Mark Williams.”

Brian Snow, a top analyst for 247Sports, has provided the following scouting report:

“Lively definitely needs to continue to add strength, but that should come as he gets older and more physically mature. With that said, he has the ability to block shots, really runs the floor, and also has good hands…can catch the ball on the move and finish, which is impressive for a big his age…has a pretty nice touch in the mid-range and looks like he could be a threat in pick-and-pop situations as he continues to get more experience.”

What Dereck Lively seeks aligns with what Duke basketball does

In terms of the main feature Lively is looking for in a college destination, well, he recently summed that up quite simply during an interview with 247Sports:

“I am just looking for a program that wins. Winning is the most important thing for me in everything I do.”

Hmm, that statement alone makes it sound like Duke and Dereck Lively could be a perfect match down the road.

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting news and views.