Duke basketball: 7-footer ‘building a relationship’ with Blue Devils

Duke basketball (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

A towering 2022 prep continues to hear from the Duke basketball recruiters.

Westtown School (Pa.) big man Dereck Lively II, a 7-foot-1, 220-pound four-star who ranks No. 39 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite, was among the first in his class to hear directly from the Duke basketball staff last summer.

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Now, according to what Lively told Travis Branham of 247Sports this week, the interest from the Blue Devils has been fairly consistent as of late, with the bulk of it coming from Duke basketball associate head coach and recruiting sensation Jon Scheyer:

“They have been trying to build a relationship between me and them. I have been in contact with Jon Scheyer throughout the past couple of months, so we have just been talking throughout, talking about my game, and how I would fit. Just building a relationship.”

Lively also reeled off a dozen or so other schools he’s been talking to recently, including UNC and Kentucky. Based on what Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers wrote about the relatively lightfooted center a few months back, this blueblood attention is a dream come true:

“Growing up, Lively said that he would always watch Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina play, so to be recruited by them is something intriguing…”

Will Duke basketball eventually extend an offer?

As of last week, Lively’s list of more than a dozen offers includes UNC. But neither Kentucky nor Duke has officially entered the race just yet. And judging by the 17-year-old’s comments to Travis Branham regarding programs he’s in contact with, one could conclude from the remarks below that the Tar Heels are among his early frontrunners:

“It was good to finally speak with Roy Williams over the phone, but I am hoping that seeing them in person is coming soon as possible. It felt good to get an offer from North Carolina, and it’s good motivation to keep me moving forward throughout the process.”

No Duke basketball offers are currently on the table for the 2022 class. Yet Lively, a budding and promising prospect in the paint who has no decision timeline in mind, is certainly a name to remember as the Blue Devils decide on the high school juniors they will 100 percent pursue.

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