Predicting Duke basketball’s all-important 2022 recruiting class

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
2 of 5

Predicted 2022 Duke basketball commit: The sleek 7-footer

434. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 7-foot-1. 220 pounds. Dereck Lively. C. player

  • No. 7 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite
  • Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.)

Of the six Duke basketball targets in the class, Dereck Lively is the only one who has named finalists. That list, which the 7-foot-1, 220-pound five-star revealed in late June, consists of seven schools: Duke, Florida State, Kentucky, Michigan, Penn State, Southern Cal, and UNC.

Worth noting, Lively’s mom works at Penn State. In June, Lively took an official visit there as well as ones to Duke, Kentucky, and UNC. Therefore, the current consensus among recruiting insiders seems to be that the notably nimble center will either stay close to home as a Nittany Lion or wind up playing for one of the three bluest bluebloods in college hoops.

However, a decision might not arrive for many more months. In fact, Lively told 247Sports in late June that he intends to take several more official visits in the fall before naming a winner (note: these rising high school seniors may take five official visits apiece this summer plus five more after August 1 due to the pandemic-related recruiting restrictions spanning their junior year).

Why Duke basketball should come out on top for Dereck Lively

By this time next year, Dereck Lively could be looking at practically unlimited minutes manning the paint as a freshman in Durham. Fifth-year grad transfers Theo John and Bates Jones will have expired their eligibility. Chances are both Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams will be NBA-bound.

And that would leave no returning scholarship players taller than 6-foot-7. In other words, Lively must realize Scheyer is hoping to land his services — in addition to this next fella here — and would probably let him set the tone down low as a full-time starter for the new-era Blue Devils.