Kentucky prize says Duke basketball signee deserves top ranking

Duke basketball signee Dereck Lively (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball signee Dereck Lively (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Future Duke basketball gem Dereck Lively has earned respect from a Wildcat.

This month, Kentucky basketball signee Shaedon Sharpe announced his plan to enroll in January and redshirt this season, effectively making the former No. 1 overall prospect on the 247Sports 2022 Composite a 2021 recruit. Then Westtown (Pa.) center Dereck Lively, who inked his Duke basketball letter of intent last week, took over the top spot among current high school seniors.

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According to what Sharpe expressed in an interview this week by Jason Jordan of, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard believes Lively merits the honor. Per Jordan, Sharpe’s answer to who should be No. 1 in his place was quick and firm. And he seems to think the 7-foot-1 five-star is likely to stay there:

“Dereck just does everything on both ends. He’s contesting every shot. He rebounds. He can space the floor because he can shoot the three. He’s just really versatile and hard to stop because of that. I could definitely see him as the No. 1 player.”

As Jordan alluded to, Lively skyrocketed in the rankings over the summer — at No. 36 back in May — while averaging 8.4 points and 6.7 boards for Team Final (Pa.) in AAU play. Furthermore, he averaged 5.0 blocks at Peach Jam in July. He did all that while playing alongside current Memphis freshman center Jalen Duren, who once held the top spot in 2022 as well before reclassing.

A top-ranked Duke basketball recruiting haul for now

With his signature last week to make it official during the early signing period, Dereck Lively is part of a confirmed four-person Duke basketball recruiting class that still sits No. 1 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Team Rankings.

The other three members of the loaded Blue Devil collection are Montverde (Fla.) five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead (ranks No. 4), Wilbraham & Monson (Mass.) five-star power forward Kyle Filipowski (No. 7), and Yorkville Christian (Ill.) four-star shooting guard Jaden Schutt (No. 55).

Next. 3 concerning Duke stats thru 3 games. dark

Meanwhile, the Duke Blue Devils remain in the mix for Sunrise Christian (Kan.) five-star small forward Mark Mitchell (No. 15), who has hinted at a December decision and has named four finalists: Duke, Kansas, Missouri, and UCLA.