Duke basketball: Imposing freshman forces announces future plans

Duke basketball center Dereck Lively (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball center Dereck Lively (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball freshman center, Dereck Lively II, has announced his future plans. 

Dereck Lively was ranked as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2022, according to ESPN.com, and he’s now heading off to the NBA after one season with the Duke basketball program.

Lively, after sustaining a calf injury at the beginning of the season, bounced back in a major way  on the defensive end of the floor for John Scheyer’s squad this season.

The 7-foot-1 center played a significant role in Duke’s defensive strategy in the NCAA Tournament while he ended the season averaging 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.1 assist per game.

Lively was a dominant force on the defensive end in Duke’s win against Oral Roberts in the Round of 64 in the NCAA tournament, accumulating 12 rebounds and six blocks.

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“I love Duke, I love everyone here,” Lively said in his social media post.

“Man, this has just been an amazing experience for me, and I will be entering my name into the 2023 NBA Draft.”

Potential landing spots for the Duke basketball center

Many NBA mock drafts have Dereck Lively being selected near the end of the first round.

In a recent mock draft by Bleacher Report, Lively is projected to land as the No. 20 overall pick by the Golden State Warriors.

Furthermore, Lively’s freshman counterparts, such as center Kyle Filipowski and forward Dariq Whitehead, are projected to be drafted in the middle of the first round.

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Lively’s role on any NBA team is fairly unpredictable. As of now, Lively would serve as a great rim protector and defensive anchor, however, if he can work on the offensive end of the floor and learn to create space for himself down low his potential could prove to be limitless.

Kyle Filipowski and Jeremy Roach are yet to announce their decisions, which will likely come in the next week.

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