Duke basketball recruiting: Dereck Lively II, the No. 2 recruit in 2022, picks Blue Devils over Kentucky, UNC


The second-ranked recruit in the Class of 2022, Dereck Lively II, committed to Duke on Monday evening over a final list that included Kentucky and hometown favorite Penn State. Lively II, who was the top uncommitted five-star in his class, puts Duke into the driver’s seat to secure the top spot in the team rankings for the cycle with his commitment.

Lively II is the third five-star commitment for Duke in the 2022 class and the third top-10 prospect to commit to the program since July, joining Dariq Whitehead and Kyle Filipowski. A 7-foot-1 center from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania’s Westtown School, Lively II follows Filipowski as the second center in the class for Duke in what will be the first recruiting class to arrive on campus next year for Mike Krzyzewski’s successor, Jon Scheyer.

The writing appeared to be on the wall that Lively was leaning heavily towards Duke after Kentucky, the runner-up in the race, pivoted with UK coach John Calipari and assistant coach Chin Coleman paying a visit to five-star recruit Adem Bona in a move that seemingly foreshadowed the decision. Bona is a center and considered a Kentucky lean, with Lively’s commitment to Duke potentially paving the way for him to eventually become a Wildcat.

While Duke moves into the No. 1 spot in the team rankings for now with the big recruiting win, Kentucky figures to still be a factor moving forward to unseat its rival blueblood. Kentucky is a favorite to land five-star recruit Cason Wallace, a top-10 player in the 2022 class, and the staff remains in a great spot to land Bona as well.

The commitment gives Duke a fourth commitment from a five-star since Scheyer was named Krzyzewski’s successor earlier this summer and it comes just four days after the program secured its first five-star in 2023 in point guard Caleb Foster out of Oak Hill Academy. 

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