The rich get richer.
In what qualifies as the most consequential pickup for head-coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer, five-star 2022 center Dereck Lively II verbally committed to the Blue Devils Monday evening. Lively is ESPN's No. 2 overall prospect and becomes the fourth member of an already loaded Duke class, with top-50 recruits Kyle Filipowski, Dariq Whitehead and Jaden Schutt already in Scheyer’s back pocket.
The Chester, Pa., native can cruise and bruise down low with the best prep seniors in the country, displaying a knack for catching lobs on one end and utilizing his wingspan to reject a shot into the stands on the other. But while he sits at 7-foot-1 and 220 pounds, the top center in the country’s skillset is as refined as it gets for someone at his age and build. Lively has a smooth jumper and can space the floor like a prototypical stretch big man, and he has credible court vision when operating out of the low and high post. Clearly, the Pennsylvanian is not a one trick pony.
Who the Blue Devils beat out for the Westtown School stalwart is also exceedingly notable. The talk of the town was that the fight for Lively’s services was a two-horse race between Duke and Kentucky, and by the looks of it, Scheyer nudged ahead of John Calipari as they came down the stretch. In fact, the Blue Devils had received 10 crystal balls from 247Sports recruiting experts prior to Lively's announcement.
Now, the Blue Devils have the inside track on the top class in the nation for 2022 thanks to Lively’s commitment, capping off a summer frenzy that began in earnest when head coach Mike Krzyzewski designated 2021-22 as his final season back on June 2.
Max Rego is a Trinity junior and sports managing editor for The Chronicle's 117th volume.