2022 five-star center Dereck Lively II is officially a Blue Devil, choosing Duke over Florida State, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State, and USC.
Lively, the No. 2 overall prospect and No. 1 center in the senior class, announced his commitment to Duke on Instagram Live early Monday evening.
Leading up to the announcement, 15 total Crystal Ball picks and FutureCast predictions came in for the five-star center, all favoring Duke.
Earlier this summer, Lively told KSR that despite Mike Krzyzewski’s upcoming retirement, he didn’t expect the program to see a decline.
“(Jon Scheyer’s) pitch to me has been great,” he said. “He’s mainly been talking about, even though Coach K is leaving, it doesn’t mean Duke is going to change at all. They’re still a top program in the nation, they still have the respect. Even though Coach K has stepped down, I still feel like the coaching staff isn’t going to change in any way, shape or form.”
Kentucky entered the day ranked No. 1 in the 247Sports Team Rankings with 65.87 points, ahead of North Carolina (65.40) and Duke (64.98). With Lively’s commitment, though, the Blue Devils have taken over the top spot with a score of 69.78. UK is now down to No. 2 overall.
With Lively now headed to Duke, Kentucky will turn its attention to five-star center Adem Bona to join top-15 prospects Shaedon Sharpe, Chris Livingston and Skyy Clark in the class. UK is also making a strong push for five-star guard Cason Wallace to round out the class.
On to the next.