Following Dereck Lively’s commitment to Duke, ESPN updated its 2022 team recruiting rankings. As expected, it’s a two-way battle at the top between Kentucky and Duke, with the Blue Devils currently holding the edge. Is there any way the Cats can claim the top spot? Jeff Borzello and Adam Finkelstein said landing Lively would have done it, but Kentucky could still climb to No. 1 if they get Cason Wallace and Adem Bona.
Kentucky is the one program that can catch Duke in the class rankings — although it’s a task that became much harder when Dereck Lively picked the Blue Devils over the Wildcats. But John Calipari already has three five-star prospects in the fold and can be perceived as the favorite for two more. No. 1 overall prospect Shaedon Sharpe wasn’t ranked at all last summer, but he established himself this past summer as the premier scoring guard in the class. He has good size and strength and is an elite athlete and finisher at the rim.
Chris Livingston has been a name to watch since early in his high school career, and he remains one of the top 15 prospects in 2022. He’s a versatile weapon at both ends of the floor and is at his best in transition. Then there’s Skyy Clark, a 6-foot-3 point guard who missed the summer with an ACL injury. Clark pledged to the Wildcats last October, and despite rumors of a reclassification to 2021, he has remained in 2022. Kentucky is still heavily in the mix for Cason Wallace (No. 9) and Adem Bona (No. 17).ESPN
Currently, Duke has four 2022 commitments: C Dereck Lively (ESPN No. 2), SF Dariq Whitehead (No. 5), C Kyle Filipowki (No. 10), and SG Jaden Schutt (No. 47). The Blue Devils are also pursuing SG JJ Starling (No. 27) and PF Mark Mitchell (No. 30). Should Kentucky land both Wallace and Bona, Nos. 9 and 17 in ESPN’s rankings, it would appear to be a more impressive haul.
Kentucky, Duke recruits in ESPN’s 2022 Rankings
- 1. Shaedon Sharpe, SG – Kentucky
- 2. Dereck Lively, C – Duke
- 5. Dariq Whitehead, SF – Duke
- 9. Cason Wallace, PG – Kentucky target
- 10. Kyle Filipowski, C – Duke
- 12. Chris Livingston, SF – Kentucky
- 16. Skyy Clark, SG – Kentucky
- 17. Adem Bona, C – Kentucky target
- 27. J.J. Starling, SG – Duke target
- 30. Mark Mitchell, PF – Duke target
- 47. Jaden Schutt, SG – Duke
Of course, recruiting services differ on rankings. 247 Sports’ Eric Bossi says if Duke lands both Mitchell and Starling and Kentucky gets Wallace and Bona, the Blue Devils will still have the edge by the slimmest of margins, 70.94 to 70.83.
Or, we just beat them on the court when it matters.