Dereck Lively
Duke and head coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer land the No. 2 player in the country in Dereck Lively. Duke now has the No. 1 recruiting class. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Dereck Lively Commits to Duke, Gives Blue Devils No. 1 Class

The No. 2 senior in the country, Dereck Lively, has committed to Duke, per an announcement on the Westtown School boy’s basketball Instagram. Lively’s commitment launches the Blue Devils and head coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer into the driver’s seat for the No. 1 recruiting class.

The race for Lively was a two-way battle between the Blue Devils and John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats. While the Wildcats were long expected to earn Lively’s services, a late push from Scheyer and the staff appears to have altered the five-star center’s course.

The five-star center told ESPN this regarding his decision to join Duke and the Brotherhood:

“I like the whole idea of the Brotherhood, Duke basketball and Duke University. I believe next year’s team has a chance to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament and maybe a national championship. After my playing career, a Duke degree is important to me.”

VIA ESPN

Back in June, the Westtown School (Pa.) star echoed similar statements surrounding the program’s culture to Zagsblog.com, including a reference to the post-Coach K era in Durham:

“You come here and the Duke Brotherhood ain’t going down or anything like that just because Coach K is stepping down. He’s still going to be there, the development is still going to be there and just the overall feeling of being a Duke athlete is still going to be there because I’m still going to be able to be coached by Coach K, he’s still going to be staying in the mix and staying in the whole development process throughout my recruitment if I go there.”

VIA Zagsblog.com

With Lively officially committed, Scheyer’s recruit tally reaches five, include four five-stars, since he was confirmed as Mike Krzyzewski’s successor earlier this summer. Fellow class of ’22 top ten prospects Kyle Filipowski and Dariq Whitehead committed to Duke in July and August, respectively, with top 50 shooting guard Jaden Schutt rounding out the class as of now. Lively is also Scheyer’s second commit in five days, with 2023 five-star point guard Caleb Foster ending his recruitment early to join the Blue Devils. Top-40 recruits J.J. Starling and Mark Mitchell also have offers from Scheyer and company.

While Mike Krzyzewski’s official role upon retiring as the head coach at Duke has yet to be determined, it has been confirmed that he will keep his office on campus, so Lively will have plenty of time to meet with the coaching legend whenever the opportunity arises.

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