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Jalen Duren now 247 Sports’ top prospect for 2022; Dereck Lively jumps to No. 3

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No surprise with Duren but quite the historic jump for Lively.

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A pair of Kentucky targets fresh off recent visits to Lexington are now among the top three ranked players in the nation for 2022, per 247 Sports.

In their updated 2022 rankings, Jalen Duren, who paid a visit to Lexington Monday, jumped ahead of longtime No. 1 prospect and Michigan State decommit Emoni Bates for the top spot.

Duren will be releasing his top five options Friday, with UK expected to make the cut. He is still projected by 247 Sports to go pro via the NBA G-League, but with new NIL laws now in place and Kentucky being among the states allowing college athletes to cash in, there is a chance he elects to join the Wildcats and reclassify to the class of 2021.

In a historic jump, fellow UK target Dereck Lively II not only earned a five-star rating, but he also jumped 39 spots from No. 42 to No. 3 in 247’s new rankings.

The 7-foot-1 center took an official visit to Lexington last week and landed an offer from John Calipari.

He spoke highly of the program with Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog, saying, “Kentucky was a great visit,” Lively said. “Their message is really, only pros come here. So if you come here, you’re going to be developed into a pro and you’re going to be living a lifestyle as a pro. Coach Calipari is really going to take me under his wing and just mold me into the player that just blossoms into the NBA.”

The Pennsylvania native is expected to drop a top seven list soon with Kentucky Duke, North Carolina, Michigan, USC, Florida State, and Penn State all in the running.

There are no 247 Sports crystal ball projections for the five-star center yet, and Rivals does not have any expert FutureCast predictions made either.

As for Kentucky’s lone 202 commit, Skyy Clark checked in at No. 15, a three spot drop. Other Kentucky targets include Keyonte George (No. 5), Chris Livingston (6), Shaedon Sharpe (8), Adem Bona (9), Cason Wallace (19), Nick Smith (20), Jaden Bradley (24), Brandon Miller (26), Sadraque Nganga (28) and Vince Iwuchukwu (32).

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