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Recruiting insiders pick Duke for Dereck Lively

Including one Duke prediction from a Kentucky insider.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: JUN 08 Pangos All-American Camp Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Cats Illustrated writer and basketball recruiting guru Travis Graf just changed his Rivals FutureCast prediction from the Kentucky Wildcats to the Duke Blue Devils for Dereck Lively II. It’s safe to say the Blue Devils should be viewed as the favorites heading into Monday’s decision day.

Dereck Lively II will announce his college choice Monday, though it remains to be seen who he’ll pick.

Widely regarded as a battle between the Kentucky Wildcats and Duke Blue Devils, Lively will almost certainly pick one of the two blue-blooded programs, but who will ultimately land the consensus top-three recruit in 2022?

When news initially broke of Lively setting his decision date, Kentucky looked like the school in the best shape.

However, 247 Sports recruiting expert Travis Branham just logged a prediction in favor of the Blue Devils while offering this reasoning.

I have placed my Crystal Ball with a confidence level of 6, that Jon Scheyer and the Duke Blue Devils will reel in the No. 2 overall prospect in the country.

I must make this clear that the decision is far from clear to sources throughout the industry. Lively’s decision is very much the biggest question that everyone is looking to have answered at this moment.

However, I have been liking Duke’s chances from the beginning, and given the circumstances leading up to the decision, I have made a prediction for the Blue Devils.

There’s also this from recruiting reporter Clint Story, who says Lively has not alerted any school’s staff as to where he’s leaning toward heading into Monday’s decision.

Among the other finalists for Lively include the Michigan Wolverines, USC Trojans, Penn State Nittany Lions, Florida State Seminoles and North Carolina Tar Heels. That kind of list speaks to just how special of a prospect we’re talking about with Lively, who’s currently ranked second overall in 2022 by ESPN, On3 and 247, while Rivals has him ranked third.

A 7-footer from Pennsylvania, Lively took official visits to Kentucky and Duke in June. Since then, those are the schools who’ve garnered the most buzz, so it’s no surprise to see one of them will very likely be the pick.

Lively told KSR that a decision may not come until the spring, which probably would have been good news for a Kentucky team that currently has guys like Daimion Collins, Keion Brooks, Lance Ware and Oscar Tshiebwe in the frontcourt.

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