NBA Future Watch: Dereck Lively II Basketball Cards, Prospect – Dereck Lively II has an incredible pedigree as a five-star collegiate recruit. He was the top-rated player in the ESPN 100 list of incoming freshmen in 2022 and a McDonald’s All-American. Like many players before him, Lively has found an entirely new set of challenges in suiting up for a deep team at Duke. Surely, he would not have anticipated ranking eighth on the team in FGA at 3.6 per game. However, he has persevered and improved as the season progressed.
The son of Katherine Drysdale, a four-year starter on the Penn State basketball team, Lively’s athletic resume also includes high school competition in swimming and football. On the court, Lively succeeded in winning championships and putting up excellent numbers, 14.0 PPG, 14.0 RPG and 4.5 BPG as a senior. Lively’s high school team took home a state title and he led Team Final on the Nike EYBL circuit to a Peach Jam crown. Lively was named the Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year in 2022.
As a Blue Devil, Lively had to fight for his chances to make an impression, but he has shined in a variety of roles. Against North Carolina, Lively’s eight blocked shots were the most ever tallied by a Duke player in the history of the rivalry. He added 14 rebounds the same night. Lively has delivered contributions where needed. He had ten rebounds and five blocks against Miami and hit every shot from the field against Virginia Tech.
Lively has the defensive part of his game down pat already. With a .658 FG%, he’s got the close-in and medium-length scoring down as well. Spacing the floor remains a work in progress, as does secondary playmaking. Although, his assists outpace his turnovers by over 50%, always a good sign for a big man. There’s a bit more bulk remaining to be put on Lively’s frame as well. That could be an argument for a return to campus in the fall of 2023 to consolidate his body and skills before entering the 2024 NBA Draft. Lively most certainly could become the kind of center that NBA teams are clamoring to build around by that time.
NBA Future Watch: Derek Lively II – Stats
Statistical image generated from ESPN.com 03/20/23.