Not even John Calipari can stall the Duke basketball recruiting mastermind.
Even many Duke basketball fans were skeptical. Would five-star talents agree to play for Blue Devil head coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer, who landed his new job title in early June, as so many had in recent years for five-time national champ Mike Krzyzewski?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Westtown (Pa.) center Dereck Lively, who sits at No. 2 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite, became the latest top-shelf prize for the Duke Blue Devils this summer by announcing his commitment on Monday evening. The 7-foot-1, 220-pound sensation chose Scheyer & Co. over his six other finalists: Kentucky, Florida State, Michigan, Penn State, Southern Cal, and UNC.
Although Duke seized control of the Crystal Ball lead for Lively over the weekend, Kentucky head coach John Calipari had appeared to be in the driver’s seat for months. It was the first real head-to-head 2022 battle between the renowned recruiting rivals. And the Blue Devils prevailed, thereby swiping the No. 1 spot from the Wildcats on the 247Sports 2022 Team Rankings.
Duke basketball recruiting still reigning supreme
Not only does Jon Scheyer now boast three five-star pledges from the 2022 class — not to mention one of the 2023 variety in point guard Caleb Foster — but the present-day haul of high school seniors marks the first for the Blue Devils since 2018 to contain three fellas ranking among the top 10 in their class.
So is this group better than Zion Williamson & Friends? Not quite. Yet judging from Scheyer’s now-undisputed recruiting prowess, it may only be a matter of time.
Scheyer’s 2022 collection now consists of five-star center Dereck Lively (ranks No. 2), five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead (No. 5), five-star power forward Kyle Filipowski (No. 8), and four-star shooting guard Jaden Schutt (No. 56).
Meanwhile, Duke also remains in the hunt for three more 2022 prospects: five-star small forward Mark Mitchell (No. 16), four-star combo guard Anthony Black (No. 25), and four-star point guard JJ Starling (No. 33). Worth noting at this juncture, the Crystal Ball pegs the Blue Devils as frontrunners for both Mitchell and Starling.