Next Up: Examining 2023’s One-and-Done ACC players, led by Dariq Whitehead

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Dereck Lively, Duke

Dereck Lively, the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, per 247 Sports, brings big-time run-and-jump potential to the center position. At 7-foot-1, 220 pounds, Lively is built to do damage around the rim — on both sides of the floor.

At the very least, Lively offers elite size and length, along with a discrete skill set that works at the center position: screen-and-dive on offense, and protect the rim on defense.

Here, Lively shows off a nice catch-and-finish radius, along with some good body control, as his slams this lob pass from Keyonte George.

The biggest question for Lively center on his secondary offense and how he’ll hold up in pick-and-roll defense.

  • Besides the screen-and-dive game and getting on the glass, what else can Lively do in the half-court offense? Can he pass? What’s his range as a shooter? How functional is his back-to-the-basket game?
  • Learning to defend pick-and-rolls as a young center can be tricky, and it’s something that plenty of Duke centers have struggled with in recent years. Plus, it remains to be seen what coverages Jon Scheyer will run to defend ball screens. Will he ask Lively to drop or play closer to the level of the screen? Which actions or exchanges Duke will ask Lively to switch on?

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