When Dereck Lively was getting down to brass tacks with his recruitment, for a time, conventional wisdom had him going to Kentucky to play for John Calipari.
Didn’t happen of course.
He committed to Duke and Jon Scheyer, helping to build a superb first class for the young head coach.
He’s a gifted shotblocker, like Mark Williams, but unlike Williams, he has a versatile offensive game. That’s not to knock Williams, who was highly effective, but he had a traditional big man’s game and Lively can do much more on that end of the court.
From the Chronicle’s profile of Lively: “...Lively has the coordination to play like a guard. He can defend any position on the floor in the switch. On offense, he balances his ability in the paint with his shooting around the arc, leaving opponents guessing whether he is going to run a pick and roll or pick and pop. This allows him to get the separation needed to score.“
We’re going to have to wait a bit to see him: he suffered a calf injury and is being held out for now.
But he’ll be back soon and when he is, he’s likely to be a major factor.