Dereck Lively didn’t want to make some big production about the fact that he felt undervalued nationally coming into the spring.
Instead, he simplified his action plan as a result.
“I’ve been working really hard over the last year and I’ve added a lot to my game,” Lively said. “I simply just wanted to show what I’ve been working on. That’s it.”
Two months into the spring circuit and Lively has exceeded that goal by leaps and bounds, emerging as one of the breakout stars in the 2022 class.
“It feels great to want something, put in the work for it and then see it start to pay off,” Lively said. “We’ve all been through a lot in the last year, so to even be able to play is something I don’t take for granted.”
With that in mind, Lively was named to the Pangos All-American Camp's Cream of the Crop team this week after a dominant showing; that was a continuation of his dominance this spring with Team Final (Penn.), averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks a game.
Lively’s numbers are even more impressive considering he suits up alongside the top two players in his class in Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren.
This season at Westtown, Lively averaged 10 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks a game.
“I’m confident in what I bring to the table,” Lively said. “I stay within who I am, and I just do the best I can at improving that every time I step onto the court.”
The simplistic approach has Michigan, USC, Penn State, Ohio State, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, Memphis and UCLA, among others, all in intense pursuit.
His latest offer came from Duke last week where he will take an official visit on June 29-July 1.
Before that he has officials lined up to North Carolina (June 9-11) and Kentucky (June 20-22).
“I’m probably going to cut my list in the next month or two,” Lively said. “I don’t really have a timeframe on it, it’s just whenever I feel the time is right. I know it’ll be tough because I have a lot of great options.
“The thing I’m focusing on is working though; I’m not satisfied at all. I still feel underrated. I have so much more to show people.” With what I can do.”