Although Lively was also recruited by John Calipari of Kentucky, Juwan Howard of Michigan, Leonard Hamilton of Florida State, Penny Hardaway of Memphis and Hubert Davis of North Carolina, he has engaged to Duke on September 18.
“When Dereck goes to Duke, Coach Scheyer is the head coach, so why wouldn’t my son’s head coach be watching him? Lively’s mother, Kathy Drysdale, said in a telephone interview. “Coach K didn’t need to be there because he won’t be the coach.”
There isn’t a real comparison in recent memory to what Duke did with his succession plan. In June 2015, Syracuse announced that an assistant, Mike Hopkins, was “the designated head coach” and would succeed Jim Boeheim after the 2017-18 season. But more than six years later, Boeheim, who turns 77 on November 17, is still Syracuse’s head coach. He said he could train until he was 80 or older. Hopkins, aware his Syracuse opportunity was not on the horizon, left to become Washington’s head coach in 2017.
When Roy Williams retired from North Carolina on April 1 at age 70, the university named his heir, Davis, the new head coach four days later. Still, Davis and his team have commitments from four contenders from the 2022 class, including three four-star rookies.
Nothing has quite matched what Scheyer and his staff have accomplished so far on the recruiting trail.
On July 29, after failing to perform at most of the prestigious Peach Jam in North Augusta, SC, because he tested positive for coronavirus, Kyle Filipowski, a much-vaunted 6-11 center from Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Massachusetts, has become the first player to commit to Duke for the Scheyer era.
“Jon developed a solid relationship with Kyle around April or May,” said Mike Mannix, Filipowski’s high school coach. “You can see that Jon is very comfortable in his new role. He has a strong presence. He connects with the players but now has a way of him that gives off a sense of leadership.”