College basketball recruiting: Duke keeps momentum going; San Diego State makes waves

Jamie Shaw is back to deliver the latest news in college basketball recruiting, including Duke’s latest pickup and San Diego State’s major recruiting victory.

The landscape of college basketball recruiting is shifting. Professional leagues, G-League Ignite, Overtime League and the NBL are all viable options for the elite talents. However, new name, image and likeness (NIL) rules in place now allow college players to get paid and can make the college route more attractive than ever.

From a pure exposure standpoint, no professional option will overtake what March Madness provides to student-athletes. Even throughout the season, with the blue bloods — and new bloods — on prime TV multiple times per year, these moments of exposure aren’t available outside of college basketball.

The professional route provides training and development without the added responsibilities of being a full-time student. A player’s game may improve even more when allotted a full-time schedule towards development, weight training and other physical aspects.

College is not for everyone. Every player’s path is different, but it seems Top 10 recruits of the 2022 class are leaning towards school this time around.

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Commitment of the Week

Dereck Lively chooses The Brotherhood

All the way until the very end, Kentucky, Duke, and the professional route were the options for Dereck Lively, a 7-1 big man. Long thought to be a Kentucky lean, Lively gives Duke its third commitment from the 2022 Rivals150 Top 10 and its fourth Top 100 player overall.

Lively is a lengthy and mobile. He recently experienced a growth spurt and is still physically coming into his own. Lively moves in a way that isn’t often seen from seven-footers: His lateral mobility allows him to switch on the perimeter and his vertical pop lends its way to rim protection. Lively has touch beyond the arc and the ability to play above the rim, in the dunker spots or as a roll man.

A frontcourt that fits No. 3 Lively alongside No. 5 Kyle Filipowski and No. 9 Dariq Whitehead will greatly intrigue, and it comes after a 2021 class that featured three 5-stars in No. 2 Paolo Banchero, No. 16 A.J. Griffin, and No. 22 Trevor Keels.

Looking ahead for Duke, the recruitments of No. 11 Mark Mitchell and No. 40 JJ Starling will be worth monitoring.

Other Notable Recruiting Additions

Cincinnati wins major recruiting battle for Skillings

Rivals150 No. 106 Daniel Skillings had a final group that included Pittsburgh, NC State and Cincinnati. This is a big recruiting win for new Cincinnati head coach Wes Miller, who now has his second member of the 2022 Rivals150. Skillings is a noted scorer, skilled at each level in the half court, and able to manufacture opportunities.

Securing Skillings’ commitment shows that Miller and his staff are ready to punch with the big boys. With the upcoming move to the Big 12, Cincinnati will regularly appear in recruiting battles like this one as Skillings picked up over 20 total offers during his recruitment. Skillings is a talented player who brings plenty of scoring to the Bearcats.

Jaxon Kohler to Michigan State

Jaxon Kohler, the 2022 Rivals150 No. 119 prospect, is a throwback big and the type of player Tom Izzo has been successful with during his Hall of Fame career. Kohler brings mental and physical toughness to the court. He is skilled with range beyond the 3-point line and has excellent footwork around the basket.

Along with Michigan State, Kohler had visits set with Iowa, Nebraska and USC. This is a nice recruiting snag for the Spartans as they identified the fit, and battled to get the job done.

Penn State picks up local 3-Star

Demetrius Lilley’s recruitment never took off like many anticipated as the 6-9 3-star was in the conversation for the updated 2022 Rivals150. Lilley recently dropped 30-plus pounds, reshaping his body and his game. He is a skilled power forward who can face the basket and handle, shoot and pass.

Lilley attends Ardmore Lower Merion High (Pa.), known most notably as Kobe Bryant’s old stomping grounds. Micah Shrewsberry’s ability to land local talent will pay dividends, especially with under-the-radar talents.

Mid-Major Commitment of the Week

San Diego State wins recruiting battle to land Saunders

San Diego State landed 6-8 Elijah Saunders on Friday. He took official visits to Notre Dame and Miami and also had South Carolina and Virginia Tech on the docket before canceling. This is a major early commitment for Brian Dutcher as Saunders is ranked No. 145 in the 2022 Rivals150. He is a strong-framed power forward with big hands, and is a good rebounder who can knock down open jump shots with his feet set.

2023 Commitment of the Week

Kaleb Glenn stays local

Kaleb Glenn, the 6-7 junior forward at Louisville (Ky.) Male, knew he wanted to stay local and commit to the Louisville Cardinals. The strong forward prospect has good length and is comfortable facing the basket and getting to the rim. The interesting piece will be what type of NIL opportunities the local 4-star could receive by staying home.



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