Duke's Dereck Lively Holds Top Spot, Arkansas' Nick Smith Moves Up in Final Sports Illustrated Basketball Rankings

Duke’s Dereck Lively Holds Top Spot, Arkansas’ Nick Smith Moves Up in Final Sports Illustrated Basketball Rankings

Roughly five months after the initial unveiling of the SI99 basketball rankings for 2022, the very top has remained intact.

Westtown School (West Chester, Penn.) center Dereck Lively turned in a dominant high school finale of a season, averaging 14 points, 14 rebounds and 4.5 blocks a game and claimed a state title in the process.

His senior year dominance was a carryover from a summer where he led Team Final (Penn.) to the prestigious Nike Peach Jam title.

Lively’s ability to not only live up to the hype, but to also surpass it in a season where he wore the ultimate bull’s-eye kept his grip on the No. 1 spot.

Still, the 7’1” Duke signed had a handful of stars pushing him all season.

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