Dereck Lively II of the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils is the third ACC player to record at least 10 rebounds and six blocks in an NCAA Tournament debut, joining UNC’s John Henson (2011) and Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan (1994).
Thursday’s first round East Region matchup against No. 12 Oral Roberts was anything but competitive. Duke outscored the Golden Eagles 40-23 in the first half and 34-28 in the second to win 74-51 at Amway Center.
Per a few 2023 NCAA Tournament betting sites for March Madness, Dereck Lively II and No. 5 Duke possess 10th-shortest odds to win the National Championship. No. 1 Houston remains the clear-cut betting favorite.
Most blocked shots by a Blue Devil in an NCAA Tournament game:
8 — Shane Battier vs. Kansas 2000
7 — Mike Gminski vs. Penn 1978
7 — Shelden Williams vs. GW 2006
6 — Dereck Lively II vs. Oral Roberts 2023
6 — Amile Jefferson vs. S Carolina 2017#DukeMBBStats
— #DukeMBBStats (@DukeMBBStats) March 17, 2023
In the Blue Devils’ first-round win over Oral Roberts, the 7-foot-1 freshman center ended his performance with four points, 12 boards, one assist, and six blocks in 29 minutes as a starter. Dereck Lively II also shot 2-of-3 (66.7%) from the field. Oral Roberts missed its first 12 shots in the opening half.
Through 33 appearances during the regular season, the Pennsylvania native averaged 5.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 20.1 minutes per game. Plus, Lively shot 65.8% from the floor. Of course, the center was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team, ACC All-Freshman Team, and All-ACC Tournament Second Team.
Dereck Lively II becomes third ACC player with 10 rebounds, six blocks in an NCAA Tournament debut, joins John Henson and Tim Duncan
Duke coach Jon Scheyer helped Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski win two of five national championships as a former player and assistant. The Blue Devils are now entering the second round of the NCAA Tournament on a 10-game win streak. Their next opponent is No. 4 Tennessee.
When Scheyer was asked whether or not he could match Krzyzewski’s accomplishments, the former Duke player replied, “Let’s not go down that road. He’s done everything you could do. I’m not going down that road.” If Dereck Lively II and Jeremy Roach, who matched his career high with 23 points against Oral Roberts, can remain healthy, a Final Four appearance is possible.
The NBA scout in me is absolutely slobbering watching Dereck Lively II on defense. Sliding on the perimeter and getting back to pick-and-ops like he’s reading the paper. Showing up out of the blue to reject shots at the rim. Soaring over everyone for defensive boards. Holy crap.
— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) March 16, 2023
Dariq Whitehead closed out his outing with 13 points, four boards, and one steal in 23 minutes of action. Duke finished 31-of-64 (48.4%) shooting from the floor and 6-of-16 (37.5%) outside the arc. The Blue Devils outrebounded Oral Roberts 46-32.
During the regular season, Dereck Lively II ranked second in the ACC in blocks per game, second in blocks (80), eighth in offensive rebounds (70), and sixth in defensive win shares (1.7).
Additionally, the 19-year-old led the conference in win shares per 40 minutes (.208), box plus/minus (9.5), defensive rating (90.7), and block percentage (13%). While at Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the center was a consensus five-star recruit.