Duke Basketball Star Will Reportedly Miss Season Opener

The Jon Scheyer era of Duke basketball is just minutes away from beginning, but the Blue Devils will head into their season opener without one of their key players.

According to On3 Sports, Duke freshman Dereck Lively II will miss the game. Lively, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2022 recruiting class, has been dealing with a calf injury.

Scheyer listed Lively as day-to-day with the injury. Lively did not play in any of Duke's preseason exhibition games though.

Duke was already set to be without freshman Dariq Whitehead, who suffered a foot fracture in August and is expected to miss the first few weeks of the season. Whitehead was the No. 2 overall recruit in the 2022 recruiting class.

It's unclear at the moment whether Dereck Lively will be available for Friday's game against USC Upstate. But Duke should have the necessary firepower to win both of these opening games.

The issue could be his availability for next week's Champions Classic against defending champion Kansas at Gainbridge Fieldhouse - their only road game until Thanksgiving.

Winning that game is already likely to be a tough ask even with a full complement of players. If Lively isn't available for that one, things could get dicey.

Will Duke be able to win without Lively for the time being?