Memphis Tigers men's basketball lands top prospect Jalen Duren

Jalen Duren is a top player in high school basketball and announced his commitment to Memphis Friday night. He will be reclassified into the 2021 class, and will wear Penny Hardaway’s uniform for the upcoming season.

Duren chose the Tigers to replace a list that included Miami, Kentucky and the NBL of Australia.

Duren stated that Memphis was attracted to him because of its developmental aspects. I feel that their plan for me on and off the court best fits me — to help me as an overall player and businessman. Penny Hardaway was a great coach to me. He was an outstanding player in the NBA, and has helped others get there. He was a great guy to talk to and I have a lot of trust in him. I was impressed by his humble demeanour and how he interacted with others.

Hardaway added Larry Brown, Hall of Famer, to his team as an assistant coach. This hire was appealing to Duren.

Duren stated that he spoke with Duren a few times. He has been a successful NBA head coach, and he has done everything. I look forward to learning from him and working with the rest of his staff.”

Duren, a 6-foot-10 tall big man from Delaware who played at Montverde Academy Florida last season was ranked No. Duren was ranked No. 2 in the class of 2022. This is his second consecutive July, in which he led Team Final’s grassroots program to the Nike Peach Jam title. Duren scored 17 points, had 10 rebounds and made three blocks in the title-game win over Brad Beal Elite.

Duren had an average of 13.7 points, 8.7 rebound and 2.3 blocks in 15 games played with Team Final in July.

Duren was also instrumental in leading Montverde Academy to its 2021 High School Nationals Championship, which was the school’s fifth consecutive national title. Duren scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds in the title match. Duren averaged 12.7 points, 9.0 rebound and 2.0 blocks over three games at Nationals tournament.

In 2019, Duren won a gold medal for USA Basketball, helping them win the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. Duren scored 10.3 points, 8.2 rebound and 2.0 blocks per game in Brazil.

From a power standpoint, Duren was the most dominant player in this season’s league. His physicality was unmatched. He starts with the court, where he bounces with an NBA-ready frame. His frame is built with enormous strength, girth and broad shoulders, as well as strong hands. He can rebound with both hands and is an explosive rebounder who can put back missed shots with thunderous dunks. He is intimidating and can block shots.

He can get deep and do a jump or drop step on the block. Duren is a strong, efficient screener who can complete ball-screens. Duren’s shooting touch is reliable from 12 feet and he can turn the corner on the block. His passing game is also a great area of his vision.

His offensive range and repertoire as a power forward-type or traditional center will need to be improved in the offseason. However, Duren could be a potential double-double player at Memphis. He is a one-and done prospect and a first round pick.

Memphis’ No. 1 commitment is Duren. James Wiseman, the Tigers’ No. 1 prospect, chose the Tigers in 2019. Hardaway signed three five-star prospects in 2019, one five-star prospect in 2020, and now another five-star prospect in 2021.

Hardaway’s 2021 class includes three ESPN 100 prospects. Duren joins Johnathan Lawson, Josh Minott and Sam Onu, while John Camden and John Camden are also included. Three high-major transfers were also added to the Tigers’ roster: Tyler Harris (7.5 PPG Iowa State), Earl Timberlake (9.3 PPG Miami) and Chandler Lawson (4.4% PPG Oregon).

This group of three newcomers is joined by DeAndre Williams (Landers Nolley II), Landers Quinones (Lester Quinones) and Landers Nolley II (DeAndre Williams). They are all part of a team that defeated Mississippi State to win NIT Championship.

Memphis is now in the preseason’s top 25 thanks to Duren’s acquisition. Emoni Bates, No. 1 prospect in the 2022 class, remains with the Tigers. The No. 1 prospect in the 2022 Class announced earlier this week that he would reclassify to 2021.