Memphis just got a major boost to its 2021 recruiting class, with 5-star center Jalen Duren reclassifying from 2022 and committing to the school.
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Highly-touted recruit Jalen Duren announces he will attend Memphis and join the Class of 2021. In last week's NBA Draft, each of the top 6 recruits in the ESPN 100 Class of 2020 went in the top 7 in the 2021 NBA Draft (only exception: Josh Giddey at No. 6). https://t.co/XUUUEug70T
Duren, a 6'10" center for Montverde Academy in Florida, was considered the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2022, the No. 1 center and the No. 1 player from Florida, per 247Sports' composite rankings.
247Sports' Brandon Jenkins said Duren had an "NBA-ready frame" and is a "total monster in the low post" in a February scouting report.
"He is more physical, athletic, and bigger than his peers which sums up to him being a pro in the making. He runs the floor, can explode off it where he shows value as a conscientious rebounder. His touch around the basket, passing instincts and ability to leap multiple times is noteworthy. He is a motored up workhorse who has an affinity for playing hard. Defensively, Duren is alert while in helpside and alters or blocks shots with great elevation and timing. He has a high ceiling that gives many scouts the reason to believe he can achieve all-pro status someday and have a long career at the highest levels of the sport."
The Philadelphia native has earned comparisons to Miami Heat two-way center Bam Adebayo, an excellent defender also capable of running the offense from the top of the key.
Duren told The Athletic's Brian Bennett in June that he believes his distribution is an underrated aspect of his game.
"I think my passing is something that's very underrated, my ability to see the court," he said. "Something I definitely think I can do is run the offense from the elbow or from anywhere. I'm not a player who needs 100 dribbles to get where I need to go. I like to set up my guys and find a scorer."
It was unclear if Duren would go the college route or choose to go pro immediately via the G League Ignite team or the NBL. That answer became clear on Friday, and the Tigers will be happy to have him.
Penny Hardaway isn't going anywhere, despite overtures from the NBA. And he's bringing the top player in the nation to the Tigers.