Written by Leon Taylor
Jalen Duren, one of the nation’s top high school basketball prospects in the class of 2021, has committed to Coach Penny Hardaway’s University of Memphis Tigers Men’s Basketball team. The 6-foot-10 230-pound man-child has drawn comparisons to former Michigan and NBA star Chris Webber, and his massive hands, NBA-ready frame, and explosive athleticism are just a few of the many reasons why he’s drawn such lofty praise by those who analyze NBA prospects.
Head Coach Penny Hardaway has once again secured a consensus top five recruit. Duren has a great basketball IQ and evolving skillset as he’s consistently shown the ability to pass out of double teams, score in the post, or knock down the face-up jump shot out to 15 feet. Duren possesses the ability to catch ball at the high post or on the block, pass to cutters, and effect the game without scoring due to his unselfish nature. He also is a tremendous on-ball defender willing to score on one end and defend the best player on the other side if called upon. Duren is a tremendous shot-blocker and who shows flashes of dominating in the post at the highest level.
Duren is what every college coach wants in a post presence! Jalen, someone who can make a play from inside and out to spread the floor. It’s a position less game now where it’s about playing faster.
The University of Miami was the only program to be a threat. When they added a close friend who was his AAU coach it seemed like a possible hit and miss. Penny made a chess move by making former NBA All Star Legend Rasheed Wallace as an Assistant Coach on his staff. Wallace is from Philadelphia where he is a legend from being a Top National recruit and NBA champion. Jalen Duren is also from Philly where respect has been earned from Duren as they both play the same position. It also helps that Duren is close friends with freshman Guard/Forward John Camden. Who both are former AAU teammates for Nike EYBL program Team Final.
Memphis Head coach Penny Hardaway has struck gold! It’s not over with though, as he will also add another Top 5 National recruit in Emoni Bates. Bates is a 6-foot-9 Guard/Forward who once was committed to Michigan State University as a Sophomore. Bates has since had a change of heart and could possibly be at The University of Memphis. Stay tuned ladies and gentlemen, there is more!