Duren was originally slated to be part of the 2022 recruiting class, but he has decided to reclassify so he can play at Memphis this upcoming season.
Miami, Kentucky, the G-League and the NBL in Australia were all considered finalists for Duren. It was Memphis’ ability to develop young talent, however, that made Duren commit to the Tigers.
It also doesn’t hurt that Hardaway was a fantastic NBA player who can relate to talented recruits like Duren.
“The developmental aspect attracted me to Memphis,” Duren said, via ESPN. “I feel their plan for me both on and off the court fit me best — to help me as an all-around player on the court and with the business side off the court. I built a great relationship with coach Penny Hardaway. He was a great player in the NBA and has developed others to get there. We had some good conversations and I trust him. I watched the way he interacts with others, he is a very humble guy.”
Duren also told ESPN that’s excited to learn from Larry Brown, who was recently hired as an assistant coach for Memphis.
“He has been a very successful NBA head coach and he has done it all,” Duren said. “I look forward to picking his brain, working with him and the rest of the staff.”
Jalen Duren has already drawn comparisons to Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo. If he’s as good as advertised, Memphis will be in great shape to potentially win the AAC next season.
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