The No. 2 overall junior in the country is considering joining the blue and white.
On Sunday afternoon, Jalen Duren, a consensus five-star prospect considered the top-ranked center from the class of 2022, dropped his top 11 preferred destinations for the next stage in his basketball career and the Kentucky Wildcats were included among the bunch. The 6-foot-10, 230-pound big man made the announcement on Instagram.
Along with the ‘Cats, Duren is also considering the likes of Villanova, Michigan, Miami (FL), Auburn, Alabama, UCLA, Penn State, and Memphis. He also listed the NBA’s G League and Australia’s pro league, the National Basketball League (NBL), as potential options.
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Over the weekend, Duren suited for his AAU squad, Team Final, to participate in MADE Hoops’ Midwest Mania event up in Indiana. And even though reporters would have had easier luck trying to talk to the President of the United States than getting past Duren’s security team, it was easy to see just by watching from the sidelines why he’s such a sought-after talent.
Despite being just 17 years old, he is built like a 10-year NFL defensive end veteran and possesses unlimited potential when he steps on the court. Duren is impossible to miss once he’s in action.
He won’t dazzle you right now with his shooting touch, but his quickness and innate athleticism combined with a good feel for the game forecast a bright future whenever he does make it to the NBA. Scouts have compared Duren to Bam Adebayo and he has a frame that reminds you of a young Dwight Howard.
Last week, Duren spoke with Dushawn London of 247 Sports, to discuss a few of the schools that are after him, including Kentucky.
Kentucky: “Our relationship is good, I speak with Bruiser Flint and John Calipari a lot. I have a relationship with them. I like the history of Kentucky because it speaks for itself. Everybody knows Kentucky is a household name and they are who they are, you know who they are, everybody knows who they are, they’re cool. Willie Cauley-Stein and Anthony Davis, it honestly speaks for itself. They have more than just bigs, they have guards too and they turn guys into pros. They are a good program.” — 247 Sports
Duren teamed up with fellow Kentucky target Dereck Lively II on Team Final over the weekend and at one point they were matched up against–and got the better of–Bates Fundamental, which features the top player in 2022, Emoni Bates.