Penny Hardaway was an elite scorer for many years in the NBA, but he might make even more shots on the recruiting trail.
The Memphis Tigers have done it again, this time getting No. 2 overall prosect Jalen Duren from Florida hoops factory Montverde Academy to reclassify and join the Class of 2021.
Breaking: Jalen Duren, the No. 2 overall prospect in the class of 2022, has reclassified into the class of 2021 and committed to Memphis, according to @PaulBiancardi.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 6, 2021
( ️ via @jaydoefilms) pic.twitter.com/5jQDHBOX8K
If you want to watch the tape, it’s .. pretty good.
Duren’s options were literally anywhere, and he chose the Tigers over Miami, Kentucky, the NBA’s G League Ignite team, and every overseas team you can imagine. But in the era of NIL rights for players, we might see even more elite prospects play out their league-mandated year in residence after graduating high school on college campuses, because now they can get paid too.
Duren won the somewhat-mythical high school national championship sponsored by Geico last season with Montverde, averaging 12.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in three games at the Nationals tournament.
“The developmental aspect attracted me to Memphis,” Duren told ESPN’s Paul Biancardi without a hint of irony after D.J. Jeffries transferred to Mississippi State, DeAndre Williams is still in college, and James Wiseman played three college games.
“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.” And that’s a quote we’ll likely be hearing from more players in this new era of college basketball. Which is why it doesn’t hurt to have a former NBA All-Star with his own shoe being promoted by Chris Rock as the head coach.
Hardaway is 63-32 at Memphis in three seasons since taking the head coaching job at his alma mater. They have yet to reach the NCAA Tournament, but won the NIT last season.
The Tigers are also in the mix for No. 1 prospect Emoni Bates, who is also reclassifying. Memphis, Michigan State, Oregon, and the G League Ignite are all possible places he can ply his trade next season. Get some highlight tape here.
Here’s Bates and Duren playing against each other with a low camera angle documenting all of it.