Jalen Duren passes Emoni Bates for top spot in 2022 rankings

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There is a new player top-ranked recruit on the high school basketball scene.

247Sports updated its class of 2022 rankings on Wednesday and they were full of change — including a big one at the top. Emoni Bates, who had been the No. 1 player in the class of 2022 for over a year, dropped to No. 2. Taking his spot atop the rankings is Montverde Academy center Jalen Duren, who out-played Bates in a head-to-head matchup on the Nike EYBL circuit earlier this offseason.

Bates endured some inconsistent stretches of play throughout his junior season and those struggles spilled over to the early parts of the spring on the AAU circuit. Duren, meanwhile, helped lead Montverde to a national championship in front of a national audience and improved with each game played for Montverde and Team Final, one of the top EYBL programs in the nation.

Bates and Duren are now teammates with Team Final, giving the Philadelphia-based program the top two players in the class of 2022.

Bates originally committed to Michigan State on June 29, 2020, over offers from DePaul, Florida State, Kentucky and Michigan. The 6-foot-7, 185-pound small forward recently decommitted from the Spartans, though, and is now expected to consider other opportunities from the collegiate and professional ranks.

The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn reported in March that Bates is expected to skip college and seek the “most lucrative deal the G League can muster” before entering the NBA draft. However, it remains to be seen if that is the route Bates will ultimately decide on.

RELATED: Top 2022 recruit Emoni Bates decommits from Michigan State

Duren, meanwhile, visited Kentucky, Miami and Memphis during June while pondering a reclassification to the class of 2021. There is also the pull of skipping college basketball and jumping straight into the pros. Duren’s 247Sports Crystal Ball currently favors the Philadelphia native opting for the professional route. Between the NBA G League Ignite, playing overseas and numerous other leagues that have popped up recently, Duren would not be short on professional options, with the G League serving as his most likely landing spot.

RELATED: Evaluating Jalen Duren’s options if he reclassifies into 2021

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