One of high school basketball’s top talents might be ascending to either the college or professional ranks a bit earlier than originally expected.
Over the weekend, rumors spread that Montverde Academy star Jalen Duren, the No. 2 recruit in the class of 2022 behind Emoni Bates according to 247Sports, is considering reclassifying into the class of 2021. Duren has yet to make a decision on the matter and one is not expected in the near future, but jumping up a class is most definitely under consideration for the 6-foot-10, 230-pound center.
If Duren does ultimately elect to go from the class of 2022 to the class of 2021, he will have plenty of options ranging from the college ranks to the pros at his fingertips. Duren has 12 college scholarship offers and Kentucky, Miami, Michigan and Penn State are all listed as “warm” on his 247Sports recruiting profile. It is safe to assume each of those schools, as well as the other schools that have offered Duren, would make room for him if he wanted to begin his college basketball career a year early.
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.
Expect Duren to remain active on the AAU circuit as he mulls his reclassification. Duren plays for a loaded Team Final squad and there has not been any indication that he is going to skip the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in favor of getting a head start on his college career. If he does indeed wind up reclassifying, Duren’s decision will likely come at the conclusion of the Peach Jam — similar to Marvin Bagley’s a couple of years ago.
Whether Duren stays in the class of 2022 or jumps up to the class of 2021, he is a safe bet to succeed at either level. Duren has a strong case to usurp Bates as the top recruit in the country after strong showings so far this offseason — including a head-to-head matchup with Bates that he dominated — and is only getting better.