Just when you think the Kentucky basketball roster is set, another possible option emerges.
While we’re still waiting to see what Davion Mintz does, it still looks like the veteran guard will ultimately remain in the NBA Draft and begin his professional career, wherever that takes him.
Now, Kentucky has a potential outside addition that could be made in the coming months, as five-star center Jalen Duren is reportedly considering a reclassification into 2021.
However, Kentucky’s frontcourt is already pretty deep with Keion Brooks, Daimion Collins, Oscar Tshiebwe, Lance Ware, Jacob Toppin and Bryce Hopkins.
Of Course, Duren would likely be the best of that group if he were to commit to the Wildcats, but would they actually be a legitimate option for him as a 2021 recruit?
According to Kentucky beat reporter Kyle Tucker, the answer is yes.
Jalen Duren was already planning to visit Kentucky at the end of June.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) June 11, 2021
So is really going to play college ball this fall and are the Wildcats legit contenders to land him?
Asking around: Yes and yes.
KSR’s Jack Pilgrim confirmed Kentucky wants Duren, who was already planning to make a decision near the end of the summer.
Herald-Leader reporter Ben Roberts adds that Kentucky is a realistic option for Duren as a 2021 recruit, while Michigan is another school to monitor.
If Duren does play college ball, Kentucky and Michigan had been seen as the most likely options. He’s expected to take an official visit to Lexington later this month. Memphis and Miami are also scheduled to host him for official visits this month.
The Herald-Leader was told Friday that the college path is indeed a realistic one for Duren and that Kentucky is in his top tier of schools.
For what it’s worth, Cats Illustrated reporter Travis Graf logged a Rivals FutureCast pick in favor of the Wolverines back in March.
Basketball recruiting analyst Jamie Shaw also believes Kentucky is a legitimate option, as are Miami and the G-League.
As @AdamZagoria 1st reported, 2022 #Rivals150 No. 1 Jalen Duren is looking to classify up to become part of the 2021 class after playing in Peach Jam with @TeamFinalEYBL— Jamie Shaw (@JamieShaw5) June 11, 2021
Kentucky, Miami & G-League are said to be in play here@KentuckyRivals @CaneSporthttps://t.co/OvXG3EHidj
Why is Miami of all schools a threat to land Duren?
For one, Duren plays at Montverde Academy in Florida, so he can get a good look at Miami without having to travel too far to do so.
However, the real reason the Hurricanes are a player here is because the hired Duren’s AAU coach, D.J. Irving, to be an assistant on the men’s basketball staff. That connection has Miami very much in play for Duren, though it remains to be seen who the favorite is now that he’s set to become a Class of 2021 recruit.
The Wildcats are clearly in play for Duren, but how realistic of an option they are remains to be seen.