Also in the running for Cockburn are the Florida State Seminoles, while returning to Illinois is still the perceived favorite heading into Friday’s decision.
John Calipari and his staff seemingly have all of their focus on landing Jalen Duren now, though getting a read on his recruitment has been quite the challenge.
Kentucky seemed to be in a good spot going into his official visit to Lexington. Then Memphis was the perceived leader.
Now, it looks like Miami may be the top college option based on what Big Blue Express and Andrew Slater (and his palm tree emoji) are saying, though going pro is also still in the mix.
My intel on Jalen Duren continues to be Miami or G-league as likely destination. Of course surprises have happened before. Kentucky is still actively recruiting him.— Big Blue Express (@bigbluexpress) July 14, 2021
From a UK perspective, I totally understand the leak, but also not a they get Jalen. https://t.co/HSNfsFum9d— ℯ ℯ (@Andrew__Slater) July 14, 2021
You could make a compelling argument as to who would be a better college player next season between Duren, a strong contender for the No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick in 2022, or Cockburn, an All-American who will be among the top favorites for national player of the year honors.
Kentucky’s frontcourt is pretty crowded as is, so Duren may be the better option since he’s skilled enough to play the 4 or 5 spots, whereas Cockburn is a true center potentially joining a roster that already has a true center in Oscar Tshiebwe. Playing Cockburn and Tshiebwe together would have been very challenging, so that would explain why Kentucky seemingly removed itself from his list, even if they’re still technically on it.