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Jalen Duren announces top 5: Memphis now in the lead?

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The Cats make the cut, but it appears another school is in the best spot for arguably the best player in high school hoops.

City Of Palms Classic Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Jalen Duren has had the BBN constantly checking their phones for updates recently, and now, we have the latest in this recruitment.

The 6-foot-10 center has officially cut his list from 11 down to five, and that list includes the G-League, NBL, Miami Hurricanes, Memphis Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats.

Duren also told 247 Sports that he’s planning to make a decision sometime after the upcoming Peach Jam.

“I’m trying to do it after Peach Jam, but I don’t even know where I am going yet,” Duren told Travis Branham. “Me and my mom will have to find the time to sit down and have a conversation on where is best for me and I will put out a date and go from there.”

Duren is currently the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2022 class but has been rumored to be making the move to 2021, where he will challenge Chet Holmgren for the top spot.

If Duren decides to go the college route, Memphis and Kentucky seem to be the leaders with Jack Pilgrim of Kentucky Sports Radio reporting he believes Memphis holds a slight lead. Kentucky is also a strong option for Illinois transfer center Kofi Cockburn if he withdraws from the NBA Draft, which he must do by July 7th to maintain eligibility.

It looked like Kentucky was in the drivers’ seat on the college side when Penny Hardaway was being considered for the Orlando Magic job. However, he has since decided to remain at Memphis, putting them back into play for Duren and possibly in the lead.

Duren’s connection to Miami comes from their recent hire of DJ Irving, who coached at Duren’s former school, Philadelphia Roman Catholic. While the Hurricanes are still in the mix, it doesn’t appear they’ll be able to overcome Duren’s other options for his services.

As for official visits, Duren took his first visit to Miami back on June 13th, followed by a visit to Memphis June 23rd. He recently finished his visit to Kentucky which started June 28th, and now we have his final five options.

Possibly the most likely destination, and the one that Rivals basketball recruiting analyst Rob Cassidy believes is still in the lead is the G-League, which is expected to offer him upwards of $1 million.

The new NIL rules could push Duren to take the college route, and it will be interesting to see how this recruitment unfolds over the next several weeks.

Up next, Duren is set to play in the upcoming Nike EYBL circuit, which culminates in the Peach Jam from July 20-25. It looks like after the event is when Duren will make his final decision.

Be sure to read the 247 Sports article from Travis Branham for more insight into Duren’s recruitment, as well as his thoughts on all five options.

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