After developing ‘in many different ways’ during his one-season stint with Memphis’ men’s basketball program, Jalen Duren will enter the NBA draft

Memphis freshman Jalen DurenHe said Monday that he will be entering the 2022 NBA draft.

Duren stated, “My plan is for me to sign with Chafie Fields of Wasserman as an agent and enter the NBA Draft.”

Duren is the No. Duren was the No.7 prospect in the ESPN 100. He averaged 12.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.21 blocks per game.

Duren stated that “Going to Memphis wasn't a bad experience.” It was a great challenge. Participating in the NCAA tournament and being able to play before the entire world via national television. It was a great atmosphere. It really helped me to grow and develop. The season was difficult because of many injuries. We couldn't seem to get the team together on the court. It helped my game and the team to get everyone back. I began to understand the game. Help defenses. I was being guarded by my opponents. That was something I observed more as the season progressed and it allowed for me to do much more.

Duren, a 15 year old, was the youngest player in a USA Basketball team that won a gold medal in the FIBA Americas U16 Championships in Brazil. He averaged 10.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game.

Duren, now the youngest college player to be drafted in the draft, was No. Duren was the No. 1 recruit in his class, when he decided to drop out of high school one year early to enroll at Memphis. This just two weeks after leading Team Final to a Nike EYBL title. He also led Montverde in winning the high school title at the Geico Nationals.

“I've always been big on development,” Duren said. I grew by playing up as a younger player. In high school, I reached a point where I desired a greater challenge. I wanted to push myself and compete with older players. I couldn't get more out of it. We won a lot.

Duren, who was 17 years old when he played his first college games, had to make a difficult transition from high school. Memphis started at 9-8 and Duren got off to a slow start. Duren was unable to play due to foul trouble and he played a significant role in their recovery. They won 12 of their next 13 matches to rise to the post-season.

He said that the coaches at Memphis, Penny Hardaway and Cody Toppert, Rasheed Wade, helped him in many different ways to understand the NBA terminology and the environment in which he was playing. That was a major factor in my decision. Every member of the coaching staff is a former NBA player. This was my main goal when I went to college. Seeing the NBA knowledge on the staff was attractive and helped me a lot. It was a great decision.

Duren's outstanding combination of physical tools (6-2, 250 lbs, 7'5 wingspan), power. explosiveness and budding skills is what made him a top-10 draft choice. Duren was a key player in Memphis's paint, whether he was protecting the rim, crashing the glass or finishing aggressively around the basket. This gave him an ideal role to start his NBA career. His age is not a disadvantage, as he shows some signs of court vision, passing and shooting range.

He said, “I look forward to showing NBA players how much better my skill level has been and what my game is like with my touch around a basket and shooting the ball.” My energy, work ethic, mentality and effort can make a big difference to a team in the NBA. I am a big believer in winning. I'll do everything to get the win.”

Duren said he is studying the tendencies of many NBA players to assist with their transition to the next level.

“A guy like Evan Mobley — that made a huge impact defensively for the Cavs-bringing length, size, and mobility. I want that type of guy to come along and make the same kind of impact. “I also study guys like Bam Adebayo and Nikola Jokic,” said he. They can pass because the ball is always running through their hands. That is how my game plays. I can guard 1-5. Switch on ball-screens to hedge and read all the picks. All those things I have developed are very good. Joel Embiid is my favorite. Giannis and KD are also my favorites.

The NBA draft combine is scheduled for May 16-22 in Chicago and June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.

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