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Will Jalen Duren be a difference maker for the Tigers?

Will Duren be a difference maker for the Memphis Tigers this Season?

On August 6th, 2021, one of the top prospects in the country, Jalen Duren, reclassified to the class of 2021 and committed to play college basketball for the Memphis Tigers.

It was a huge moment for the Memphis Tigers basketball program that had two open scholarships and was looking to add more pieces to the 2021-2022 basketball squad. Penny Hardaway has done an excellent job recruiting lately, especially the big men he has landed some of the best centers in the country in the three consecutive classes.

However, there are two big questions about Jalen Duren and whether he can be a difference-maker for the Tigers, unlike the previous big men were for the Tigers. Jalen Duren will probably not have any eligibility issues like James Wiseman, so; he should be eligible to play all season. The big question is can he be better than Moussa Cisse was on the offensive side of the ball.

Moussa Cisse was arguably the best defensive big in the country because of his ability to block and alter shots. However. he was a liability on the offensive side of the ball, and it was such a big problem that they had to take him off the court during pivotal moments of the game. On the other hand, Duren has shown the ability to hit perimeter shots and, most notably, free throws during AAU basketball. If he can continue that in college basketball, he could be a difference-maker for the Tigers.

The scouting report on Jalen Duren by Paul Biancardi was pretty impressive. First, he gave a great analysis. “The best power player in the game, Duren won Geico Nationals and had a tremendous summer winning Peach Jam. He demonstrates physical tools such as power, girth, secure hands with much improved footwork and touch. His inside scoring will demand a double team. He brings Memphis a missing piece to make a deep run in the NCAA.”

Then he talked about how he could fit with the Tigers. How Duren works with Memphis? “There will be plenty of talent surrounding Duren next season at Memphis, very similar to his previous squads with Team Final or Montverde Academy. He will be complemented by shooters, scorers, and playmakers to set him up for success.”

Jalen Duren will play with more experienced and better players, so if they can get the chemistry right, he has a chance to be the best center that played in the Penny Hardaway era.

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Photo courtesy of William Bretzger/Delaware News Journal/Imagn Content Services.

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