HAMPTON, Va. – Three weeks after cutting his enormous list of colleges down to a more manageable 11, Jalen Duren is still waiting to reap the benefits of the trimming.
“It’s still pretty hectic, honestly,” Duren said. “I knew I had to get it down, but I’m still trying to get things to where it’s not too much. I’ll definitely say it’s better though.”
Make sense when you’re considering heavyweights like Villanova, Michigan, Miami, Auburn, Alabama, Kentucky, UCLA, Penn State and Memphis, plus the NBA G-League and the Australian NBL.
Recently, the NCAA announced that sports would return to normal recruiting calendars on June 1, which will mean Duren will be racking up the frequent flyer miles over the next couple of weeks.
“A couple schools have reached out trying to setup dates like Miami, Memphis, Kentucky and a couple others,” Duren said. “I haven’t locked anything in yet, but we’re figuring it out. Right now, the conversations with the coaches are more about the fit and what my role would be.”
Chances are coaches are selling Duren on being the focal point of the offense from day one.
Duren was arguably the most dominant full-time paint scorer in easily the toughest league (National Interscholastic Basketball Conference) in the country, averaging 16 points, 12 rebounds and 2.4 blocks a game for the Eagles who won the GEICO Nationals title.
That level of production was good enough to earn him SI All-American Second Team honors this past season.
Duren’s numbers are even more impressive considering he plays on a roster loaded with more than eight high major Division I prospects.
He’s been even more dominant at the Southern JamFest this weekend for Team Final (Penn.), averaging 20 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in two wins.
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“It was a special year,” Duren said. “That was the goal in coming to Montverde, but to actually go out and get it done is a whole different feeling. It’s hard to describe. All I know is that I want to feel it again, so the goal is to repeat.”
As for his recruitment, Duren anticipates another cut to his list “in the next couple of months” though he’s not sure what number he wants to get it to.
“Whenever my family and I decide that it’s the right situation then we’d go ahead and end it,” Duren said. “I’m not gonna just wait for the sake of waiting. It’s a big decision though, and I’m sure it will get even harder as time goes on. But it’s a blessing to be in this position.”