ESPN's Adam Finkelstein on Jalen Duren: "I don't know which of the four options he's going to go with"

Jack Pilgrimabout 2 months

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Aritcle written by:Jack PilgrimJack Pilgrim
Jalen Duren
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
[caption id="attachment_354905" align="alignnone" width="2560"] (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)[/caption] As things stand, there is no clear-cut favorite for 2022 five-star center Jalen Duren, who is set to make a final decision on Friday. With just three days remaining until the big announcement, ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein jumped on Jason & John of 92.9 FM ESPN to break down the latest in Duren’s recruitment, with the recruiting analyst confirming some of the latest buzz regarding the five-star center’s final destination: no one knows. “What I can tell you is that nine times out of ten when there's a high profile kid who's about to commit, most people in the know within the industry have a really good indication of where they're going,” Finkelstein said on the Memphis-based radio show. “Sitting on my desk here, I've got a list of about ten kids that I expect to commit in the next couple of weeks with where I expect them to go, and all of them are probably a 90 percent level of probability. To be totally honest with Jalen, that just doesn't exist.” Miami held the momentum to start with, though Memphis and Kentucky have since made up significant ground. Now, Duren’s final choice is anyone’s guess. “Had you asked me a couple of months ago - and some outlets did - I was candid at the time that I thought Miami was the leader. They hired DJ Irving, a Team Final guy from Philadelphia who has a really good relationship with Jalen,” Finkelstein said. “Then the landscape started to evolve a little bit and a couple different things happened, one, Memphis making a push, obviously. I think the NIL situation is really giving college programs a better opportunity to keep him rather than -- and that's not unique to Jalen, but the opportunity to make money that could potentially be comparable or even more than the G League or these other professional routes is giving these kids something extra to think about. “With regard to the college options, Miami was the perceived leader for a long time, Memphis started to make a push - I think bringing in Larry Brown was impactful - and then the other one that made a push was Kentucky, quite frankly. When they missed out on Kofi Cockburn they needed a five man so they decided to really go all in on Jalen and getting him now. Getting kids to reclassify up is something Kentucky has had good success with over the year.” When asked to make a prediction, Finkelstein said he’s waiting to find out like the rest of the basketball world. “I don't know which of the four options he's going to go with, meaning the three colleges or the G League,” he said. “I'm just as interested to find out as everyone.”

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2021-09-24