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Memphis Tigers freshman named to national award watch list

Jalen Duren was also voted the American Athletic Conference's Preseason Rookie of the Year and was named to the Preseason All-Conference First Team.
Credit: University of Memphis
Jalen Duren

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Tigers freshman center Jalen Duren has been named to the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Watch List, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Friday.

According to the University of Memphis, Duren was voted the American Athletic Conference's (AAC) Preseason Rookie of the Year and was named to the Preseason All-Conference First Team. 

A 6-foot-11-inch center, Duren helped Monteverde Academy (Fla.) to the 2021 High School Nationals championship as a junior last season and averaged 14.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting 62.9 from the floor.

Duren and Emoni Bates, who is on the 2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award Watch List, formed part of Memphis' recruiting class after reclassifying to the Class of 2021 to be eligible this season.

This season, four Tigers are on national award watch lists as Duren, Bates, Landers Noley II (Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year) and DeAndre Williams (Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year) earned the spotlight. All four were recognized by the AAC this preseason.

Named after Class of 1995 Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its eighth year recognizes the top centers in men's college basketball. The watch list of 20 players was determined by a national committee of top college basketball personnel. 

In late January, the list of 20 will be narrowed to 10, and then in late February down to five. In March, the five finalists will be presented to Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame's selection committee where a winner will be selected.

For more information on the award, click here