Class of 2017 guard Al Durham commits to Indiana

  • 10/26/2015 9:03 am in

Class of 2017 Lilburn (Ga.) Berkmar High guard Aljami “Al” Durham became the first member of Indiana’s 2017 recruiting class on Monday morning when he gave a commitment to the Hoosiers.

Durham was one of several visitors to Saturday’s Hoosier Hysteria, his second unofficial visit to Bloomington. He was offered a scholarship while on campus in June.

“First of all I would like to thank God, my family, close friends and my coaches for guiding and preparing me for this decision,” Durham wrote on his Twitter account. “I would to thank all the coaches and universities that took the time out to recruit and call me. After discussing my options with my family we have decision that Indiana University will be the best place for me to attend college and further my basketball career! Hoosier Nation!!”

Durham also considered Georgia, Florida, South Florida, Virginia Tech and Rhode Island.

His father, Al Durham Sr., told Inside the Hall that the comfort level with Indiana’s coaching staff was big in the decision.

“It felt good with the coaches and the plan they have for him,” he said. “The chance to come in as a freshman and contribute to the team. Being able to get to Indiana with the system (Tom) Crean has in place and his track record with guards, getting kids prepared, to have that opportunity, how could you not?”

Durham Sr. father and assistant coach Chuck Martin both graduated from St. Raymond’s in the Bronx.

The 6-foot-4 left handed guard is ranked the No. 100 player in the country according to 247Sports.

This past spring and summer on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit, Durham averaged 12.8 points, three rebounds and 1.8 assists in 24.1 minutes per game.

“He can shoot the ball well. He can handle it. He’s one of those bigger guards,” Durham Sr. said. “He can play the one through the three. He has to get stronger. He’s still growing.”

Durham Sr. said that he knew his son was leaning towards Indiana following his unofficial visit in June. The Hoosier Hysteria trip simply confirmed his strong feelings that he wanted to be in Bloomington.

“When we came from the first visit, he compared all of the visits from that point on to Indiana,” Durham Sr. explained. “That was a sign for me that ‘hey, he really likes them.’ He just told me, ‘it feels right, I want to get it over with.'”

“Indiana doesn’t have to wait. It’s Indiana basketball. They’re going to get McDonald’s All-Americans, they’re going to get high profile players, they can get guards. So he kind of wanted to put a stamp on it, own it and take on a challenge.”

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  • tmessIUfan

    Just watched a video of him at the Ty Lawson/ Victor Oladipo camp. Dude racked up 28 points, 24 in the second half. He can definitely score, and looked active on defense. Nice pick up. Should be a solid 4 year player.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    what i read about him: high motor, really quick, gets to the rim, solid shooter, needs work with decision making, feel for the game, etc…

    my interpretation, somewhat of a raw talent with tons of athleticism and tons of upside. i also read he showed some real scoring ability in the summer league. could be a nice pickup, wouldn’t be surprised if his ranking steadily increases.

    welcome to hoosier nation AD

  • Benhyoung14

    Let’s hope for VO type defense.

  • SilentBob

    Hadn’t really heard of him until I saw his name pop up on the Hysteria visitor list. Looks like a sound player who has his best basketball a head of him. Obviously an eternity in college basketball time before he signs his LOI, but I like a kid who knows what he wants and is up for a challenge. Hopefully he is the founding father of a big time recruiting class in 2017 for us.

  • inLinE6

    What?! Crean hasn’t had early commit for a while. Let’s just hope the kid stays with his commit. Great news!

  • SCHoosier

    Kid has a very natural soft smooth stroke. Given his age..and still growing..lot of time to improve his strength, game and national rankings. What’s not to like here except the length of time between commitment and signing that LOI.? Top target in ’17 should be Scruggs IMO..but this is a good start.

  • Zach

    Surprising but great news! He must have been as excited after Hoosier Hysteria as I was! Welcome to IUBB!

  • inLinE6

    How does this commitment affect our chance with Paul Scruggs?

  • mckillio

    Hopefully positively. Durham definitely sounds like a SG and Scruggs a PG. The real question is who is going to be handling the ball next year? Yogi’s obviously out and unless something happens JBJ is gone as well, so RJ then?

  • inLinE6

    RJ and Josh Newkirk.

  • SilentBob

    It’ll be a team job. Rob and Newkirk will probably be a top the depth chart to start out, but we could still land Bruce Brown who has been working hard on his PG skills. Also Curtis Jones has been working hard in that area as well, and Harrison Niego has to be one of the better walk ons in the nation. Lots of time to figure that out.

  • Arch Puddington

    I have excellent court vision, I pass well, and I can hit the 3.

    I’m also over-old, under-sized, and out of eligibility. Dang.

  • Drew

    Fantastic news! He is a player on the rise. Sounds like the Chuck Martin connection was a big factor here. I am glad he is a Hoosier!

  • SilentBob

    If you are asking if it will negatively impact it, I’d say no. Two very different players to me, who if anything could probably compliment each other pretty well. Even if they had similar styles, few players in the nation who could scare off Paul in my opinion. Paul is a starter from day one. This guy, at this point, not so much. If it negatively effects any player we have targeted in this class, my bet is on someone like Mitchell Ballock, who was already Kansas’ to lose.

  • IndyHoosier79

    I’ve seen Paul Scruggs play and know his AAU coach. He believes, and I would agree as well, that Scruggs could be a 1 and done player. Therefore, he will likely go to a school where he will be able to make an immediate impact. Indiana is one of the schools high on his list, though there are others that have his attention as well. Whether or not he ends up at IU, I don’t know. I really hope he does. But, I don’t think this will affect his decision since I’m guessing Scruggs wins the starting position if he commits. Don’t get me wrong, I like Durham and am absolutely thrilled with his commitment. But Scruggs is just more ready for the Big 10 at this point. If Scruggs commits, Durham will still see lots of PT since he is a versatile guard with size. FWIW, Paul Scruggs really is a nice kid. He’s also plays football and is a very good receiver. A few weeks ago he made a school record for longest touchdown.

  • N71

    I wonder if Niego has the chance to go on scholarship after this year. I think our objective should be to never have a freshman point guard, if we do we’ll need to get reacquainted with turnovers again.

  • SCHoosier

    I think Newkirk is gonna surprise people

  • INUnivHoosier

    Hey, stay focused on the positives.

  • Lance76

    I have noticed that CTC likes multiple ball handlers. Newkirk learning system this year and being a senior with 2 years of playing will be a long way ahead of the curve.

  • SilentBob

    I’m also not a fan of starting freshmen point guards, unless their skill level is somewhere along the status of John Wall or something like that, but I imagine Harrison getting a scholarship is a long shot. It’d be an awesome story, but I think RJ and Newkirk will be up to the task their junior and senior seasons. And who really knows what will happen with recruiting and development between now and RJs graduation. Curtis Jones would be going into his junior season, and a guy like Markus Howard, if we got him, would being going into his sophomore season.

  • Daniel Zur

    Possibly, but his shot looked incredibly flat at HH. But he will also have a full year of work with the team and work with Buckley on that shot of his. So I am positive about his chances of improvement!

  • TomJameson

    I agree, Al has a very nice stroke. Big guard, and his dad said going to get bigger, sounds good to me.

    Lots of time before LOI, but sounds like he really likes IU and wanted to get it all over with. Now I don’t know what’s going to happen when Calasleazy comes calling on him when Al breaks the top 50 ranking … but let’s hope Al sticks with IU.

    Don’t think this affects the Scruggs recruitment … Indeed, maybe it reminds Scruggs that … wait for it … It’s Indiana! LOL

  • TomJameson

    Exactly! And I agree with SCHoosier that Newkirk is going to surprise people in a good way. With RH and Josh, I’ll not worry about next year.

  • TomJameson

    I can see Harrison getting a scholarship, but more in his Junior/Senior year. All dependent on recruiting and Harrisons development. If he gets lots better (I like him now btw), and puts on weight/muscle, you just never know. I can tell you this, I’d like to have seen him go to a school like Evansville Aces, they’ll be able to use him next year.

  • Ole Man

    Don’t know if it means much, but Durham is listed by everyone as a PG.

  • Ole Man

    I would like to see it, but I don’t think Crean has ever given a walk-on a scholarship; at least not in his tenor at IU.

  • And One

    Taber? Wasn’t he rewarded with a scholarship his senior year? Or am I thinking of someone else?

  • TomJameson

    I seem to remember somebody getting one for 1 year only, but he played a lot also. A short guard that played during the Hulls reign … just can’t quite get his name…. darn it!

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    Rumor has it he is not interested in Indiana. Kind of hard to believe that though. AD sure looks kind of a beefy physical guard. So he could grow another inch or so.

  • Ole Man

    Same here. I just don’t recall!

  • Young Hoosier

    247 composite has him at 138 in the class of 2017.

  • TomJameson

    Okay, the guy I’m thinking of is Daniel Moore. His senior year was 2011-12. I can’t verify that he did receive a scholly for one year, but that is of whom I am thinking.

  • IndyHoosier79

    Paul Scruggs gets down to IU quite a bit for someone who is not interested. I think that says something. In talking with him, he didn’t give me his leanings, and I didn’t ask. I really would like to know. His coach says there are a few teams that really have his interest, IU being one of them. One of the teams kind of surprised me, but it’s a team on which he would definitely stand out and contribute immediately. I think he goes to a place where he’s pretty much guaranteed to start. I don’t think AD will pose a challenge to him in his position, as 1: Paul Scruggs is likely going to prove the more Big 10-ready freshman of the two and 2: AD can play any of the 1-3 spots. So, IU is likely still in the running…I hope. I’m hoping this doesn’t push Scruggs away, but encourages him to commit early. Wishful thinking, I’m know.

  • Elwood Hoosier

    Love the lefty stroke. Hope CTC doesn’t try making him right handed???? (Stanford)

  • Mr. Mitchell

    Welcome to the #iubb family young blood. Enjoy coming up to the games this year and baste in the best college basketball venue in the country. Word is CTC keep it real with you as far expectation on and off the court. Well I’ll like to give you a few words. Your scholarship always belong to CTC. Don’t even bother with the fake id everyone will know you from a mile away. Enjoy your time it goes fast.

  • Outoftheloop

    Yes Daniel Moore as a senior. Sampson gave Tabor a scholarship after his Sophomore year.

  • TomJameson

    Thanks Loop!