2017 recruiting class expected to arrive on campus this week

  • 06/12/2017 10:09 am in

Indiana’s three-man recruiting class is expected to arrive on campus this week, according to comments from Archie Miller recently at Huber’s Winery in Borden.

Al Durham Jr., Clifton Moore and Justin Smith, who signed National Letters of Intent with IU under the previous coaching staff, all reaffirmed their commitments to the program earlier in the spring.

The arrival of the three freshman means all 12 players on scholarship for the 2017-18 season will be on campus together for the first time.

Smith, a 6-foot-7 forward from Adlai Stevenson (Ill.) is the highest ranked recruit in IU’s class. He’s a four-star prospect and the No. 76 player nationally in the 2017 class, according to the 247Composite.

“Justin Smith, from Illinois, is probably the guy I’ve seen the most,” Miller said. “Probably comes in as an elite athlete, talent. About 6-foot-6. Can really play above the rim. Oozes with potential. I think the one thing is to redefine him, is to figure out how he impacts the game shooting the ball and doing some things as a freshman. From a talent perspective, he’s one of the more talented guys entering the league.”

Durham, a 6-foot-4 guard, was the first of the three recruits to commit to Indiana. The Berkmar (Ga.) product committed to the Hoosiers in October of 2015.

“I got a chance to see Al play,” Miller said. “He’s a long, slender, athletic guard who can score. He’s got really good size. He’s got a frame that I think is going to fill out. And I think he’s a guy, with the skill set and how he plays, will fit in nicely with what we do.”

Moore, a 6-foot-10 forward, was under the radar nationally, but drew rave reviews from the DraftExpress.com staff following his performance in April at the Jordan Brand Regional Game.

“We got a chance to see him play in the summertime and he is 6-10 and really skilled,” Miller said. “And he’s got a frame that is going to grow. He’s going to be what I would call a true versatile forward, in time, with his size combined with being able to shoot the 3 and some of the things he can do. I think, down the road, you’re going to see a guy kind of grow up right before your eyes.”

Indiana’s class is ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 37 nationally, according to the 247Composite.

The Hoosiers lost three players early to the NBA draft – OG Anunoby, Thomas Bryant and James Blackmon Jr. – which could present the opportunity for early minutes for the incoming class.

“All three of those guys could play an important role,” Miller said. “To come to Indiana right now, you know, everybody is sort of on the same plain. No one has been given anything. Those three guys coming in, the hungrier they are, the better they are, the more they add, the better we’re going to be. If you play as a freshman, if you earn it, in most cases that’s a great springboard for your career.”

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  • HuntinHoosier86

    Very excited to see these guys in practice and see how much muscle they put on this summer! One thing that concerned me that Coach Miller said was Clifton “with his size and being able to shoot the three”. I really hope we don’t put that kid into a TB role like last year playing far from the basket. We really need a big man presence this year more than ever!

  • Ole Man

    The kid can’t play down low. It’s not his desire nor his “thing.” He has stated that he wants to play out and facing the basket.
    Has nothing to do with putting him in a “TB role.”
    He would get murdered in a big man role in the Big Ten.

  • kurk81

    Having a 6’10” guy who can and will shoot from 3 if teams cheat and don’t come out on him is different from having a guy like that who just hangs around out there to hunt shots.

  • SCHoosier

    I hear what you are saying based on the player we see today. Do think its a little early to rule out anything he can or can’t do (in the future) until he gets a couple of seasons..and Miller’s development under his belt. Not saying he’ll ever be a “5”..but he could sure take up some room in the paint when needed with another 25-35 pounds on that frame.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Agreed. Right now with his frame he would get “murdered” in a big man role in the Big Ten. That being said, I hope he plays more of the 4 than the 3 man. That’s all I meant.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Yup.

  • HoosierHeel

    Agree with other posters. Clifton is a wing, or a stretch 4 due to his size. He won’t be used as a back to the basket inside presense. Not unless he radically changes his game. Regardless I am excited for his potential. I think he could be one last gem of Tom Crean’s.

  • HoosierHeel

    Three 4 year players. I am happy with this class. Should provide a great foundation for Archie Miller as he shapes this roster into his own over the coming years.

  • Arch Puddington

    Unless he is a true ball-handling playmaker a la KD or Ben Simmons (not saying as good as, just in that direction), he can’t just play on the perimeter. Not sure how much he’ll contribute as a freshman, but the role he seems to want to play is a very modern and increasingly normal one — 6’9″ and up, good stroke from deep, able to guard multiple positions.

  • iugradmark

    See Ole Man’s comments below. He is not a play down low type of player. He has some unusual talent being tall but possessing ball handling skills and outside shooting. He will need to get a lot stronger but I think he is more of a 3 than a 4 or 5. He may get a chance to play a little this year since we are thin across the front line. He held his commitment until he was assured he wouldn’t be asked to redshirt. My guess is that he would benefit from a redshirt year but he wanted to play.

  • HoosierKid

    Moore’s style will be like Swanigan when he came in as a freshman.

  • Todd Lindeman

    Not sure we can say all these guys will be around for 4 years. When OG came in no one thought he would be gone after year 2 or atleast I didn’t. I like all 3 of these players and I think the lineup this year is up for grabs to whoever wants it. Should make for some hard competitive practices. I’m really looking forward to this years team.

  • Hoosierkamp

    Agreed. Hes a really tall Guard.

    First highlights I have seen of him….. he can really play. Handles the ball well for that size. CRazy eer-exaggeration… but could be a Durant like player…. Seems like a good guy to get a late shot clock bucket from too.

    Love to see how he is going to develop under AM

  • Hoosierkamp

    I wouldn’t be surprised if CM isn’t a 4 year player depending on his development

  • VAHoosier

    During his recruitment he repeatedly stated that he was looking to go somewhere that would not put him under the basket. Trying to develop him into a traditional big would definitely be a square pet/round hole problem, and would increase the possibility that he moves on sooner rather than later.

  • Lance76

    I hope he turns into a Tayshaun Prince. Mobil with long arms and can shoot the three well. I did not watch Tayshaun much at Kentucky, but he played for the Pistons and seemed to be a match up nightmare.

  • John D Murphy

    I don’t think CM or AD will get a lot of minutes this year, but I think JS will be a big part of the lineup (maybe not as much early).

  • Nimbi63

    D’Ron Davis, 6’10” is a Big Man presence around the basket. Stronger this year, working on his footwork, great shot blocker and rebounder.

  • HoosierHeel

    Well sure, depending on any player’s development their NBA prospects can change, good or bad. Based on where he currently stands though he projects as a 4 year guy. Hopefully he blossoms into what many believe he can be, but for now I’m going to operate on the assumption he is a 4 year guy.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Yep. I just meant somebody is needed to spell him for a few minutes.

  • Milton H. Williams

    If CM has a freshmen year, similar to OG’s.. He could be probably be sought after by the NBA. The kid has great handles, length, and a soft shooting touch. He’s going to be a dangerous player, and a match-up problem for sure!

  • Milton H. Williams

    Both CM and AD, look like they are hard workers.. Coach said, if they are hungry enough.. They could earn some playing time.. I think you’ll see that hunger from those two!

  • Hoosierkamp

    agreed all around

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    AM comment about what Moore can do “in time” indicates it will take some development time. What comes immediately to mind for me is a DJ Wilson kind of player. Wilson did very little at UM his first year, and then had a great second year. Wish he would have stayed in the draft this year!

  • John D Murphy

    Wilson did stay in the draft. Wagner returned.

  • John D Murphy

    You need to pump the brakes my friend.

  • John D Murphy

    In regard to the 25-35 pounds. He is listed as 188 by espn, but 202 by 247. I’ve seen nothing in his highlights indicating he’s a high flyer or has great handles. I think instead of him being a 3, he’ll be a stretch 4 like a Christian Watford (which would be nice). He’ll need to be able to guard the 4 to create match-up issues on the offensive end. This is one of the reasons I don’t think he gets much time this year (except against cupcakes).

  • marcusgresham

    Steve Novak

  • TomJameson

    ** I think Al is very underrated, and I heard he thinks so also. He is also a hard worker and I believe everybody will be impressed with his play this year.

    ** Clifton Moore is NOT another Oladipo. But he could be another (taller) Christian Watford. At least in the position he will play. Although not playing the 5, I think Clifton will be in the middle … doing a lot of rebounding.

    ** Smith might be the most talented, but I can’t see it in these highlight videos. I’ll just have to trust that Archie knows what he’s looking at.

    Altogether, I believe we have a pretty decent 3-man class. And, more importantly, they’ll fit into Archie’s system pretty good.

  • John D Murphy

    Smith seems to crave contact. There were a lot more “highlights” of him in traffic than most of the clips we’ve seen. He’s going to be in the middle of a lot of fouls…probably on him at first until he figures it out. Once he does, he will live at the line. Ditto on CM with the Watford comparsion. I like AD alot too, reminds me of Remy Able.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Welcome to the IU family. Go get em gentlemen. You will love it!

  • IUMIKE1

    And more than once.

  • We’reAllForYou82

    I thought AD looked really good in the video, a pretty new one from December. He is a scorer and will be solid on D imo. A really good system fit.

  • Outoftheloop

    Don’t force the square peg into the round hole just because you “need” it! Clifton could be a Durant type of player. Enjoy what he can do best! Justin will be a player starting or close to starting by December. He can rebound, defend, dunk and play the team game! If he develops the 3-point shot to over 40%, he will be great! I like the comparison of Al to Remy. This could be a year when expectations are low and achievements are high! GO IU!

  • Outoftheloop

    No.

  • Outoftheloop

    A really tall wing, not guard!

  • FundamentalistGuardPlay

    Moore is intriguing and Arch’s caveat of “in time” is really important to keep in mind. We haven’t really scratched the surface, nor has Clifton, on what he can be.

    One thing I keep thinking about with CM, is what good is outside range on 6’10 forward who can’t pump fake and then take it to the rim?

    Think of Durant last night. He is a weapon in so many ways because the outside shot as well as his ability to get inside are constant threats.

    There is so much promise with Clifton. Against a pretty average level of competition on a mediocre HS team, he shot almost 40% from 3. Also averaged 22/13/10 in post-season. He might not want to play down low, but with a 7’3 wingspan, he will have to develop post skills “in time.”

    The Draft Express article on Clifton is really interesting. All of these things stand out because they can be addressed with “Time”:

    -Nice frame but on the thin side right now
    -Doesn’t have the most natural feel for the game
    -Not overly physical on the defensive end
    -Prefers to float on the perimeter a little bit offensively

    1) Add functional muscle (20-25 pounds)
    +
    2) TIME (reps in practice, meaningful game time)

    +
    3) Develop an attacking mindset offensively & defensively
    =

    The confidence and development for Clifton to develop in a really unique IU player perhaps less of Watford type and more on par with Jared Jeffries.

  • SilentBob

    I like Al too, but don’t think we see much of him at all next year. Also don’t understand why so many people are reluctant to say Clif will spend time at the 5. In today’s basketball positioning is much more about who and what you can guard than it is about where you line up offensively. He has the length and athleticism, if he adds the stength then he will indeed guard the 5. Especially with the 2018 class being so thin on bigs.

    I see what your saying with Smith. Those highlights remind me a lot of Troy Williams, both the good and the bad. However Smith is thicker and longer of limb. Also think he’s more developed skill wise than Troy was as a freshmen. He’ll have time to mature under an upperclassmen heavy lineup next year, which Troy didn’t have. Add to that he has a coach with a penchant for offense AND defense and I think this kid has the tools to become one of the best two way players in the league. Of anyone on the roster next year, I think Smith has the best chance to one day be a first round draft pick.

  • TomJameson

    I think Al will surprise you, and play a little more than you think. He won’t be playing starter minutes, but think he’ll probably average 8-12 minutes year. I think Cliff has said many times he didn’t want to go to a school that will play him at the 5. I’m sure he’ll be in the middle lot’s of times, but not playing a steady diet at center. Bet we’ll see him more in the middle on defense, rather than offense.

  • Outoftheloop

    A Jerard Jeffries type of player. That would be an NBA 10 year guy!