Q & A: 2017 guard Al Durham talks Indiana commitment

  • 10/26/2015 2:34 pm in

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

Inside the Hall spoke to Durham earlier today to get his thoughts on his early decision and much more. Our complete Q & A is available below:

Inside the Hall: What led you to making the decision to commit to Indiana?

Al Durham: “Coach Tom Crean and the staff made me feel like I was at home. They made me feel like I was important and it was home. Tom Crean told me that he wanted to help make me better and I believe him. He told me that he was going to help me reach my goals and we both have the same goals for when I get to college. Basically, it felt like I was at home.”

ITH: Your father, Al Durham Sr., said that he noticed after your first IU visit that you were comparing every other visit to IU. What stood out on that visit and put Indiana at the forefront of your recruitment?

Durham: “The conference they play in is a big part. That’s a huge conference, one of the best in the nation. Coach Crean, he didn’t come up to me and tell me how great I was. He talked about my flaws and how he was going to help me correct them. That’s basically what I’m looking for is someone to help me get better as a player and as a man as I continue to grow and go through college.”

ITH: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your game right now?

Durham: “I’m a versatile player. I can play point and get everybody involved or I can score. I can make my teammates better by getting them the ball, putting them in the right positions on the floor or I can get a basket if I need to. I need to work on my strength. That’s my biggest weakness right now.”

ITH: What did you think of Hoosier Hysteria?

Durham: “The takeaway was that Indiana is a one of a kind place. The fans were amazing. They came and showed a lot of support and love. It was packed. The players and the energy were great.”

ITH: Now that you’ve got this out of the way and you don’t have to think about recruiting, what’s next for you?

Durham: “I’m focused on helping my teammates get better and leading them and trying to get a state championship. And getting ready for college, getting my strength up, eating right and working on my conditioning so that I can just fit right in at Indiana as soon as I get there.”

Filed to:

  • Daniel Zur

    He sounds like he knows exactly what he wants, and that’s very mature of a young recruit. I’m excited to see him play if we can keep this commitment strong!

  • Nashville Hoosier

    Seems to have a great head on his shoulders! Talked about making his teammates better and being a leader on the floor. Congrats Al!

  • marcusgresham

    Like the thought of a 6’4″ kid playing the point. Don’t get me wrong, I love Yogi, but there are just a lot of things that are possibilities with a bigger PG than without.

  • KmanCRK

    6’4″ guard who is a coach’s son? I’ll take him. Welcome Al!

  • dwdkc

    Allow me to be the first to make a ridiculous comparison. Tall and smart, pretty unheralded point guard–ranked about where Randy Wittman would have ranked when he came in in 1979. He started at the point his freshman year; was a combo guard with Isiah in ’81. If he plays like Wittman did, that would work.

  • SCHoosier

    Can somebody get this to Davis, Brown and Kegler…quickly?:) Nice job Alex and staff getting this interview right away.

  • dwdkc

    OK saw the tape, maybe more ridiculous that I thought! More pure athlete without the shooting stroke, not a good comparison. Welcome to IU, sounds like a good kid, and I like what his dad has to say

  • Lance76

    Agree about a coache’s son and the other issue I like to see is a player that played another sport like Fife or Scruggs. Welcome!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Great and fantastic news. Welcome Al! Can’t wait. Enjoy your wonderful IU college experience.

  • Ole Man

    Me too on tall guards at point.
    However, I’d rather Scruggs at PG for his one year with Durham sliding over to SG for that year.

  • TomJameson

    Al will be a combo-guard. I like what you said, but another (combo) guard would be just fine, especially in CTCs system. And, Al would probably be a 3-4 year player. I guess I’m saying that Al would not interfere with Scruggs playing time, nor slow down his entry into the NBA.

  • BlakeD1223

    Say what you want about Crean’s coaching….. the recruits seem to like the way he treats them and how he helps improve their abilities.

  • straight no chaser

    You all are gonna laugh, but the thing that stood out to me is him wanting to “eat right”. Kids eat too much crap nowadays, especially in dorms. You will not develop physically and mentally if not eating wholesome cooking! Do we have a chef for our players?

  • And One

    I did laugh, but only because I noticed the same thing. Not something you usually hear, but such an important consideration when it comes to training.

  • straight no chaser

    Well he is Southern, after all. Different culinary appreciation, I suppose. No insult to the North / Midwest. LOL.

  • showjo

    I completely agree. Coming in feeling in great shape is a huge leg up and only has long-term benefits in terms of preventing injuries.

  • marcusgresham

    Much like Radio said when Coach Jones asked him which pie he preferred at the diner, “I’d like both.”

  • Zach

    Most of the meals the players eat are in the Hoosier Room in the football stadium. As a starving college student, I know from experience they eat like kings

  • Ole Man

    LOL! Yep.

  • straight no chaser

    That is good to know. Let them eat like kings … and fight like knights!

  • TomJameson

    Straight, I don’t know if they have a chef (some programs do), but I would be very surprised to find out if they didn’t have a nutritionist.

    –edit– didn’t see Zachs response below

  • Outoftheloop

    I really like this kid! He WANTS to be a Hoosier! Let’s not push the negatives: “he is only a 3 star” etc. Just let a fine young man who gets “it’s Indiana” develop over 2 more years of HS ball. And his name is great: Aljami!

  • David Macer

    Just a little background on Georgia HS basketball. Berkmar is one of the bigger schools in the state. It’s in Gwinnett County which is a hotbed of basketball in Georgia. There are 2900 students in this school. There are 19 HS’s in the county, the smallest has 2000+ students

  • David Macer

    Maybe his growth plates haven’t closed !!