One of Archie Miller’s first tasks as Indiana men’s basketball coach involved calling a family in Georgia.
Shortly after he was officially announced as IU coach on Saturday afternoon, Miller reached out to three-star guard Al Durham and his father, Al Sr., telling both that Durham remains a priority as Miller transitions to his new role in Bloomington.
Durham, a high school senior who committed to IU in October 2015, requested his release from a signed National Letter of Intent shortly after Tom Crean’s dismissal as Indiana coach on March 16.
Miller made it clear to the Durham family on Saturday that he wants the 6-foot-4 slasher to remain a Hoosier.
“Pretty much a couple hours after the news was announced he reached out,” Al Sr. said. “He called myself and Al and the family and he let Al know he was a priority. He didn’t want him to go anywhere. He wanted to keep him at the school. (Durham) fits in his plans and how (Miller) plays with his guards. He said he’s one of the best players out there and he wants him to stay. He doesn’t want to go anywhere.”
Durham’s father says his son was crushed to learn that Crean was fired from Indiana. Durham developed a strong relationship with the former head coach and assistant Chuck Martin, verbally committing to the program as the first member of the 2017 class.
Durham and fellow 2017 signee Clifton Moore, a 6-foot-10 forward, each requested their release from IU on March 20. A message left Sunday for Moore’s AAU coach was not immediately returned. Four-star signee Justin Smith remains committed to Indiana.
Due to work obligations, Durham’s father says he hasn’t had time to sit down with his son and discuss his feelings. But Durham’s father was encouraged to see immediate interest from the new IU coach.
“That shows he wants him,” Al Sr. said. “… Archie could have come in and said, ‘Hey, I don’t like that type of guard. That’s not in my plans. I’m going after this guard.’ We couldn’t be mad at that because it’s a change. But he reached out and let him know that he was a priority. He’s definitely in his plans. He definitely wants him. As soon as he knows stuff will start to settle down, he’ll come down here ASAP and sit with us and talk so we can talk with him face-to-face and meet him.”