IU Basketball – Al Durham & Clifton Moore ask for release as search for coach continues

Former Indiana signee Clifton Moore has decided to pursue other programs, and that isn’t all bad for IU.

A three-player recruiting class so uninspired it syphoned hope from a fanbase already running on empty lost two of its members yesterday.

Clifton Moore is ranked the 143rd best player in the class of 2017 and Al DSurham #239.  Both asked for their release yesterday because the guy who recruited them to Indiana has been fired.  Ironically, Tom Crean was fired at least in part because they were the best he could get.

Nothing against Moore, who is from Pennsylvania, and Durham, from Georgia, but the value of their scholarships might be greater than their value as basketball players.

Depending upon who the new coach of the Hoosiers will be, there is a very good chance that those two scholarships will be better invested in two players better able to provide immediate help for a program in dire need.

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How about a couple of grad transfers who can infuse the Hoosiers program with the leadership and depth that was so lacking in Bloomington this season?  Would that beat two freshmen who were developmental projects?  It would – and it will.

Fans on Twitter lost their minds yesterday, saying Indiana was going to crater, as it did in 2008 after Kelvin Sampson was replaced by Tom Crean – all because of Moore and Durham requesting their release.

It’s hard to blame IU fans for anticipating the worst after the last 20 years, but when recruits ranked at this level impatiently opt out of the their letters of intent, it is a dream come true.

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Why Moore and Durham decided to punt on second down rather than wait to see who athletic director Fred Glass tabs as the news coach is anyone’s guess.  Because I am an optimist, I chalk it up to the kind of immaturity we have seen on the court for the past season, and I gleefully wave goodbye to it – and them.

Fan are deathly afraid of the unknown, but take a deep breath and accept these two recruits opting out as the gift that it is.

Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at kentsterling.com.

5 thoughts on “IU Basketball – Al Durham & Clifton Moore ask for release as search for coach continues

  1. DownTheStretch

    I would liken these decisions to the old Let’s Make a Deal game show, and Moore and Durham just decided to trade in an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii for what might be behind Door #3. Ooops! This just gives the new coach a blank canvas to construct his/or her team (just in case there are some Women Marchers reading this and would be offended by my assumption) and not be hamstrung by guys that won’t fit. At least the best of the trio (4star Justin Smith from Illinois) gets it – a chance to play at a big time program, on tv all the time, and now a chance to play for a real coach. Now, somebody tell Grant G. he needs to opt for Door #3 as well!

    1. Frank

      Let’s go back and see what Kent thought of 3 star Will Sheehey, 3 star Victor Oladipo and 3 star OG Anunoby. Interesting, yet how did they ultimately turn out?

      IU fans amaze me, delusional tomthe core.

      1. Kent Sterling Post author

        I loved Victor, was indifferent about Will, and thought OG sounded a little like Vic – although I never saw him play HS or AAU.

  2. Brian

    I have 100% confidence that whomever the new coach will be IU will not pull a post-Sampson crater. Will they win the B1G next season? I doubt it, but programs change coaches every season.

    The Pro Crean crowd wants everyone to think doom and gloom because they refuse to face the fact that it was time for their boy to go.

  3. DownTheStretch

    I liken this to the old game show Let’s Make a Deal – Durham and Moore just turned down an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii for what might be behind Door #3. Ooops! Perfect for the next coach to have options. There are still some unsigned guys in the top 150, including the Illinois Gatorade player of the year – Mark Smith. Per an article yesterday (Belleville News-Democrat) he is getting the full court press from Underwood and Counzo but is still interested in Indiana. Plus, there is also the distinct possibility of a guy who has committed to another school that would ask for his release if that school’s coach takes the IU job (let’s say, as an example, a certain Indiana kid that has signed with a certain school in California who had given serious thought to IU). It will be nice to have these scholarships available.


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