Indiana quickly filled its available scholarship opening on Monday when 7-foot center Michael Durr announced he is transferring to the program.
Coming to IU from South Florida, Durr is immediately eligible with two years remaining and adds much needed experience in the post to the roster. Durr announced the news on his Twitter page.
“Let’s get it Hoosier nation,” he wrote in his post.
An Atlanta native, the 250 pound Durr averaged 8.8 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds for American Athletic Conference member South Florida as a junior last season. His rebound average was fourth in the conference, and his 2.9 offensive rebounds were second. Durr also shot 79 percent from the free throw line. He averaged 26.4 minutes and blocked a team-high 18 shots. Durr played each of his first three seasons at USF, starting 85 of his 87 career games.
John Bianchi, coached Durr at Oldsmar Christian School, and is now an assistant at Davis & Elkins, a D-3 college in West Virginia.
Bianchi has seen Durr take meaningful strides over the course of his three season college career.
“He kinda struggled offensively a little bit when he first got down to (South) Florida, but that tremendously improved,” Bianchi told The Daily Hoosier. “He was always a beast on rebounds and blocked shots, but I think he just kind of put his whole game together. … He just gets better and better. Committing to a school like Indiana can take his game to another level.”
Already Bianchi has seen Durr address his weaknesses while at USF.
“He’s better at shooting, one hundred percent. His motor is a lot better. That continues to improve, and just his moves around the basket,” Bianchi said. “Obviously, it’s him putting in the work. I can only imagine at a school like Indiana, it’s going to go to another level.”
Durr had previously announced that he was transferring to Virginia Tech, and he had signed with that program before announcing a change of plans last week.
According to kenpom.com, Durr was top-100 nationally in both defensive (No. 96) and offensive (No. 80) rebounding percentage, and he was No. 172 in block percentage in 2020-21. Durr wasn’t particularly efficient for his size, making just 44.5 percent of his 2-point shots and just 4 of 19 3-pointers. He was more efficient in his two preceding years, making 50 and 51 percent of his 2-point shots in 2019-20 and 2018-19, respectively.
Out of Oldsmar Christian in the class of 2018, Durr was a 3-star prospect according to the 247Sports Composite. That service had him ranked No. 300 overall, and the No. 48 center. Durr also had offers at the time from DePaul, Georgetown, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
Indiana recently lost Joey Brunk to Ohio State and were in search of a replacement. The Hoosiers expect to start Trayce Jackson-Davis at center, but they only had true freshman Logan Duncomb available as a backup on the block prior to Durr’s commitment. Duncomb just turned 18 in April. Jackson-Davis is expected to go pro after the 2021-22 season, which should open the starting spot up for Durr or Duncomb in 2022-23.
For now Durr will step into the mix and provide Indiana with the big, imposing physical presence they missed last year.
Bianchi believes the situation at IU will be a good fit for Durr, who is looking for a staff to continue his development and push him into the NBA.
“He’s trying to make it to the league so this decision was kind of a no brainer for him it seems like once the Virginia Tech situation fell through,” Bianchi said. “He’s looking for a family atmosphere and a coach that’s going to push him.”
Dustin Dopirak contributed to this story.
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