SOUTH BEND, In. — The Notre Dame Fighting Irish may have found Bonzie Colson’s successor early Saturday morning, as former Connecticut Huskies’ power forward Juwan Durham tweeted his commitment to the Irish.
The incoming transfer wrote:
Durham tweeted out his intent to transfer from Connecticut back on April 3rd, following a mediocre season for the Huskies that saw them go 16-17. Their season ended in the American Athletic Conference tournament by 10 at the hands of the Cincinnati Bearcats, and no post-season tournaments followed.
The 6 foot 11 power forward was also considering programs like the Villanova Wildcats, Virginia Tech Hokies and ACC rival Duke Blue Devils.
Durham is a native of Tampa, Florida, where he went to school at Tampa Preparatory School. He averaged 22.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game in his junior year of high school before missing his entire senior year due to an ACL tear.
Per 247Sports, coming out of high school, Durham was a four star recruit and the 14th-ranked power forward in the class of 2016. He was also ranked as the fifth-best prospect in the state of Florida and the 51st-ranked prospect nationally.
Last season as a freshman with the Huskies, Durham saw action in 28 games, averaging 8.3 minutes and 1.6 points per game, while also pulling down a total of 43 rebounds.
This is a big pick-up for Mike Brey and his Irish squad who must start planning to fill the void that Bonzie Colson will leave after the 2017-18 season.
While Durham must sit out the upcoming season due to the NCAA’s transfer rules, it gives the Irish a sense of relief, knowing that they will have guys to turn to in the front court following Bonzie’s departure.
Durham will bring a towering 6-11 height that the Irish haven’t had since Zach Auguste was on campus. By the time Juwan is eligible to play, Notre Dame will have himself, John Mooney, and Elijah Burns to fill their front court; all who have not seen very much playing time.
Brey will need to get Mooney and Burns some playing time next season, so the focus is not solely on Durham once he is able to play in 2018.
While the Irish will have Durham, Mooney, and Burns in 2018, the Irish should look to recruit additional forwards to give themselves depth. Expect the focus to turn from guards to forwards.
– R. Scarfone