It's not that far a stretch to consider Al Dutch as one of the most important recruits in Georgetown's basketball history. A 25 point, 15 rebound a game Parade All-American at John Carroll HS, Dutch was the first nationally ranked recruit to choose to play for the Hoyas in the John Thompson era, signing with Georgetown over national offers from Notre Dame and Duke. After two decades of Washington talent heading elsewhere, Dutch's signing elevated Georgetown's visibility to players at home and around the nation.
Dutch started all 28 games as a freshman in 1975-76, with strong games throughout, including 27 in an overtime upset over St. John's and 28 against Navy. He scored 20 or more points in six games, finishing second to merlin Wilson in scoring for the ECAC championship and NCAA tournament team. "After a year's experience," wrote coach Thompson, "Al should have a big season," and he followed up 1976 with even better numbers in 1977. He improved his average to 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game, leading the team in scoring and rebounding in seven games each. Dutch's impact was
felt most directly at season's end, when an ankle injury forced him to miss the Hoyas' opening round NIT game with Virginia Tech. The Hoyas lost by four, 83-79, and missed Dutch's scoring in the big game.
In his junior year, Dutch's expert free throw shooting were vital in two big games for the Hoyas, including wins over Seton Hall and Manhattan. But the 1977-78 season was an adjustment for Dutch. With the emergence of Craig Shelton at power forward, Dutch's time decreased and perhaps his focus as well. For the season, his averages fell to 5.0 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. In the summer of 1978, Coach Thompson announced Dutch would take a one year absence from the team in 1978-79 for personal reasons.
In today's scholarship environment, giving a player a one year leave would be risky, but with 15 scholarships available and only 12 awarded, Thompson's decision proved successful for both parties. Dutch returned for the 1979-80 season and provided additional leadership to a team destined for greatness in the opening season of the Big East. Dutch started in 21 of 32 games, averaging 5.9 as a fourth scoring option behind sophomore Eric Floyd and seniors John Duren and Craig Shelton. Al posted an unusual string of 12 point games--five consecutive games of 12 each-- midway through the season, and
scored a season high 16 over Iona.
Al Dutch finished his Georgetown career in the top 15 in scoring and rebounding, with more games played in his career than all but one player to date. His rebounding mark still ranks among the school's top 20.