Eric Gordon, Jr. (born December 25 1988 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American basketball player. He is known, in part, as the subject of a major recruiting battle between the University of Illinois and Indiana University in the spring and summer of 2006; because of Gordon's talent and high level of play that year, his recruitment was the subject of a great deal of media coverage.
Gordon played one season of college basketball at Indiana and was considered one of the top collegiate players in the nation that year. Gordon finished his freshman season at IU leading the Big Ten in scoring and tied for 19th in the nation at 21.5 points per game.
Gordon entered the 2008 NBA Draft.
On February 15, 2006, Sports Illustrated reported that Mike Davis, then the head coach at Indiana University, intended to resign after the 2005-06 season, due in part to a lack of support after the team failed to make the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2005. Indiana subsequently hired Kelvin Sampson as the new men's basketball coach in March 2006. Some reporters speculated that Gordon was uninterested in playing at Indiana under Mike Davis because of Davis' lack of success. Shortly after Sampson was named head coach at Indiana, he hired Jeff Meyer, Eric Gordon Sr.'s college basketball coach and a long time family friend, as an assistant.
During the subsequent offseason, Gordon was recruited by Sampson's staff after Gordon told Sampson he was still interested in Indiana. It was rumored in July 2006 that Gordon had decided to vacate his verbal commitment because of concerns about the strength of Illinois' incoming class, but Gordon stated that although he was a childhood fan of the Hoosiers and was considering Indiana, he was still committed to Illinois. That month, Gordon played with Derrick Rose, another top-5 recruit, in an attempt to convince Rose to join him at Illinois.
Rumors of an impending decommitment continued into the start of the 2006-07 academic year, fueled in part by Gordon's rise to the top of some services' rankings of high school basketball players. On September 2, 2006, Gordon and Rose made an unofficial visit to Indiana to scrimmage with current Hoosier players, fueling further speculation that Gordon would switch his commitment. Six weeks later, on October 13 2006, Eric Sr. announced that his son had officially decided to change his commitment. Gordon signed a National Letter of Intent with Indiana on November 8, 2006.
Gordon's announcement gave Indiana a very strong 2007 recruiting class, ranked by some analysts as the third-best incoming class in the country. Kelvin Sampson and Bruce Weber both received criticism from fellow coaches for failing to communicate with one another about Gordon's recruitment. Although the NCAA does not regulate verbal commitments or the recruitment of orally committed players, some observers have stated that Sampson had acted unethically in recruiting a committed player without first contacting Weber.
The timing of the switch was particularly damaging for Illinois, which had expected Gordon to be part of its class and was left without a shooting guard at a time when most other guards had made verbal commitments. The Illini recovered remarkably well, receiving a letter of intent from top 100 shooting guard Quinton Watkins of Compton, CA, the following December, but, due to NCAA Academic Clearinghouse issues, he would not play for the Illini, eventually deciding to enroll, briefly, at San Diego State.
Gordon was warmly welcomed by Indiana fans, but received sharp criticism from Illinois fans for the timing of his decommitment and his previous statements about his college destination. Eric Sr. stated in October 2006 that his son had received death threats as a result of his decision, although his son later stated that Illinois fans had only said they did not want the younger Gordon to be successful. On February 7, 2008, Gordon and Indiana played Illinois in Champaign; Gordon and his family were the targets of loud booing and taunting throughout the game, and some witnesses reported that the Gordon parents were hit with ice and orange and blue beads near the game's end. Illinois' athletic director, Ron Guenther, apologized for the incident, calling fan behavior "disappointing and intolerable. Illinois fans were reportedly particularly outraged that the Gordon Family, and its entourage, wore "Got Gordon?" t-shirts, a paean to the Got Milk? campaign, as a superfluous antagonization of heartbroken Illini.
Gordon finished his freshman season averaging 20.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game, making 33.7% of his three-point shots and leading the Big Ten in scoring. Gordon was highly effective for Indiana in its first 18 games as the Hoosiers started the season with 17 wins and only one loss. However, he entered into a noticeable shooting slump at the end of the year, making only 18.6% of his three-point field goal attempts (13 of 70) after Indiana's February 7th win against Illinois and shooting only 3 of 15 from the field and 0 of 6 from the three point line in the team's loss to Arkansas in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
Gordon announced on April 4, 2008 at 4:00pm at the Jewish Community Center that he would enter the 2008 NBA Draft. ESPN analyst Chad Ford has ranked Gordon as one of the top ten players in this draft class. He was drafted with the seventh pick in the 2008 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. Gordon scored 23 points in his first NBA Summer League game in the Las Vegas summer league on the campus of UNLV. Gordon played in two summer league games where he averaged 19 points and 6.5 rebounds. Gordon injured his hamstring July 12 against the Charlotte Bobcats. It was confirmed on July 13, 2008 by the Clippers that Gordon would miss the rest of summer league due to a strained left hamstring. Gordon is represented by Rob Pelinka.
Gordon originally was given his college and high school jersey number of 23, but after the Marcus Camby trade, the number was given to Camby and Gordon took number 10.
FLOWERS UP TO TASK UW'S DEFENSIVE ACE FIGHTS THROUGH FLU AND CONTAINS INJURED INDIANA STAR ERIC GORDON.(SPORTS)
Feb 01, 2008; Byline: ADAM HOGE The Capital Times Guarding Indiana's Eric Gordon is no easy task, especially when you have the flu. But that...