H: 6' 3"|
W: 222 lbs
(27 Years Old)
|RSCI: 3||Agent: Rob Pelinka |
High School: Indianapolis North Central
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Drafted: Pick 7 in 2008 by Clippers
Best Case: Rich Man's Ben Gordon
Worst Case: Shannon Brown
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2008||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 2"||6' 3.25"||222||6' 9"||8' 3"||8.2||32.0||40.0|
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2008||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 2"||6' 3.25"||222||6' 9"||8' 3"||8.2||32.0||40.0|
In this of edition of our ďRookie RetrospectivesĒ series, weíll be analyzing former Indiana Hoosier Eric Gordonís transition to the NBA. After an inconsistent freshman season with Indiana, Gordon decided to declare for the 2008 NBA draft, even with many scouts questioning how his point guard skills and consistency would translate to the next level. Basketball personnel acknowledged his tremendous athleticism and knack for scoring, but remained unsure about how his short stature would affect his ability to get open looks and finish around the rim in the League. Despite playing for a struggling organization in Los Angeles, Gordon has shown a lot of star potential, particularly through the last half of his rookie season, and played his way into a potential Rookie of the Year candidate.
Rookie Retrospective, Kevin Love
Rookie Retrospective, Brook Lopez
Rookie Retrospective, Greg Oden
Rookie Retrospective, Russell Westbrook
Rookie Retrospective, D.J. Augustin
Rookie Retrospective, O.J. Mayo
Rookie Retrospective, Michael Beasley
Rookie Retrospective, Derrick Rose
Rookie Retrospective: Eric Gordon
SG 6í3 ľĒ in shoes, 6í9Ē wingspan 222 Los Angeles Clippers
Itís been a very difficult February and March for Eric Gordon, as heís struggled badly with his shooting, hitting just 16 of his last 77 (21%) 3-pointers in his last 12 games. That slump did not magically snap as he went up against a tough Arkansas squad, and Gordonís terrible shooting continued, hitting 3-15 from the field and 0-6 from behind the arc. Gordon hurt his wrist at the end of February as has not quite been the same since, although the ugly controversy surrounding former coach Kelvin Sampson being replaced by Dan Dakich probably didnít help matters much either.
Neither has his shot selection, thoughÖGordon continued to heave up bowling balls from well beyond the NBA 3-point line (some of which werenít even close), even though he obviously needed to get himself easier shots at the rim. When he did try and take the ball to the basket, though, he was often met by Arkansas 7-footer Steven Hill, who managed to send back at least three of his dunks. Gordon was forcing the issue inside the arc too, settling for tough fade-away jumpers with bigger and longer defenders draped all over him contesting his shot, and he had very little success on those either. The refs didnít do him any favors, as he was called for a palming violation, a travel and two offensive fouls which could have gone either way. Gordonís average ball-handling skills and lack of mid-range look like more and more of an issue these daysósome scouts we spoke with are even questioning just how athletic he truly is, which we still somewhat disagree with. At this point, a lot of his problems seem to be mental, see him missing 4 of 6 free throws in this game as a perfect example, if the constant scowl he had on his face wasnít a clear enough sign. That's really not a big surprise considering the turmoil Indiana has gone through, which has to have played a role in the slump he's in. Gordon should be able to rebound during the pre-draft process with some strong workouts and much needed positive PR, but there will be question marks about just how heavily to weigh the last 6 weeks of the regular season against the first 12 until he actually steps out on an NBA court.
In the midst of a recruiting scandal that threatens to see his coach fired after five major NCAA violations, this seems like as good a time as any to discuss Eric Gordonís future as an NBA prospect, as it probably canít come soon enough as far as heís concerned. Although heís struggled a bit lately, partially due to an injury to his left wrist, he looks every bit the part of top prospect thus far this season.
Gordon is a scorer deluxe, currently ranking 2nd in that category amongst freshman. Heís equally dangerous as a shooter or slasher, indeed splitting his 15.6 offensive possessions evenly right down the nose between jumpers and finishes at the rim. He has excellent athleticism and outstanding strength for a collegiate player (freshman or not) and can do his damage by overpowering opposing players or using finesse moves.
Shooting is probably Gordonís biggest strength at the moment, showing a beautiful stroke, with a quick release, NBA range and a terrific follow through. He has a knack like few others in college basketball for setting his feet and squaring his shoulders as soon as he catches the ball, meaning heís always ready to shoot the ball, and heís surely always willing, due to the supreme confidence he has in his shooting ability. Gordon can hit shots coming off a screen or pulling up off the dribble, fading away and with a man in his face. His shot-selection isnít always the best, but he has a go-to scoring mentality (and ability), which is something that NBA scouts love to see, especially in a player this young.
As a slasher, Gordon has a terrific first step, and a real nose for the basket, not showing any hesitance whatsoever taking the ball to the rim and finishing with a powerful dunk, often going right through contact in the process. His ball-handling skills are good, but not great--certainly improvable--but he regardless finds a way to the basket at an outstanding rate, drawing nearly eight free throw attempts per game in the process. What makes him especially tough here is his incredibly low center of gravity, which allows him to change speeds and directions with the greatest of ease, and blow by defenders by mixing in a variety of long powerful strides with crafty, efficient footwork, and outstanding body control.
Gordon also possesses the ability to pull-up sharply from mid-range and create excellent separation from his defender. Itís not something he does all that regularly at this point (operating in the mid-range area is not easy in college due to the poor spacing most teams get with the shorter 3-point line), but this looks like a weapon he can hone with hard work and use more effectively in the NBA.
Defensively, Gordon shows a great deal of potential, as heís strong, quick and physical, and puts a lot of effort into this part of his game when fully motivated. His low center of gravity helps him stay in front of most any guard he matches up with, and heís quick enough to recover on players even when he gets beat. At times, though, he lacks focus, showing poor fundamentals and letting inferior players get by him. He has good potential in this area, even if many NBA shooting guards will be able to just shoot over him due to his below average size at his position. Measurements will be important in this area in particular, as Gordon has been listed anywhere from 6-2 to 6-4 depending on who you ask.
Gordon doesnít look like a point guard in the least bit at this point in his career, although he may be able to get by in the future playing spot minutes at that position. To do so, he must improve his ball-handling skills, as he often is out of control by the time he gets to the rim due to the lack of control he shows dribbling at high speeds. He doesnít value possessions enough, as evidenced by his 3.4 turnovers per game, as opposed to only 2.5 assists.
Gordon might not be ready to carry a team right out of the gates as a rookie, as he still lacks some polish and is extremely young and inexperienced--but there are a lot of things to like here, especially his mentality, his versatility as a scorer, and the intangibles he brings to the table, which are reportedly very strong. Considering the fact that heís more of an undersized shooting guard than he is a combo, Gordon is not someone who can fit seamlessly into any team in the NBAóheíll have to find the right fit. Thatís why it will be harder to project his draft stock until we really know which teams will be drafting in the top-10, and in what spots.
Coming out of high school, Eric Gordon had already proved himself among the elite scorers of his talented class. His start to the college season has even surprised the biggest Gordon fans so far. The first year guard has scored the ball as efficiently as anybody in college basketball to this point, doing so without forcing shots outside of Indianaís offensive flow.
Through his first 4 games of basketball, Gordon averaged 28 points per game on a very impressive 14 shot attempts, while shooting 60% from behind the three point line. It is unlikely that these numbers will carry over to the high-major opponents that Indiana will face in the coming weeks, but one must take notice of the all-around offensive approach that allows him this great efficiency. In transition, Gordon often handles the ball and can draw contact nearly every time he attacks the basket. Great body control and the ability to adjust around defenders in the air allows him to finish on the majority of these attempts. In the half -court offense, Gordon has proved capable of creating his own shot at will. On his many isolation plays, he can either shoot an early three pointer, pull up off the dribble, or take the ball all the way to the hoop.
Physically, Gordon entered college with an already great body, weighing in at 205 pounds. Along with a chiseled frame, Gordon has explosive leaping ability combined with a quick first step to the basket. These physical attributes give him the potential to lock down defensively. He has proved capable of physical defense against low-major opponents so far, but the real test comes when he will have to defend an elite wing prospect.
As far as the NBA is concerned, most of the question-marks surrounding Gordon stem from the fact that he plays more effectively at the 2 despite having the size of a point guard. To prove this wonít be a problem, he will have to prove capable of handling spot point guard duties. To this point in the young season, Gordon has appeared to be within his comfort zone while running the Hoosier, but the real test here will come with the start of the Big 10 season. It is worth mentioning that Gordon plays bigger than most 6í3Ē shooting guards thanks to longer than average arms and the aforementioned body and athleticism.
With all of the talk surrounding the freshman class, Gordon has established himself among the elite names. The freshman from Indiana will clearly have a chance to go one and done if he desires, but his performance against a higher level of competition could determine how high he can go. If he carries the early season performances over to the rest of the season, we could be talking about a potential top 10 pick. At the same time, he may decide to return for a second year at Indiana depending on how well he handles the lead guard spot this season.
Eric Gordon has also been fairly disappointing so far. From what we can see here, there is going to be a certain transition for him that needs to be made to adjusting to the higher level of competition he'll face in the NCAA. He got way too caught up in his own offense, over-dribbling, taking bad shots and running into brick walls with his head down. He didn't even try to read the defenses, relying excessively on his fantastic athleticism to bail him out instead of playing within the flow of the offense and taking what his defenders gave him. He seems to be still playing AAU basketball while everyone around him is playing like they do in college. Gordon's ball-handling ability still isn't where it needs to be to take full advantage of his strength and explosiveness. He pounds the ball incredibly hard on the floor, exposing his dribble a bit higher than you would hope.
It wasn't all negative, though. Gordon made some terrific power moves creating his own shot from the perimeter as well at times, getting to the basket like a bowling ball and finishing incredibly strong with contact. When left open, he also showed a very pretty stroke. Gordon is obviously an awesome prospect, and it will be interesting to see how quickly Kelvin Sampson can get him up to speed and take full advantage of his excellent physical tools and skills.
Eric Gordon had a pretty strong showing here, doing an excellent job absorbing contact and finishing around the rim, showing a great motor in his persistence to attack. Gordon also hit one three-pointer on the day, which was from NBA range and of the pull-up variety, but most of his damage was done inside, where he was relentless in his pursuit.
Gordon started off the game with a nice up-and-under move in the lane, drawing a foul but missing on his lay-up attempt. Next he drove left and laid the ball up with his right hand off the glass, scoring and also drawing the foul for the and-1. He made a few nice putback lay-ups around the hoop as the game went on, one of which he went up strong with and also drew the foul on. He drew another foul on a spin drive later in the game, and missed on a strong lay-up attempt over two big defenders at the hoop on another occasion, but also converted on a transition lay-up.
In terms of point guard skills, Gordon didnít show much here, only making one nice drive-and-dish on the game, but thatís not something heís expected to do much at this stage of his development. He also played solid defense considering the setting, making one impressive man-to-man steal against Jerryd Bayless early in the game, locking him down and forcing him to dribble into a turnover.
Eric Gordon didnít stand out much in this game, missing on all of his outside shot attempts, being blocked on one three-point attempt and air-balling another, though he did a good job attacking the rim, showing off his nice body control while drawing fouls and still managing to convert on his lay-ups.[Read Full Article]
ĒE.J.Ē had a quiet, but solid showing in the McDonaldís game. His 13 points tied for third most in the game, and he showed flashes of the point guard skills that so many thought were non-existent. The former high school teammate of Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. was attacking the rim at will throughout the game, using his chiseled physique to absorb contact and get shots up over bigger and stronger defenders. He shot the ball poorly from the outside however, an anomaly considering that is one of the strong points of his game.
Gordon showed off his downright blinding speed on the open floor, pushing the rock up the floor in the wink of an eye past the East squad. His outstanding first step was on display, allowing him to get to the rim and finish after absorbing contact. The power that he has constantly exerted at the high school level will surely carry over into the collegiate game, which is why so many feel that Gordon is one of the safest bets to put up outstanding numbers as a freshman.
Eric also used his strength and athleticism on the defensive end, really putting the clamps on O.J. Mayo throughout the game, despite Mayoís ridiculous ball handling ability. He did not go for any of Mayoís fakes nor bite on his crossover, allowing him to keep in front of the USC recruit on a consistent basis and force him into multiple contested jump shots. Gordonís tough, gritty defense will immediately make him a fan favorite in Bloomington, as if his explosive scoring ability wasnít enough already.
While Gordon didnít blow anyone away, he didnít exactly disappoint either. He was second on an absolutely stacked squad in scoring and led his team to victory. The Indiana recruit will take his game to Memphis next, where he will show the International Team at the Nike Hoop Summit what Americaís best power guard looks like up close and personal.
[Read Full Article]
DraftExpress: What position are you going to play next season at Indiana? Has Coach Sampson told you whether youíre going to be playing point, or shooting guard?
Gordon: Iím going to be playing a mixture of one and two. It looks like Iím going to be more of a point guard at times, but Iím going to be playing a mixture of both.
DraftExpress: Do you have a preference personally as to which position you play?
Gordon: Well Iím more of a scoring guard, so I like to get more of that overall complete guard game. Playing a little bit of point guard, handling the ball. Then playing a little bit of shooting guard, and scoring. My main thing is scoring though, so shooting is probably my more favorable position.
DraftExpress: Obviously this has to have crossed your mind plenty of times, but whatís it going to be like the first time you go to play at Illinois this season?
Gordon: Itís probably going to be one the craziest atmospheres Iíll ever go to. Itís just one game there, so itís not like Iím going to play there 100 times during the year.
DraftExpress: What were the main reasons that you decided to de-commit from Illinois and attend Indiana?
Gordon: It was closer, and I was much closer to the Indiana coaches. It was just a great for me to stay home at Indiana.
DraftExpress: Do you like the way the summer shoe camps have changed, with there only being one camp now? Or do you prefer it the way it was this past summer, with three different camps?
Gordon: I would say that itís probably better to have all three big camps because youíre already playing against some of the top kids anyways. Youíve got to have another opportunity for other kids to get a scholarship as well, and thatís why Iíd prefer all three.
DraftExpress: Now youíre a kid who bounced around the different sneaker companies AAU circuits. Youíve played for a Nike team, an Adidas team, and a Reebok team respectively. What was it like to have all that pressure from all these different shoe companies to play in their tournaments?
Gordon: They were really different. Each tournament is totally different. It just depends on the competition level. Different tournaments have different competition levels. Thatís the only main difference.
DraftExpress: With having had past relationships with all three shoe companies, how did you decide which all-star game to play in, in addition to the McDonaldís game? What made you decide to play in the Jordan game?
Gordon: I picked the Jordan game because I have never been to New York. Iíve never played at Madison Square Garden. Everyone says ďThereís nothing like the GardenĒ, so I had to take that opportunity.
DraftExpress: Who were your picks for the final four?
Gordon: At the time I had Florida, North Carolina, Ohio State and umÖ.I donít know who the other one was.
DraftExpress: Well who do you have winning it now?
Gordon: Well originally I had North Carolina, but since they are already out, I would say that Florida is going to win it again.
DraftExpress: What are your thoughts on the NBAís age limit for the NBA Draft?
Gordon: It can be good and it can be bad. I would say the only bad thing is when they hold kids back who are physically ready. I mean, there are kids who develop physically early in their careers. Now you see it that theyíre the best players in the league right now. Iím just saying for those who are ready physically, that might be the main problem in all of this.
DraftExpress: Now with you being one of, if not the most physically ready guard in this class, would you have considered going to the NBA out of high school had there not been the age limit?
Gordon: I probably would have thought about it, but I wouldnít have put too much into it. Now Iím not even in the position to go, so I donít really think about it. I definitely would have thought about it. Anybody would.
DraftExpress: Do you prefer the way the McDonaldís game practices are now, in a virtually empty gym with kind of with this laid back atmosphere? Or would you rather have these stands be filled with NBA scouts, like it was two years ago?
Gordon: I like the way it is now with things being kind of laid back. I mean, people are already trying to show their talents and everything, and you donít want egos getting in the way when people are trying to show themselves in front of NBA and college scouts.
DraftExpress: Illinois produced a lot of guards who went to the NBA, yet you still chose to attend Indiana. Has the thought crossed your mind that you are going to be able to showcase yourself immediately as a freshman, to the point that you will be one and done?
Gordon: Well I mean, you never know if Iím going to be a one and done guy. Itís a year to year basis. I think the stuff Coach Sampson runsÖ.the stuff he doesÖ.is really a great fit for me.
Gordon didnít stand out in Mondayís practice, and didnít participate in portions of the full contact scrimmage. Clearly the coaching staff is trying to give him time to rest up on his injury, so that he is able to go at full speed in the actual game itself. The Indiana recruit displayed his remarkable range all throughout the practice and three point contest, shooting (and making) three pointers that would have counted for three in the NBA consistently. Hopefully the time that he has taken off thus far in practice has allowed him to heal up, so that we are able to see him when the game rolls around Wednesday evening.[Read Full Article]
ďE.J.Ē did not play much of the day, due to an injury that he sustained in an Indiana high school game. He did go through the 5-on-0 drills, and showed the incredible explosiveness that has been driving his game for years now. What was quite evident however, was that Gordon had grown since the Big Time in July. He now appears to be a legitimate 6í4 in shoes, which will bode for him greatly when it comes time for him to bolt to the NBA given his lack of a ďtrueĒ position.[Read Full Article]
Talking about players in Vegas that have been winning points consistently from every member of the DraftExpress staff, we have to start with Eric Gordon, who has arguably been the most impressive player in the Big Time Tournament so far. Gordon had two more excellent games today, scoring 28 and 33 points on excellent shooting and without forcing the issue too much like his skill-set might force him to at times.
Gordon is a scorer in the purest sense, skilled and talented enough to put the ball in the basket from anywhere on the floor and in the toughest of situations. He showed off both his slashing and shooting game today, taking the ball the hoop tenaciously time after time with his incredibly powerful first step and awesome ball-handling skills with both his right and left hand. He gets to the hoop in a flash and finishes with contact with no regard whatsoever for his personal safety. He has both the strength and a fantastic feel for finishing at the rim, knowing how and when to use the glass and being equally adept at using either of his massive hands to go along with his outstanding frame and length. He is confident and assertive like most great scorers are, never hanging his head and looking prone to put his team on his back and give them two points at any given moment even without the help of a screen or set play. He has a wide array of ball-fakes and hesitation moves in his arsenal he utilizes to assist him with the task at hand, mixing up an effective pull-up game off the dribble with his terrific footwork to constantly keep his defender guessing as to what his next move will be. If his man cheats and tries to give himself an extra step to try and stop his super quick first step, he will compose himself instantaneously and elevate for a smooth jump-shot, having terrific mechanics and a superb feel for throwing the ball in the hoop even with a hand in his face. The one flaw you might find in him at the moment is his shot selection, being a bit prone to take shot early in the shot-clock with no conscience, but the system (or lack thereof...) he plays in and the playground nature of these AAU games has just as much to do with it. When he wasnít on the floor his team looked completely lost today, and they probably could have done a better job going to him down the stretch when they needed points.
As far as his NBA potential goes, there will always be question marks about his position in the NBA, since he is essentially a 6-3 shooting guard and does not look ashamed in that even one bit. What he did show today (as opposed to yesterday) is the fact that he actually has a good feel for finding the open man, not being selfish and not having a problem giving the ball up if his shot just isnít there. The term combo guard is becoming less and less of a bad word with each season that goes by, and if players like Ben Gordon and Randy Foye can go 3rd and 6th in the draft, there is no reason why Eric Gordon canít go somewhere in the lottery either.
Gordonís Meanstreets team was quite overmatched by the SoCal All-Stars yesterday afternoon, but this one was somehow still a game headed into the stretch run. The reason? Look no further than Illinois-bound shooting guard Eric Gordon. Gordon showed a maturity level and polish beyond his years, slashing, shooting, and dunking his way to a truly big-time scoring effort. Gordon is an elite level athlete, and understands how to use every bit of his explosiveness to his advantage. He almost immediately recognized that the SoCal was focusing their defense on locking up Derrick Rose, and carried the scoring load for the entire game. He found the bottom of the net in a variety of ways, whether it was fearlessly driving the lane and finishing over multiple defenders, hitting long range jumpers off the dribble, or connecting on contested, quick-release 3-pointers on passes from Rose. While SoCal maintained control of the game most of the way, Gordon continually found a way to keep his team within striking distance. It was a truly impressive performance.
But does this make Eric Gordon a legitimate NBA prospect? At just 6'3, it is doubtful that he will be able to play full-time at the wing on the next level. He certainly didnít display any point guard skills in this contest - it was clear that once he received the ball, the only thing on his mind was getting off a shot as quickly as possible. However, there may be some combo guard in Eric Gordon. He certainly has the body type, athleticism, and toughness of your prototypical successful NBA combo guard. Gordon is clearly a winner, and a good fit in Champaign.