We Got Gordon 1.0: In Poor Taste

January 10, 2008 – 10:19 pm by McD

At 4:30 EST on Sunday, the biggest college basketball game of this young season will take place. It has the most bad blood and probably the best story behind it of any game this year. Indiana University versus the University of Illinois isn’t a matchup of highly-ranked teams, though Indiana is ranked 11th. It isn’t even a matchup of teams fighting for the Big Ten crown this season. Illinois is good, but they’re down compared to how they usually are. No, this game centers around one player, Indiana guard Eric Gordon.

Gordon is from Indianapolis, Indiana. He always wanted to go to IU when he was young and most of the way through high school. However, as he was making a decision on what school to attend, Mike Davis’s likeable but incompetent tenure at IU had not ended yet, so Gordon chose Illinois.

There is no one way to describe how good Eric Gordon is on a basketball court. He is simply better than everyone he faces. He’s one of those guys who has an extra gear when running, while dribbling, when rising up for a shot. He’s like Lebron or Kobe in the way he can take over a game. One of those guys who just seems at peace playing basketball. He scores any way he pleases. He shoots from insanely long range, drives to the basket at will and rises up for thunderous dunks with an ease that is truly astonishing. Currently he’s averaging 23.5 points per game, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. As a freshman.

When Indiana hired Kelvin Sampson, Gordon’s interest in Indiana gained strength and he eventually backed out of his oral commitment to Illinois and committed to Indiana and Sampson, in a story we broke first (yes a week before any other major news outlets had it. We Rule!)

Naturally, losing one of the best guards to come to college in a long time didn’t sit well with Illinois or its fans. The outrage was incredible and the already ill-tempered rivalry between Indiana and Illinois grew into a full-blown basketball border war.

Sunday’s game is the first of two games between the schools this season. This one is at home for Indiana, in Bloomington at Assembly Hall. So the full vitriol of Illini fan won’t be seen until February 7, in Champaign, at Assembly Hall (yeah we know that’s weird too). Expect J.J. Reddick-levels of hatred from Illinois Fan. At Sunday’s game, expect the jubilation of Indiana fan because they have the best guard in the class of 2007, and it will show. But don’t be surprised if Illinois plays its best game of the season to date. Chances for vengeance like this don’t come along too often.

As IU grads, we’re obviously going to tune in (right after Phillips and my Chargers play the Colts) and be extremely loud and partisan. You should watch too, if only to see the best guard in the country play basketball. There’s nothing really interesting about Illinois anymore, win or lose on Sunday. I mean it would be different if there was one shining star on that roster who you can focus on and really rave about. They should really try and recruit one. Oh. Right. My bad.

But rest easy Illini fans, we’re sure it will get better eventually. But for now we’ve got three words for ya: We Got Gordon!

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  1. 13 Responses to “We Got Gordon 1.0: In Poor Taste”

  2. Illinois is good?? Really??
    While that’s probably the most polite way to describe the Illini this year, it really isn’t accurate. They are awful, and getting worse. Bruce Weber is getting his tail kicked in the state of Illinois recruiting, and his days in Champaign are numbered. His mismanagement of the Eric Gordon recruitment was not an anomoly- he’s just not ready for prime time. Even if Illinois hasn’t had a lot of success, save for a trip to the Final Four (with Bill Self’s recruits), they still play on a national stage that Weber simply isn’t ready for.

    By Anonymous on Jan 11, 2008

  3. Which do you think sits worse with Illini fans: Losing Gordon, or never being on Derrick Rose’s short list?

    I will give Illinois credit in that they lost Gordon late enough in the recruiting season that they couldn’t fill the void, but still, they’re awful. It was painful to watch that game between Illinois and Wisconsin last night.

    By mjenks on Jan 11, 2008

  4. An IU grad that is a Chargers fan? Double pew.

    By Bickett on Jan 11, 2008

  5. Hump yourselves Hosers.

    By Anonymous on Jan 11, 2008

  6. Yes, you got Gordon, underhanded because IU hired a cheater to begin with. Gordon is good no doubt, but when was the last time IU won anything? Weber can’t recruit…take a look at 09/10. next year we’ve got a good PF coming in Alex legion and Jamar Smith returns. have your fufn now IU…it won’t last. neither will sampson.

    By Gary Hall, Major, USMC (Ret) on Jan 11, 2008

  7. Indiana has won national championships and was in the final game in 2002, just two years before Illinois’ appearance there, so let’s not even talk about winning traditions…

    Illini fans can’t wait for Jamar Smith to come back, though he left a teammate for dead. Is that the Marine way?

    Also, did you hear Erin Andrews last night saying the Illini players were pissed about the Illini Orange Krush booing Chester Frazier.

    More here: http://www.serafinisays.blogspot.com/

    By Your Humble Correspondent on Jan 11, 2008

  8. Bragging about getting Alex Legion? Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached a new low.

    By Anonymous on Jan 11, 2008

  9. If you remember the last time IU won a championship, you also just dusted a cobweb off your balls.

    By GeddyLee on Jan 11, 2008

  10. You are an IU grad… me too! Nice to know that once I leave the football and basketball teams magically are good again. GO HOOSIERS!

    By Anonymous on Jan 11, 2008

  11. The problem is Gordon never backed off his verbal. He said he was “solid” with the Illini until all the other good guards had picked other schools and left Weber high and dry.

    I don’t think many Illini fans have a problem with an 18 year old kid changing his mind. I think most feel that it was done in an underhanded and dishonest way.

    Also, to the clown who thinks Weber is still getting his tail kicked in Illinois in regards to recruiting, 2005 called, they want you back.

    By Anonymous on Jan 11, 2008

  12. Okay, you guys win this year. However, Gordon will be gone after this year but the future looks very bright in Champaign.

    Brandon Paul:

    http://s28.photobucket.com/albums/c250/illini32/?action=view&current=Pontiac122007PosterizeBP1.jpg

    By weirdrash on Jan 12, 2008

  13. Congratulations Illini fans! Weber is stacking your team with his former felons’ cousins and brothers! You must be so proud.

    This just in – Your recruiting has only gotten better to you. Every other top tier Big Ten team still thinks it’s a joke.

    You can’t wait for 2010/11 but everyone else is still playing for this year and next!

    By BigTen11 on Jan 12, 2008

  14. If you remember the last time Illinois won a championship… you have a pretty bad memory, because it’s never happened. Face the facts, even Loyola fans have the right to talk shit to you.

    By Hick Flick on Jan 12, 2008

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