To the surprise of no one, Eric Gordon announced that he is entering the NBA Draft. Check out Inside the Hall for press conference video. Here's Gordon's Yahoo game log. Unfortunately, Gordon's stat line tracked the Hoosiers' fortunes. Gordon's career high, 33 points, came in his first game, against Chattanooga. Gordon's lowest scoring output, 8 points (not counting his injury-shortened performance against Tennessee State), came in his last game, the NCAA loss to Arkansas.
Much has been said about IU's late season decline: the coaching change, insubordination by certain players, Dakich's stubborn refusal to stick with the zone defense that saved IU's season, and so forth. All of those issues played a role in IU's tailspin, but absent Eric Gordon's complete inability to hit three pointers for the last quarter of the season, it's likely that the end would have been different. It's hard to say what the cause was. Was it just a slump? Did he hit the freshman wall? Did he somehow aggravate his wrist injury? My guess is an undisclosed injury, but it's hard to say. Gordon had played 18 games before he injured his wrist, immediately before the trip to Wisconsin. At that point in the season, Gordon was 46-114 from behind the arc (.403). In the first six games that Gordon wore the wrist brace, a stretch that included two games against Wisconsin, the trip to Illinois, and a home game against MSU, Gordon was 16-41 from three point range (.391). Beginning with Sampson's last game, the home win against Purdue, Gordon was 8-53 (.151). Certainly, given the huge volume of shots taken, it's possible to question shot selection. But just a minor slump, say, a fall to 30 percent, and IU may well have been a bit more respectable down the stretch. Still, Gordon was an important recruit and provided some exciting moments and I wish him lots of success in the NBA.