Illini Wonk
Friday, January 20, 2006
  Eric Gordon shows his stuff
I hope you got a chance to watch Illini 2007 recruit Eric Gordon play last night on ESPN2. I had seen highlights on Illinois basketball games. I heard about the show he put on at the Circle City Classic. I know Loren Tate said that he 'could be best player Illinois has ever recruited.' I was even aware that hundreds of Illini fans have attended his games. But this was my first chance to see him play an entire game.

Wow. I mean, WOW.

Okay, so they lost the game. Keep in mind that Gordon's team was playing Lawrence North, the #5 high school team in the nation, whose roster includes the highest rated high school player in this year's class: Greg Oden.

But Eric Gordon was incredibly impressive, unbelievable for a junior in high school. He had 27 points, 23 in the second half. Two of his first half points came on an amazing steal for a dunk in which he blew past the opposition. In the second half, he did it all. Three-pointers...floaters over Oden...mid-range jupmers...but nowhere was Gordon's athleticism more on display than when he blocked an alley-oop attempt in the second half of the game. It was one of the most spectacular plays I've ever seen at any level.

Gordon will have an instant impact for the Illini and would start at the two guard for them right now (maybe that's not such a big deal, considering our struggles at that spot). The only question is how long the Illini can keep him before he makes the inevitable early leap to the pros.
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