We all know who he is

  • 01/11/2008 1:07 pm in

ejclose.jpgTurn back the clock to October 13, 2006. North Central guard Eric Gordon had just made the switch to Indiana after committing to Illinois and coach Bruce Weber on November 28, 2005.

Indiana fans rejoiced. Chants of “Eric Gordon” filled Assembly Hall at Hoosier Hysteria. After missing on Greg Oden and Michael Conley Jr. the previous year, the Hoosiers finally had their man. Gordon, perhaps the best player in the 2007 class, would help Indiana return to national prominence.

Illinois fans were up in arms and cried foul on Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson, Gordon and his father, Eric Sr. Never mind the fact that Indiana had made a coaching change since Gordon’s commitment to Illinois. “How dare he change his mind,” the Orange Krush exclaimed.

Deron Williams, Utah Jazz guard and former Illinois point guard, knew the questions were coming about Gordon.

“What are your thoughts on the Eric Gordon situation?,” a reporter asked in a hotel lobby.

“I don’t know who that is” Williams said.

And so the phrase was born that has become a staple for fans of the Illini when referring to the Big Ten’s leading scorer: “I don’t know who that is.”

Truth is, they know all too well who Gordon is. At this point, who doesn’t know who Eric Gordon is?

He’s the best player in the Big Ten. He’s the best guard in America. And the argument can be made that he’s the best player in college basketball.

Indiana will host Illinois on Sunday at 4:30 on CBS. Verne Lundquist and Billy Packer will call the game. Indiana fans will chant “Eric Gordon.” Kelvin Sampson will say that it’s just another game as will Illinois coach Bruce Weber. What’s done is done, right?

But we all know it’s much more than that.

This game is all about Eric Gordon. Some of you have commented that you’d like to see him defer to teammates and let them crush the Illini. I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum. I want to see complete destruction of Illinois at the hands of Gordon. A facial for Shaun Pruitt would be a nice start. Long range three’s in the face of Chester Frazier would push along the process. In the end, 40 for Gordon and a 25-point IU win would be ideal.

So what are you expecting from EJ on Sunday? Is this just another game for him or will there be extra motivation? Your comments, por favor.

Filed to:

  • PB

    My prediction:

    Indiana 79
    Illinois 64

    Eric Gordon 33 pts (14 from the line)
    DJ White 18 pts, 15 boards

    Gordon’s gotta stick it to them. He is gonna be charged up knowing he’s in the spotlight of the Big Ten’s game of the year (maybe the nation?) and will have the attention of the nation’s college basketball fans.

    I ask you, is this the game of the year in college basketball? I am a Big Ten guy, but I can’t think of anything with more drama. Too bad Illinois sucks…they could really use a stud 2-guard, suckas….

  • PB

    My prediction:

    Indiana 79
    Illinois 64

    Eric Gordon 33 pts (14 from the line)
    DJ White 18 pts, 15 boards

    Gordon’s gotta stick it to them. He is gonna be charged up knowing he’s in the spotlight of the Big Ten’s game of the year (maybe the nation?) and will have the attention of the nation’s college basketball fans.

    I ask you, is this the game of the year in college basketball? I am a Big Ten guy, but I can’t think of anything with more drama. Too bad Illinois sucks…they could really use a stud 2-guard, suckas….

  • Jeff

    For IU and UI it’s a very big game. Beyond those two schools, and the avid b-ball fan and Big Ten supporter, I don’t think anyone will be paying that much attention.

    ESPN is high on EJ (for good reason). They may help the game achieve a more than normal Big Ten regular season game status, but I don’t think people down South, out East, and out West will have any idea the two teams are playing.

  • Jeff

    For IU and UI it’s a very big game. Beyond those two schools, and the avid b-ball fan and Big Ten supporter, I don’t think anyone will be paying that much attention.

    ESPN is high on EJ (for good reason). They may help the game achieve a more than normal Big Ten regular season game status, but I don’t think people down South, out East, and out West will have any idea the two teams are playing.

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    No way Chief Illinwek gets 60 points. They are futile on the offensive side of the ball. I love it.

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    No way Chief Illinwek gets 60 points. They are futile on the offensive side of the ball. I love it.

  • James

    I think Gordon scores 30 easily in this game, and we have a good chance to win by that margin as well.

  • James

    I think Gordon scores 30 easily in this game, and we have a good chance to win by that margin as well.

  • Timmy

    Look for BAM to have his team be more physical with IDKWTI than Xavier was. Also, expect some heated exchanges during the game between Frazier, Randle and IDKWTI.

  • Timmy

    Look for BAM to have his team be more physical with IDKWTI than Xavier was. Also, expect some heated exchanges during the game between Frazier, Randle and IDKWTI.

  • David

    The rivalry is between the two fan bases. Eric Gordon has already shown maturity beyond his years and I have a hard time believing he sees this game as anything more than another Big Ten game.

    He’ll probably go for 25-30 points and 4-5 boards. And I assume that even though Kelvin wants him to shoot more, I would fathom that he will still get his fair share of assists. He’s just that type of teammate.

  • David

    The rivalry is between the two fan bases. Eric Gordon has already shown maturity beyond his years and I have a hard time believing he sees this game as anything more than another Big Ten game.

    He’ll probably go for 25-30 points and 4-5 boards. And I assume that even though Kelvin wants him to shoot more, I would fathom that he will still get his fair share of assists. He’s just that type of teammate.

  • slojoe

    Big A, your ideal is 25 point win and 40 for EJ? You’re way to much of a pessimist. How about at 30 pt. win and 57 for EJ (breaking the IU record of 56).

  • slojoe

    Big A, your ideal is 25 point win and 40 for EJ? You’re way to much of a pessimist. How about at 30 pt. win and 57 for EJ (breaking the IU record of 56).

  • Brad

    EJ will have his typical 20-30 points, but I don’t think he really cares anymore about this game than any other. Even if he does, he certainly won’t force the issue like many players in this situation would. He’s way to mature, humble, calm, cool for that. Plus he knows he doesn’t need to do anything extra to be great. His average game is better than most college players best game.

    Personally I would love to see him go off for 50 (and I know he could if he really wanted to and shot it as much as OJ Mayo), but like I said I think about 25 will do the trick.

  • Brad

    EJ will have his typical 20-30 points, but I don’t think he really cares anymore about this game than any other. Even if he does, he certainly won’t force the issue like many players in this situation would. He’s way to mature, humble, calm, cool for that. Plus he knows he doesn’t need to do anything extra to be great. His average game is better than most college players best game.

    Personally I would love to see him go off for 50 (and I know he could if he really wanted to and shot it as much as OJ Mayo), but like I said I think about 25 will do the trick.

  • Hoosier Hound

    I look at this game and I see Kentucky all over again. Illinois also has a good big (Pruitt-Patterson), a very overrated player (Randle-Crawford), is terrible this year, and can’t even win at home. IU destroyed Kentucky by 19 without Gordon. My imagination is running wild trying to predict the margin of victory for Sunday’s game. The sweet taste of that UK pounding was great and lasted a long time. But that game was a month ago and I’m ready for a new flavor, namely a delicious chief stew.

  • Hoosier Hound

    I look at this game and I see Kentucky all over again. Illinois also has a good big (Pruitt-Patterson), a very overrated player (Randle-Crawford), is terrible this year, and can’t even win at home. IU destroyed Kentucky by 19 without Gordon. My imagination is running wild trying to predict the margin of victory for Sunday’s game. The sweet taste of that UK pounding was great and lasted a long time. But that game was a month ago and I’m ready for a new flavor, namely a delicious chief stew.

  • Tsell

    GO HOOSIERS! GORDON GOES OFF! WHITE DOMINATES THE PAINT! ASSEMBLY HALL WILL ROCK! GO HOOSIERS!

  • Tsell

    GO HOOSIERS! GORDON GOES OFF! WHITE DOMINATES THE PAINT! ASSEMBLY HALL WILL ROCK! GO HOOSIERS!

  • SocksShortsSwish

    In the words of Lee Corso…NotSoFastMyFriend.

    While I’d love to see Chief Illiniwek doing his best Keep America Beautiful PSA impression, I think this game will be close. Maybe it’s what a previous blog entry stated: the fact that knowing IU will win is such an alien feeling. I hope it’s that.

    But, that team to the west will come in and bring loads of pressure. I think Chester the Molester will be healthier, and he’ll surely be guarding (hounding) EJ. We’ve already seen His Airness get in foul trouble, especially when frustrated.

    Plus, this is a vet, although bad, team in the orange and blue. Things happen when they shouldn’t. We haven’t seen this IU team really beat a team who pressures yet. SIU has proven to be not as good as advertised.

    So, while I think we’re superior, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rocky one. They had Wisconsin on the ropes last night, and while we’re no Wisconsin, they just don’t lose in the Department Store. To rip off Bill Simmons and Pulp Fiction, “Let’s not start sucking each other’s popsicles just yet.”

    IU 72
    The Visitors 65

  • SocksShortsSwish

    In the words of Lee Corso…NotSoFastMyFriend.

    While I’d love to see Chief Illiniwek doing his best Keep America Beautiful PSA impression, I think this game will be close. Maybe it’s what a previous blog entry stated: the fact that knowing IU will win is such an alien feeling. I hope it’s that.

    But, that team to the west will come in and bring loads of pressure. I think Chester the Molester will be healthier, and he’ll surely be guarding (hounding) EJ. We’ve already seen His Airness get in foul trouble, especially when frustrated.

    Plus, this is a vet, although bad, team in the orange and blue. Things happen when they shouldn’t. We haven’t seen this IU team really beat a team who pressures yet. SIU has proven to be not as good as advertised.

    So, while I think we’re superior, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rocky one. They had Wisconsin on the ropes last night, and while we’re no Wisconsin, they just don’t lose in the Department Store. To rip off Bill Simmons and Pulp Fiction, “Let’s not start sucking each other’s popsicles just yet.”

    IU 72
    The Visitors 65

  • SocksShortsSwish

    By the way, the team to the west’s website roster has Da Molester listed as 6’2”. On what elevator?

  • SocksShortsSwish

    By the way, the team to the west’s website roster has Da Molester listed as 6’2”. On what elevator?

  • Anonymous

    Hoosiers two hundred twenty four, illini… thirty-tree.

    and in a stunning turn of events both DJ and Gordon go over the 100 point mark and DJ gets the first ever double triple with a hundred and forty two rebounds.

    DAAAA Hoosiers

  • Bill Swerski

    Hoosiers two hundred twenty four, illini… thirty-tree.

    and in a stunning turn of events both DJ and Gordon go over the 100 point mark and DJ gets the first ever double triple with a hundred and forty two rebounds.

    DAAAA Hoosiers

  • Corey James

    great quote…while Chief Illiniwek did have the Bo Ryan’s boys on the ropes last night I think we will just be too hyped and focused for them Sunday, not to mention I will personally be in the South bleachers, with Assembly Hall rocking it will simply be too much…IU 81 bad guys 59

  • Corey James

    great quote…while Chief Illiniwek did have the Bo Ryan’s boys on the ropes last night I think we will just be too hyped and focused for them Sunday, not to mention I will personally be in the South bleachers, with Assembly Hall rocking it will simply be too much…IU 81 bad guys 59

  • Steve O

    To the people who keep calling Gordon IDKWTI, I would suggest you learn who he is before he dunks all over your team’s face then pulls back and hits a 30 footer.

    Illinois fans know exactly who Gordon is… and his 1 year in college will probably be better than the 3 or 4 Deron Williams played. And I think he better learn the name too, before Gordon comes to the NBA and throws one down on his head.

    IU 86 ILL 68

  • Steve O

    To the people who keep calling Gordon IDKWTI, I would suggest you learn who he is before he dunks all over your team’s face then pulls back and hits a 30 footer.

    Illinois fans know exactly who Gordon is… and his 1 year in college will probably be better than the 3 or 4 Deron Williams played. And I think he better learn the name too, before Gordon comes to the NBA and throws one down on his head.

    IU 86 ILL 68

  • b-side

    PB, while this is certainly one of the bigger games in Big Ten, even us Hoosiers have to think that the game @ Illinois will be even more dramatic.

    The Orange Soda Pop will be jeering him with the JJ Reddick treatment and that’s when I’d really like to see EJ go off for 40+ points.

  • b-side

    PB, while this is certainly one of the bigger games in Big Ten, even us Hoosiers have to think that the game @ Illinois will be even more dramatic.

    The Orange Soda Pop will be jeering him with the JJ Reddick treatment and that’s when I’d really like to see EJ go off for 40+ points.

  • ALH ’00

    That’s an interesting thought, B-Side. I’m sure other teams have focused on EJ, but Illinois will likely intesify the pressure, given the history with EJ.

    As I think about it though, that only helps IU. The Illini have weapons, but no depth. The more cheap fouls they commit, the more time on the bench Frasier (and maybe Randle and Pruitt) spend on the bench. Also, the more they pressure EJ, the more open looks DJ, Stemler, and Thomas will get. It will be interesting how EJ responds to the heat…I think he’ll be fine.

    It should also be interesting to see KS’ game plan for this one. Illinois may be able to take EJ out of the game if he doesn’t work without the ball.

  • ALH ’00

    That’s an interesting thought, B-Side. I’m sure other teams have focused on EJ, but Illinois will likely intesify the pressure, given the history with EJ.

    As I think about it though, that only helps IU. The Illini have weapons, but no depth. The more cheap fouls they commit, the more time on the bench Frasier (and maybe Randle and Pruitt) spend on the bench. Also, the more they pressure EJ, the more open looks DJ, Stemler, and Thomas will get. It will be interesting how EJ responds to the heat…I think he’ll be fine.

    It should also be interesting to see KS’ game plan for this one. Illinois may be able to take EJ out of the game if he doesn’t work without the ball.

  • PB

    B-SIDE, I made a huge mistake when I wrote that post. I thought this Sunday was @ Illinois for some reason, which will no doubt be bigger than this one at home.

  • PB

    B-SIDE, I made a huge mistake when I wrote that post. I thought this Sunday was @ Illinois for some reason, which will no doubt be bigger than this one at home.

  • Bloom

    REMATCH: Gordon v Jordan II – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNQRKsZYXZ8

  • Bloom

    REMATCH: Gordon v Jordan II – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNQRKsZYXZ8

  • Kelin

    My predictions…..Sunday will be one of the greatest sports days of my life…

    Y…on my way to chi-town today a buddy calls and says hey I got two tickets for the game on Sunday….you want them….DAH…

    I expect to witness…EJ put up 25 plus and the play of the day that will eventually end up on the front page of many papers is…EJ putting up a 28footer ‘right’ in front of Bruce Weber!

    ALso I expect a motivated Jamarcus Ellis and Deandre T..I am sure Brucey didn’t bother recruiting them…why else would he need homestate talent….

    IU 80 Illinois 49….these guys cannot score

  • Kelin

    My predictions…..Sunday will be one of the greatest sports days of my life…

    Y…on my way to chi-town today a buddy calls and says hey I got two tickets for the game on Sunday….you want them….DAH…

    I expect to witness…EJ put up 25 plus and the play of the day that will eventually end up on the front page of many papers is…EJ putting up a 28footer ‘right’ in front of Bruce Weber!

    ALso I expect a motivated Jamarcus Ellis and Deandre T..I am sure Brucey didn’t bother recruiting them…why else would he need homestate talent….

    IU 80 Illinois 49….these guys cannot score

  • Robert

    I’m no expert at predicting scores, but, I wouldn’t be surprised if the game was called at half-time due to the REAL Assembly Hall being flooded with tears of jealousy and frustration from Bruce WAAAAHHber…..

  • Robert

    I’m no expert at predicting scores, but, I wouldn’t be surprised if the game was called at half-time due to the REAL Assembly Hall being flooded with tears of jealousy and frustration from Bruce WAAAAHHber…..

  • Stephen

    We have to remember that we play Illinois at THE OTHER Assembly Hall in a few weeks. I hesitate to get too excited. No matter what happens on Sunday, that’s the BIG game. We need to take care of business at home, get a good feel for Illinois and then really handle them on their court. That’s where I’d love to see the Hoosiers really stick it to the Illini. I expect us to win by more than 10, hopefully 20 or 30 but Illinois has enough on both ends to keep it competitive.

    Weber is so distraught over losing Gordon, my greatest fear is that it’s spilled over to his players and someone is going to hurt EJ. He draws plenty of contact. If there’s a cheap shot, watch out. It could get ugly fast in an arena full of rowdy college kids. Even worse when we’re at Illinois. I doubt it happens, but it’s crossed my mind.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • Stephen

    We have to remember that we play Illinois at THE OTHER Assembly Hall in a few weeks. I hesitate to get too excited. No matter what happens on Sunday, that’s the BIG game. We need to take care of business at home, get a good feel for Illinois and then really handle them on their court. That’s where I’d love to see the Hoosiers really stick it to the Illini. I expect us to win by more than 10, hopefully 20 or 30 but Illinois has enough on both ends to keep it competitive.

    Weber is so distraught over losing Gordon, my greatest fear is that it’s spilled over to his players and someone is going to hurt EJ. He draws plenty of contact. If there’s a cheap shot, watch out. It could get ugly fast in an arena full of rowdy college kids. Even worse when we’re at Illinois. I doubt it happens, but it’s crossed my mind.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • Kelin

    Stephen…If that happens I TOTALLY blame the coach cause they feed of Weber….why are they upset anyhow they have MJ’s son….

  • Kelin

    Stephen…If that happens I TOTALLY blame the coach cause they feed of Weber….why are they upset anyhow they have MJ’s son….

  • Zac

    Let ’em fight. EJ can throw bows better than anyone on Illinois. Deandre can just sit on someone and I feel that Ellis can hold is own. (DJ might fall on the ground randomly like he does 3-4 times a game). Although if a fight did breakout you know that Adam Ahlfield would be right in the middle of it trying to break it up. “Come on guys, dont fight, lets be friends!” God, I love our token white kids under 6 foot. In fact, can we call Adam Ahlfield “Token” from now on like South Park. Just a thought…

  • Zac

    Let ’em fight. EJ can throw bows better than anyone on Illinois. Deandre can just sit on someone and I feel that Ellis can hold is own. (DJ might fall on the ground randomly like he does 3-4 times a game). Although if a fight did breakout you know that Adam Ahlfield would be right in the middle of it trying to break it up. “Come on guys, dont fight, lets be friends!” God, I love our token white kids under 6 foot. In fact, can we call Adam Ahlfield “Token” from now on like South Park. Just a thought…

  • Stephen

    At least Ahlfeld’s not Kevin Lemme!

    MJ’s son…Yeah the same one that Gordon lit up last year. Jeff’s scored what, ONCE this season. I love that. That was one of the sweetest games I was able to go to last season. I was only a few rows away from MJ, but all I cared about was watching EJ. J. Jordan started out with a great dunk off an alley oop, but Gordon was just incredible the whole game. I think at the time he finally went out of the game, he had scored more points than Jordan’s entire team combined. Although I do remember everyone anticipating a huge dunk off a turnover and Gordon fumbled the ball around and just hit a lay up. But we got that dunk later in the game. I guess he can be human once in a while!

  • Stephen

    At least Ahlfeld’s not Kevin Lemme!

    MJ’s son…Yeah the same one that Gordon lit up last year. Jeff’s scored what, ONCE this season. I love that. That was one of the sweetest games I was able to go to last season. I was only a few rows away from MJ, but all I cared about was watching EJ. J. Jordan started out with a great dunk off an alley oop, but Gordon was just incredible the whole game. I think at the time he finally went out of the game, he had scored more points than Jordan’s entire team combined. Although I do remember everyone anticipating a huge dunk off a turnover and Gordon fumbled the ball around and just hit a lay up. But we got that dunk later in the game. I guess he can be human once in a while!