Gordon vs. Crawford; Sampson drawing NBA head-coaching interest

Two things of interest on this Thursday afternoon involving former members of the IU basketball fam.

First up, via Gery Woelfe of the Journal Times,  comes word that Jordan Crawford reportedly used to give Eric Gordon a run for his money in practice:

Many NBA scouts weren’t caught off guard by Crawford’s highly-productive season. They were well aware of his myriad of talents when he was a freshman at Indiana University.

That’s when he had some memorable practices against then Hoosiers guard Eric Gordon, who wound up being the seventh overall selection in the 2008 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Some people who witnessed those Indiana workouts swear Crawford was often as good or better than Gordon.

“I heard that from time to time from players on the team, saying stuff like that,’’ Crawford said. “I really wanted to compete against him.

“He was the best player on the team, so every day in practice I wanted to go at him.’’

Considering the Undisciplined One was rather boom and bust that season — flashes of brilliance mixed with some typical freshman mistakes — it’s not out of the realm of possibility that on his best days he could have matched Gordon here and there.

Second, via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, looks like Kelvin Sampson is getting at least a look from the Cavs in their coaching search:

As the Cleveland Cavaliers sift potential coaching candidates, general manager Danny Ferry has made calls checking on Milwaukee Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.

For now, the Cavaliers’ interest appears to be strictly in the fact-finding phase, but some league personnel believe it’s just a matter of time until Sampson becomes a legitimate head coaching candidate in the NBA.

This comes on the heels of a report from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that Sampson could draw interest from the Bulls in their search. Sampson worked a lot with rookie Brandon Jennings this year as a member of the Bucks’ staff, and though Jennings’ shot still needs plenty of work, he garnered some rookie-of-the-year consideration. Dude also tossed up 55 points in a game during the first half of the season, and was the team’s leader at the point for a team that made the playoffs and nearly upset the Hawks in the first round.

Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry are talented, no doubt, but they weren’t getting the type of experience Jennings was this year at the point. They may not have gotten the coaching Jennings got either.

You can criticize Sampson for other things, but his coaching prowess — after only two years in the pro ranks — is already garnering him some consideration for head-coaching jobs. That’s impressive stuff any way you slice it.

Oh, and just before I was set to hit publish, here’s a tweet that just came through from the well-connected Brain Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Sources confirm Yahoo! report about Cavs’ interest in Bucks asst. coach Kelvin Sampson. In fact, I’m told he may be near top of list.”

And then this tweet from Woj: “The Clippers are also showing an interest in Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, sources tell Y! Sampson has relationship with Blake Griffin.”

OK, that’s it. Discuss at your leisure.

  • fat lew

    scum is scum

  • JerryCT

    I remember spending alot of time analyzing game stats in order to compare EG and JC. It turned out to be very very close evaluation if JC had played the same minutes as EG. Since JC played alot of minutes we had sufficient evidence.

    I recall it all depended , stat wise, on what value you put on steals ( EG was great ), turnovers ( EG was awful ) and rebounds ( JC was pretty good ).

    Aside from stats, JC played forward and PG along w shootign guard and thus could have been more versatile. EG better in the clutch but JC had his moments too. All in all a very close call between them.

  • marsh21

    Not surprising GM's are looking at Sampson. The guy cheated in NCAA but theres no question he can coach his a_s off. He really understands player roles and talent combinations. I knew the pros were going to be good for him.

    He's not fit for the NCAA but perfect for the pros.

  • adam

    I remember telling people JC was going to be a first round draft pick. However, I do not think he is as good of a pro as Gordon. I really like the way Gordon attacks the rim. Also, Gordon has character.

  • Kelin Blab

    I will be happy to discuss this….

    + Offensively Crawford is just as good as EJ, and is a much better ball handler, but defensively there is no comparison. Jordan will be a good pro, maybe a Pacer? Oh wait we are talking about the pacers here….pass on Ty Lawson, Jared Bayless, Jrue Holiday, Eric Maynor, Darren Collison….

    + Kelvin Sampson coaching the Clippers. If it happens I hope EJ either retires immediately or ask for a trade.

    + Kelvin Sampson is a good coach…NOPE …he is a cheater and that is all he will ever be too me. He ruined a season that could have been special with EJ, DJ, and some good pieces around them. So if Sampson found the cure for Cancer, I would be happy for those who are fighting that disease, I would still consider him only a cheater!

  • marsh21

    I hate the guy for what he did to IU. In terms of X's and O's he understands the game and will be a solid pro coach. There is no question in his ability as he's proven it too many times.

    I hate the old administration at IU more than Sampson. They didn't just make one mistake, they made three!

  • HoosierFromCT

    Screw JC and screw the other guy. I refuse to write his name.

  • iulineman

    Hated to see Jordan leave. Was one of my favorites on that team. Will follow his pro career and count him as one of us.

    Nothing good to say about Youknowwho

  • http://twitter.com/IUgrad07 Deon Mitchell

    Kelvin Sampson…Kelvin Sampson

  • Taskmaster75

    Such a shame he had a team consisting of DJ White, a few decent guys, and 75% thugs. Probably alienated him from Indiana after his freshman year.

  • WestCoast Hoosier

    Re: Sampson and pro head coaching positions, I'm sorry, but in my book, honor and integrity are critical to any job. When all is said and done, those are the touchstones.

    I think any program would make a serious mistake in hiring him.

  • GFDave

    Sampson trying to get the attention of pro basketball players is something I'd like to see. Exactly what credibility does he have with them?

  • Southern_Indianas_Finest

    Crawford will not match EJ because he will never match EJ's discipline. As for the denim fool, he can have the NBA. I think he'll get along well with Worldwide Wes and company

  • superhoops

    Gee, yet another article about a former IU player who transferred out and a former coach who cheated at IU. I thought this was Inside the Hall blog about IU basketball. Wasn't too long ago I was told there was no love affair with ex players and this site when the last Crawford article came out. Two months later, another article. Maybe love affair was too strong of a term, but it definitely is fascination. What's the point of the article? To show just how good we could have been and oh my goodness look what got away? How long have they been gone? They cheated remember? Crawford would never have set foot in B'town if the cheater wasn't there. Just a waste of prime IU blogging space when articles on these former players are posted here.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Some of us are just interested to see what these guys are doing… kind of a “where are they now” sort of thing. The good news is, you really can't waste prime blogging space, as it is unlimited. And in other good news, you don't have to read articles that are about former players that you don't care about anymore. Get over it.

  • marcusgresham

    Gordon also played a vast majority of the season with one hand. Not that Crawford didn't show signs that he'd be everything he's become, but I wish EG would have been healthy that whole year.

  • Kelin Blab

    marsh21….this will be a brief disagreement given we both could care less about denim shirt. His coaching ability was questionable to me ever since, our beloved Mike Davis out coached him with less talent in their run to the final 4. Denim shirt coached toughness well, but beyond that I wasn't impressed.

  • Bryan

    Personally, I don't mind hearing about past IU players and coaches, if we'd also see something about the ones that left on better terms. All the Kelvin and the Sampsonites talk gets to be a bit depressing when its the only alumni talk that gets posted.

  • iubase

    Ah, everyone has a voice here so lets agree to disagree. Alex I like this post. I loved Eric at IU and hated the turmoil that ended that season. It hurt IU the most – but also the players. I thought Crawford was hot and cold and too selfish. He had a great game against Kentucky, but he is still inconsistent and I doubt he will stay on in the NBA. Sampson is a frustrating character. 2007 could have been an excellent season and it is hard to compare Sampson's coaching ability to other coaches since he did not finish that season. I personally think they had the tools to make it deep in the NCAAs. Eventhough I despise the fact that he cheated and in so doing destroyed IU hoops for 2-3 yrs I have to go back to the deed. He made too many phone calls. He cheated but also worked non stop to make the program better (in his mind). I think he will do well in the NBA. I do think that he should be left alone – and we will see what this next chapter will turn into. I am a big RMK fan and coaching college means sending the right message to kids. CTC and RMK got this – Sampson did not and the administration should be held culpable for not recognizing this to begin with. This snafu is the whole reason we sit here hoping for a 5 star to show up…

  • marcusgresham

    I can't agree that he should be left alone because he did it, got caught and DID IT AGAIN! That's where the loathing and hatred comes from; not just from cheating but from getting caught, promising you understand you did wrong, then committing the exact same transgression repeatedly.

  • g_bo

    its Gordon with a “G” people not “J”

  • Bryan

    I always felt like Sampson was the guy who somehow got his license revoked after accumulating points from a series of speeding tickets 5 – 10 mph over the limit. It takes a long time to do it, and if you're stupid enough to not change anything over that time, then you deserve your fate.

    While I can't say I'm a fan of Adam Herbert or the rest of the brain dead group that hired a man already on NCAA probation, at some point personal responsibility has to factor into the equation. Sampson had every opportunity to rehabilitate, and chose to repeat his transgressions, and top it by attempting to mislead the compliance department and the NCAA.

  • HoosierDavey

    It's EJ as in Eric Jr.- that's what everyone referred to him as on here

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