To know Eric Gordon’s full basketball repertoire, it’s best to go back to the beginning.
February 1, 2007.
That night, Gordon, inside North Central High School’s gym and an introduction to the big stage via an ESPN2 broadcast, cast a spell on Marcus and Jeffrey Jordan. Forty-three points on 17-of-25 shooting. A dominant, dizzying performance. Power and control at the rim. Range for days.
Gordon was often brilliant during his one-and-done, 2007-08 season in Bloomington before a wrist injury marred him in a shooting slump to end the year.
He led the Big Ten in scoring at 20.9 points per game. The league named him freshman of the year and granted him a spot on the first team all-conference.
He was too good for high school. Too good for college.
It was time for the NBA.
As the No. 7 pick in the 2008 draft, Gordon played well his rookie season. He started 65 games for Mike Dunleavy, averaged 16.1 points and hit an impressive 38.9 percent from three.
The Clippers finished 19-63.
In 2009-10, Gordon stayed the course: 16.9 points per game, 37.1 percent from three.
The Clippers finished 29-53.
So far, so good enough.
After two years, Gordon proved to be a good shooter that drew fouls at a strong rate, but wasn’t quite attacking the way he’d shown he was capable of in high school and college — his jaw-dropping power had gone underutilized.
Mitch McGary’s move to Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., from Chesterton High School was made with one focus in mind: academics.
The 6-foot-11, 255-pound forward says the atmosphere at Brewster, a private, preparatory boarding school, is helping him make significant strides in the classroom, where he’s currently receiving all A’s and B’s.
“I like the school a lot more than my old school,” McGary told Inside the Hall on Tuesday evening. “It’s a lot more structured. The teachers are more willing to help. The student-teacher ratio is 6-to-1. They want you to succeed.”
Being away from home is another plus, McGary said, because he’s preparing for life at college.
“I kind of like being on my own,” he said. “It makes me more responsible and (have to) make decisions on my own.”
The Indiana native is also reaping benefits on the court, where he’s playing against a more aggressive schedule than he saw at Chesterton.
“Competition is like another level up here. It’s pretty much like college ball,” McGary said. “We actually play some junior college teams. It’s a lot different. It’s a lot faster and a higher tempo.”
His game, he said, continues to develop on the perimeter as well as in the weight room. His future in college may not be solely as a post player despite his near 7-foot frame.
“I’ve been working on my 3-point shot a lot,” he explained. “Over the summer, that’s all I did. I just need to work on my handles, and I’ve been working on my strength a lot. I’m not really an inside guy. I’m more of a four and a face-up guy. I can also guard smaller forwards because I’m quick on my feet.”
The Inside the Hall Twitter mailbag is a weekly collection of questions tweeted to us via our Twitter account, @insidethehall.
Tweet us your questions each week and we’ll answer as many as we can. Now, onward …
@mattresch writes: With Michel out and the scholarship open, is there a new target in the 2011 class Crean is likely to go after?
Alex Bozich: There’s not a new target that immediately comes to mind, but remember this: Tom Crean never stops recruiting. That is a fact. The Michel scholarship being freed up is a little complicated because if IU takes another 2011 recruit, it will affect the 2012 class and beyond. But if Crean identifies a player that fits in with the program, he’s going to do what he can to bring that player to Bloomington. I think the Michel recruitment proved that, even though it didn’t work out as IU hoped it would. Since the Hoosiers won’t technically be able to sign another 2011 recruit until the spring signing period, this is likely something that’s going to take time to develop.
@nickmryan07 writes: With UK coming up, what can IU do to avoid the slow start? The best way to rattle a young team is a quick start!
Ryan Corazza: Find its rhythm on offense immediately. Against Boston College and a few of its lesser talented foes, Indiana’s offense has been ugly early. Of course, defense is not to be overlooked. But grabbing some early confidence on the offense end to start should help them in a tough road environment. Establishing Christian Watford from the onset wouldn’t hurt either.
Alex Bozich: Another day, another Michael Chandler question. I’m not a percentages guy, but the chances don’t seem to be very good. Chandler, for those unfamiliar with him, has rescinded verbal commitments to both Louisville and Xavier and is now back on the board. Since he’s from Indianapolis and has stated that Indiana is recruiting him, the buzz has continued on the possibility that he could join the 2011 class. He was once a five-star recruit, but has fallen considerably in the national rankings. At 6-foot-10 and a shade over 225 pounds, Chandler would provide a legitimate post presence to compliment Cody Zeller, but his academics have been talked about as a potential hurdle to overcome. He’s certainly a talented prospect, but at the end of the day, does the risk outweigh the reward? That’s a question the IU coaching staff will have to answer.
For the first time since the signing of Cody Zeller and the commitments of Hanner Perea and Yogi Ferrell, Inside the Hall has updated its 2011 and 2012 recruiting boards with the latest information on both classes.
Check out an in-depth look at both classes at the links below:
Throughout the season, Inside the Hall will keep you posted on how 2011 signees Austin Etherington and Cody Zeller, IU’s seven verbal commitments and other notable prospects with interest in the Hoosiers, are performing at their respective schools.
+ Austin Etherington (Hamilton Heights): Twenty-two points and 11 rebounds in 76-58 win at Guerin Catholic on Dec. 4. (Etherington’s younger brother, sophomore Alex, scored 31.)
+ Cody Zeller (Washington): Thirty points (13-of-18 from the field), 13 rebounds and three blocks in a 54-53 upset loss at Evansville Central on Dec. 3. The Hatchets, led by 33 points from Zeller, bounced back with a comfortable 58-43 win at North Daviess on Dec. 4.
+ Michael Chandler (Lawrence North): Thirteen points in a 74-53 win at Terre Haute South on Dec. 3. 19 points in a 68-52 win over Marion on Dec. 4.
Joe Eberhardt is a high school sports blogger and regular contributor to Inside the Hall. You can follow him on twitter at @IndyHSHoops and read his blog,IndyHSHoops.com.
Following Cathedral’s 68-65 win at Broad Ripple on Saturday, I caught up with Collin Hartman to talk about a variety of things, including his play over the weekend against Ron Patterson and Devin Davis, his recent commitment to IU and also the direction of the IU program. Watch and listen to Hartman’s comments in the embedded media player after the jump.