Star Freshman Says Coaching Changes Didn't Affect Decision
6:30 AM, Apr 7, 2008
Indiana University guard Eric Gordon confirmed Monday what had been expected for days: that he'll forgo his three remaining years of collegiate eligibility to enter the NBA draft.Gordon, this year's Big Ten freshman basketball player of the year and a CBSSports.com first-team All-American, announced at the Jewish Community Center that he would hire an agent, which would make him ineligible to play again for the Hoosiers.Gordon said the team's recent coaching changes had nothing to do with his decision. IU last week hired Tom Crean from Marquette to replace Kelvin Sampson, who resigned in February after the NCAA alleged he committed major rules violations."For (Crean) to come here, it's just big for Indiana," said Gordon, who averaged 20.9 points per game this year for IU. "I just had a couple of weeks to really think about this after the season, and now I have to say it's the right time to do it."Crean and two IU assistant coaches attended Monday's announcement. Assistant coach Jeff Meyer spoke before the player did, saying Gordon has displayed grace, class, responsibility and excellence at IU.Crean said after the news conference that he understood Gordon's decision."He's an outstanding player, obviously. Who wouldn't want to coach him? But if he's got an opportunity to play at the next level and go as high as the where the projections are, who could fault anybody for that?" Crean said.Eric Gordon's father, also named Eric Gordon, said his son "is in the right position to reach his dream.""He wanted to compete at the highest level, and he'll have the opportunity to do that," the father said.Sources who said they were familiar with Gordon's decision told 6Sports last week that the standout freshman was going to declare for the June 26 NBA draft.IU's season ended in March with a first-round NCAA tournament loss.Gordon graduated from Indianapolis' North Central High School last year.