Indiana’s head basketball coach, Tom Crean, has been in the news the last couple of days after he reportedly offered a basketball scholarship to an eighth grader.
And now it turns out that other major college programs such as Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Xavier, and Wisconsin have also started to recruit the wonder kid.
His name is Eron Gordon. He’s 6’1″ tall and has a lineage that is impressive, since his father was a stand-out college player and his oldest brother, Eric Gordon Jr., plays in the NBA. Eron has drawn all this attention because he has been burning up the AAU circuit, playing up a year on a team named after his brother.
But there is another hoops-addicted brother – and that’s the seed of this story.
Herb Sendek, the Arizona State head coach, may be way ahead of his coaching brethren on this one. The sixth-year head coach snagged Eron’s other brother, Evan, who will be eligible to play in the 2013/14 season after transferring in from Liberty University.
Evan Gordon also has game. He was one of two players who started every game last season and led the Liberty Flames in scoring with 14.4 points a game. His play was one of the main reasons a small college in Lynchburg, Va., was able to average nearly 3,000 fans for their home games.
Liberty is a Division I school, a Christian university founded by Jerry Falwell, with about 12,000 on-campus students. The Flames play in the Big South, where they finished 13-5 last season.
With a little hard work over the next year, the 6’3″ guard could be a contributor for the Sun Devils during the two years of eligibility he has left.
OK, so think this through to find out what a slick move this was by Sendek.
Even though brother Evan won’t be on the floor this coming season, don’t think the family won’t be following the team, catching as many televised ASU games as possible.
And what are the chances young Eron will be at least an occasional visitor to the Tempe campus to visit his brother. Which means he will not only get the tour of an impressive campus, but be exposed to the athletic facilities as well. His big bro will fill him in on the Sun Devil lore.
Don’t think that won’t make some kind of impact on an impressionable youngster. And, if he doesn’t make his visits during the summer months, he will think Tempe’s weather is paradise. (Can Tom Crean match that?)
Finally, consider that big brother won’t be departing the basketball program until three years down the road. Eron will be a high school junior by that time – just when he will be encouraged to make a decision on where he will play next.
Now, Sendek just has to get his sagging program back up to speed before then, back to the 20-win seasons he was producing when he first arrived at ASU in 2006 from North Carolina State.
If he can do that, and Eron winds up donning the maroon and gold, Sendek not only becomes a great coach again – but a recruiting genius.
(Photo: ASU Athletics)