Evan Gordon, Eric's younger brother, has scored 41 points in his last two games for Indiana.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WDRB) – Eric Gordon rolled into Indiana University six years ago, scored more points than any Hoosier freshman has ever scored and went directly to the National Basketball Association. He currently makes more than $3.8 million per season for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Eron Gordon is the latest greatest in the family, a precocious sophomore at North Central High School in Indianapolis, who is ranked one of the top 30 prospects in his class by one recruiting service. Nobody would be shocked if Eron Gordon also became a $3.8 million man.
Then there is The Other Gordon.
His name is Evan.
He is barely 6 feet, smaller than his older and younger brothers. He isn't as quick or as strong. His jump shot has not stirred NBA scouts to hyperventilate. He has point guard size but off guard skills.
But check the video of the Indiana basketball team. Evan Gordon is becoming more than The Other Gordon. He's becoming The Guy to Watch if the Hoosiers are going to contend in the Big Ten and make another visit to the NCAA Tournament.
Not the star. That will be either Yogi Ferrell, the point guard, or center Noah Vonleh. But over the last two games Gordon has become the essential third option that Indiana needs to keep the double teams from suffocating Ferrell or Vonleh.
After scrambling to score 45 points in IU's first eight games, Gordon has delivered 41 in the Hoosiers' last two, including 26 Tuesday night as the Hoosiers dispatched Oakland, 81-54, in Assembly Hall.
Somebody asked Gordon if he had received a congratulatory text message from big brother. He shook his head.
He'd better check Twitter. This is what his Eric Gordon said after Evan made 10 of 12 shots, including four of five three-point shots for a team that has looked lost from the perimeter:
"My bro @EvanGordon10 is on FIRE!!!!! Man he got me fired up right now."
Gordon embarrassed Oakland coach Greg Kampe – in several ways. One, Kampe designed his scouting report to make the Hoosiers win the game with jump shots. Why not? The Hoosiers started the night ranked last in the Big Ten in three-point shooting, the only team in the league making less than 30 percent of its attempts.
Kampe didn't know Gordon's name. Really. Still doesn't. Really.
"I don't even know who the guy is who made the 20,000 points or whatever he scored," Kampe said. "I couldn't tell you who he was."
This is who Evan Gordon was: A guy who wanted to follow his brother to IU in 2009, but wasn't good enough. So he played two seasons at Liberty University and then transferred to Arizona State, so he could be closer to Eric, who used to play for the Clippers in Los Angeles.
After two seasons in Tempe, Evan Gordon had his degree and was ready to move again. Exit Remy Abell. Enter Evan Gordon. This time he wanted to come home so he could play in front of his parents, little brother and other family members. The degree and the NCAA fifth-year transfer rule made him eligible from the first head fake.
Through the first eight games, Gordon did not look like the guy who averaged 10 points and made nearly 35 percent of his 176 three-point attempts for ASU. He seemed reluctant to shoot -- or attack. He averaged less than six points per game, made one of his first nine threes and did not have any field goals in three different games.
Somebody got the word to Gordon that timid basketball won't work in the Big Ten. Last season IU had three guys who averaged at least a dozen points per game. This team has had two -- Vonleh and Ferrell, and Ferrell has had to handle all the work from outside.
In the last two games – granted against North Florida and Oakland – Gordon has made 17 of 21 shots, including 5 of 7 threes. He has played like a guy who is eager to compete at Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and the other hot spots in this league.
"When your team has confidence in you to make your shot, it gives you confidence," Gordon said.
Tom Crean needs Gordon to play the way he has played the last two games if the Hoosiers are going to defeat Notre Dame in Indianapolis Saturday and win more games than they lose in the Big Ten.
This is why: Other than Ferrell, Gordon has become the only Hoosier you must consistently defend on the perimeter.
"It's important (that Gordon keep shooting well)," Crean said. "But it's going to have to even be more than that is this league … the teams are good.
"It's really, really hard to find things that work offensively when the other team knows that somebody can't shoot, OK, or is not making shots."
Evan Gordon has been making shots the last two times Indiana has played. He's becoming more than The Other Gordon. Opposing teams would be wise to remember his name.