2018 Gordon Primed to Break Out

St. Louis freshman Carte'Are Gordon is already drawing plenty of attention, and for good reason.

St. Louis is one of the growing hotbeds for basketball talent in the country. The 2016 class is stellar with the likes of Jayson Tatum, Tyler Cook, and Xavier Snead, all of which have drawn serious interest from Illinois. The next star in the line is looking like Vianney freshman power forward Carte’Are Gordon.

Gordon is a big-bodied 6’7” post that plays physically on the block, carving out deep post position and being the aggressive in the paint. The freshman has several developed post moves including a hook shot and a variety of power options that he can go to when looking to score.

His combination of size, quickness, and nimble footwork make him a tough cover down low. He has great hands, grabbing tough passes in traffic and a soft touch around the hoop.

The big man is a plus athlete for his size. Gordon has quickness facing up from the mid-range and has shown the ability to handle the ball even bringing it up several times a game in designed plays. His athleticism is further shown in his ability to run the floor extremely well for his size. The 2018 prospect passes it well out of the post when double teamed. On the defensive end he has good timing as a shot blocker and is a presence in the lane keeping guards and post out of the paint.

IlliniPlaybook spoke with the talented power forward about his freshman season of high school basketball.

“We have played some really good teams and players in Michael Porter, Jayson Tatum, Tyler Cook and all the best teams in the state," Gordon said. "Schools like Webster Groves, Hazelwood Central, Chaminade. We are getting better. We have overcome a few bumps, but we are getting better each day at practice. Early in this season it was my first year of high school basketball so I had to get used to it. After I got used to it I feel like my team helped me do well.”

Gordon admitted that the transition from grade school to high school was tough, but said his experiences last summer helped ease the learning curve.

“It was big, but what helped a lot was my 8th grade year I played with the Southwest Illinois Jets," he said. "I played up 17U with those guys. Playing with them over the summer and playing with USA Basketball helped me out a lot. I have to play smarter and improve my moves because know I am playing against kids bigger and better than me.”

The Vianney standout described his game and how he likes to operate on the floor.

“I like to help my team out," he emphasized. "I like to get to the basket. Anytime I am in the post I am going to try to score the best I can. I like to get boards, score a lot, and pass to the open man.”

He has heard from a quite a few high major programs early on, including the Illini.

“The recruiting process is going well," he said. I have interest from SLU, Stanford, Notre Dame, Purdue, Illinois, and Mizzou.”

Illinois is a program that has been out to see him play this year and has been recruiting him from day one.

“I know they are showing a lot of interest," Gordon said of the Illini. "They invited me to the Braggin’ Rights game. I have heard from them a little bit. They have been telling me they like the way I play. Hopefully in a couple years they want me to be a part of their program.”

What stood out when he watched the Illini during the Braggin’ Rights Game against Mizzou?

“I like how Illinois plays," he said. "They are a real tough team. They go after it. They have high motors and never stop. They keep going and going.”

He says he plans to visit the two programs he watched at Scottrade Center in the near future.

“A lot of visits are coming up," he said. "I am probably going to be visiting Mizzou and Illinois soon.”

Gordon, unlike many prospects, denies having a "dream school".

“Not any specific school," he said. "I just want to go to a school with a good coach who makes all his players play hard like my high school coach.”

He currently doesn’t hold any offers, but it would not be a surprise at all to see them start rolling in this spring.


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