Right or wrong - when a man gives his word it should mean something. In today's world good people still try to give it, but others for some reason don't respect them. Eric Gordon gave Head Illini Coach Bruce Weber his verbal commitment and Illini fans nation-wide are still smiling. But for some reason, other coaches feel the need to "pursue" Gordon. "When I made the statement that I would listen to Indiana, the entire situation was blown way out of proportion. I've had a number of coaches call because of it, but I'm going to Illinois," said Gordon.
Recently there've been many articles written about Gordon and his great play and comments. "I just don't pay much attention to any of that stuff. I just go out and play," he added. The problem with all of this is - why do coaches call other players when a kid makes a decision? It's wrong, no matter how you look at it. Regardless of how good or great your program is, was or will be, no one will get the best players every single time. Illini fans remember Richard Keene and Jarrod Gee, both Illinois players that decided to play for former Head Coach Lou Henson. Well, imagine how Duke felt. But their mentality is that you go out and get the next one. Not once did you hear rumors of Coach K calling and making those two players feel uncomfortable about their decisions. These athletes are KIDS, who've been blessed with a great talent to play basketball. Some people get upset when "kid" athletes have a change of heart or have a tough time picking the right school. Gordon picked Illinois because he wanted to play for Bruce Weber, the academics, the fans and the fact that Weber has proven he can prepare guys for the next level. Recently Utah Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan stated that the players from Illinois understand the game and are prepared when they come into the league.
One would think the pressure would be getting to Gordon; but it's not. "No, it's not bothering me at all. I hear people tell me all the time that I may be the best recruit at Illinois or one of the best in the Big Ten. I know I have to go out there and play hard each time out; that's what matters. I've been told that my rankings are going up also because of my play. Usually, if you want to be ranked #1 or #2 in the country your team has to win a tournament like the one coming up in Las Vegas this weekend. But I just want to play."
Bottom line if this - Gordon is a high school star right now and I certainly understand why every school in the country would love to see him play for them. But have some pride and respect the kid and his family. He picked his college and he and his family know it was the best decision. So chalk him up as a lost recruit and go get the next one, because Eric plans to attend the University of Illinois.