View from C Section

Boom goes the dynamite. The day that many fans had been fearing would happen, did. Eric Gordon committed to Indiana on Friday the 13th. It sucks, but hopefully we can all forget it come tomorrow. But tonight is a night of hand wringing, and heavy alcohol consumption.

When I woke up on Friday morning, I thought that my day was going to be a good one. I was going to be leaving the small Tennessee town (yes, one that didn't have a single bar) I was working in for the week, and arrive back in Chicago. Unfortunately, before I packed up everything in my hotel room for the morning, I decided to take a quick glance at the Internet to check my e-mail, and there it was. On a day that I should have been rejoicing because I was leaving Tennessee, I just had one thought, "well #%@!."

Had I never checked the Internet before leaving the hotel room to get on the airplane, I never would have spent the better part of Friday afternoon sitting in the St. Louis airport browsing the Internet on my phone to see the latest crazy ramblings from jilted Illinois fans. Now, I don't deny any one the right to be upset, but I knew that today would be an especially fun day for the IlliniBoard moderators, and I was going to be doing moderation of the site from a cell phone (You have never moderated a web site until you have attempted to do it from a Treo. Let me tell you, that is not what any one would consider a fun experience).

Was the news that Eric Gordon has decided to go to Indiana unexpected? Not in the least.

Did I still think when all was said and done that Eric Gordon was going to come to Illinois? Yes, but that was based on a gut instinct and probably just hope. I had read the writing on the wall for the last five months, but despite all of that evidence, I still thought the decision would come down to Illinois. In the typical head (Illinois) versus heart (Indiana) decision, I had hoped the head would win out. Unfortunately for Illinois fans, but fortunately for Indiana fans, the heart won out, and Eric Gordon will be donning the crimson and cream of the Indiana Hoosiers for his college career.

What does this decision mean to the Illinois Basketball program? Unfortunately, a lot. Eric Gordon deciding to attend Indiana just puts the Illinois program, and Bruce Weber in a big bind. Gordon was supposed to be the cornerstone of the Illinois Class of 2007, and now he will not be attending Illinois. The big knock against Bruce Weber since the day he took the job at Illinois was that he couldn't recruit to keep the program as a National Championship contender, and that the run to the Final Four in 2005 was all done with Bill Self's recruits. Now, when you add the loss of Eric Gordon (a player that had already committed to Illinois), to the previous recruiting losses, it is tough to dispel the common held belief.

Now, Illinois' Class of 2007 contains three players (Bill Cole, Demitri McCamey, and Mike Tisdale), and two open scholarships. The question of where Illinois will go from here with the final two rides is still up in the air, but now the staff will be scrambling. They don't have another choice.

With Eric Gordon, the Illini would have been a contender for the Final Four in 2008, without, they are not.

It's tough, and Bruce Weber has to be pissed off right now, but the decision process is over, and Weber doesn't have time to feel sorry for himself, his team starts practice tonight.

Yep, that's right, this morning sucked. But tonight is all about the celebration of the start of a new season (the 102nd) of Illinois basketball. Entourage's Jeremy Piven will be in Champaign to emcee the festivities, and kick off the new season as Illinois looks to start another successful Big Ten campaign.

Illini fans, let's hug it out bitches, and move on to this team on the court now. There are thirteen players that are right now (this was written at 6:30 on Friday night) that are very nervous because their season is starting in just under three hours, and they deserve the support of the fans.

Illini Inquirer Top Stories