IU Insider Blog: The Gordon difference

Is the Evan Gordon we have seen the last two games the real deal or is this just a flash in the pan? Here is my take on that subject.

So are we beginning to see Evan Gordon the way he'll play from this point forward, including Big Ten play, or is it an unfair expectation to place upon the fifth-year senior?

That seems to be the big question after the way Gordon has played the last two games.

He had 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field Saturday against North Florida. He followed that up with 26 points Tuesday night against Oakland on 10-of-12 shooting from the field. The last Indiana player to make 10 field goals in a game was Cody Zeller.

Gordon has made 17 of his last 21 shots from the field.

Now I'll admit I was of the opinion coming into the season that Gordon was a player who was going to be consistent contributor. I expected him to score double figures every game and really help the Hoosiers especially from the perimeter.

In the first eight games, I was thinking my expectations may have been too high. He was one for his first nine 3-point attempts. He was 12-of-30 from the field. I was beginning to think that maybe his best years had been at Liberty or Arizona State.

And then came the last two games. Now I'm not sure what to expect.

I'll tell you this: If Gordon can play at a high level into the Big Ten season and knock down open shots, I think that could be worth two or more wins for Indiana in Big Ten play.

This is a team that has not excelled at all from the perimeter. I say that but the last two games have been better. But one of the reasons it has been better is that Gordon is consistently hitting shots.

You just have to wonder what a guy like that would have done had he played four years at Indiana. Tom Crean has said over and over that one of the reasons they brought Gordon in was that they saw a lot of improvement that could still be made in his game.

They believed in his case that you could still teach an old dog new tricks.

The last two games it's easy to see what the coaching staff was talking about. Gordon has 41 points the last two games. But the fact that he had 45 in the first eight games makes you not sure if this is the norm or just a flash in the pan.

I think a lot of Gordon's success has to do with confidence. If he knows his teammates trust him and believe in him and know that he can make plays, he's going to be that player. If he doubts that's the case, then I think he plays more like he did in the first eight games.

Myself, I really like the energy and hustle he is exerting on the defensive end. I think the fact that he gets out on the break and pushes the ball and attacks the basket has a lot to do with the energy he is acquiring from the defensive end.

So is Gordon the player he has shown the last two games or is this just a flash in the pan?

Unfortunately our sample size is too low at the moment. But I think the next three games, beginning with Notre Dame on Saturday in Indianapolis, should give us a much better feel for what to expect from Gordon moving forward.

I like his chances.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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