INDIANA 55, NORTH ALABAMA 39 (half)
Gordon goes up and slams makes a block on a layup attempt. Though you now you should be watching Gordon all the time, he still has a way of showing up unexpectedly. His athleticism and ability to anticipate puts him in the right position more often than not.
INDIANA 43, NORTH ALABAMA 19 (6:43)
It is not even 14 minutes into the first exhibition game of his career, and already Eric Gordon is showing why he will probably, whenever his career ends, be considered one of the best players ever to play for this storied program.
He has 13 points already, the last four coming on an alley-oop lob off a fast break that he somehow reached and banked off the glass and then a powerful dunk on a break away.
INDIANA 39, NORTH ALABAMA 17 (7:36)
- Eli Holman into the game for the first time, and while he’s certainly showing how raw he is, his mere presence makes a big difference for D.J. White. Holman’s wingspan means that White can roam away from the net a little bit more. It also prevents North Alamaba from flooding the paint as easily for rebounds, meaning a smaller Indiana player such as Armon Bassett can get through there without much trouble and grab his share of rebounds.
INDIANA 27, NORTH ALABAMA 15 (12:46)
- Crawford just threw down a thunderous dunk that caused Lions coach Bobby Champagne, a Sampson assistant at both Washington State and Oklahoma, to call a time out. Gordon had passed the ball ahead to Crawford for a break.
- Crawford hit his first 3-point attempt after being the first player off the bench, replacing Jamarcus Ellis.
- DeAndre Thomas, the 6-8, 295-pound center, was next off the bench and got a rebound and was fouled seconds after entering the game.
INDIANA 14, NORTH ALABAMA 11 (15:41)
- Sampson has gone with the starters all four minutes so far. Eric Gordon, looking as he did at Hoosier Hysteria to be trying hard to impress, got lost defensively after reaching for a steal and his man hit an open shot.
- But then Gordon came down the other way and went through the lane and hit a lay-in. Can’t say that happened many times for this team last year.
- Gordon also hit his first 3-pointer, and has five points.
- Play of the game so far, though, was when D.J. White dove over the camera men, grabbed a ball in midair and saved it to with a perfect pass to Jamarcus Ellis under the basket.
Starting five as expected: Armon Bassett, Eric Gordon, Jamarcus Ellis, Lance Stemler, D.J. White.
So it is Sunday of what has been a surreal week in Indiana sports.
On Tuesday, assistant basketball coach Rob Senderoff was forced to resign for his part in making impermissible phone calls. Later that day, a massive report on those violations was released, touching off more rounds of debate about whether head coach Kelvin Sampson knew what was happening.
Yesterday, the football team became bowl eligible with a 38-20 win against Ball State. But the celebration was tempered by the fact that being 6-6 probably won’t be good enough to actually go to a bowl and achieve late coach Terry Hoeppner’s goal of playing 13 games.
Now, today, Eric Gordon is on the court at Assembly Hall, wearing a jersey and about to start his first game as a Hoosier. Sure, it’s an exhibition game, but after the saga that brought Gordon here, and the ensuing hype after he switched his commitment from Illinois to Indiana, this day seems to have extra significance. You get the feeling that the 10-year-old kids in the audience will tell their 10-year-old kids about it some day.