Eric Gordon told the Indianapolis Star on Thursday that drug use was so bad among his Indiana Hoosiers teammates last season that he decided to live off campus to get away from it.
Gordon returns to play a game in his home state on Friday for the first time since he played for Indiana as a freshman last season, when he led the Big Ten in scoring and helped the Hoosiers to a 17-1 start. But the team finished the season 8-7, including one-and-out losses in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments. Head coach Kelvin Sampson was forced out in February, eventually accepting a $750,000 buyout.
The whole season was a house of cards from the beginning, says Gordon, who now plays for the Los Angeles Clippers.
"It was the guys that were doing drugs that were separate," Gordon told The Indianapolis Star. "Sometimes it felt like it wasn't even a real basketball team because of all the turmoil that went on. I was just thinking about that the other day. It was so crazy that all that stuff threw off a good season and made it a waste, basically.
"It was really tough for us to be around each other all the time off the court because we were so separate."
Gordon didn't say which players used drugs, but he said D.J. White and two others still on the team were among those who did not. Attempts to reach White and several other former players were not successful.
Gordon said Sampson "tried to stop it," but the coach "was just so focused on basketball and winning and everything."
Gordon himself could be immature at times; that's something I've noticed just by watching him play. (Why not jack up another 3-pointer four feet behind the line? Oh, and cutting to the basket and setting screens to get others open is for suckers). And according to one blogger who attended IU last year, Gordon was somewhat notorious for missing class. AJ Shea, from Bleacher Report:
Yes, I actually attend IU and had plenty of friends who had classes with Gordon and said he would rarely show up.
So Gordon is presumably saying that the drug use didn't involve him; even though his scoring and field goal percentage numbers went into dramatic freefall during the second half of the season.
It didn't take long for things to go to hell once Bobby Knight was removed, eh? Can you imagine something like this happening while he was in charge? He may have been a dictator, but players went to class and the trains ran on time.
Now We Know Why IU Was Recruiting Bud Mackey: His Stash [Rush The Court]
Gordon: Drug Use Wrecked IU Season [Indianapolis Star]