When we last saw Alex "Red" Gordon in Nashville, he was agonizingly passing up a last second 3 pointer to give Shan Foster a chance to single-handedly break Mississippi St. on Senior Night in 2008. So where did the cocksure shooter end up after four solid years at Vandy?Alex Gordon came into Vanderbilt standing 5'10" and completely unafraid to shoot. A sufficient point guard who was mentally disposed to play the 2, he was Vandy basketball's version of Rex Grossman - he didn't care about the consequences, he was going to shoot from wherever the hell he felt like. One game against Auburn, he played the entire second half with his eyes closed, increasing his FG% on the season by 3 percent*. If Gordon had the ball on the perimeter, he was probably going to shoot it - it didn't matter if he was double covered, at half court, or traveling at the time. Gordon made it particularly clear what he was going to do on the court - he had more 3-pt attempts than rebounds and assists combined his senior year - but was still proficient in doing it.
Alex Gordon, in a rare moment of not shooting or yelling. Via img2.blogcu.com
His style fit into Coach Stallings' system of perimeter shooters, jacking up 6 3-pt attempts per game by the time he was a senior. Make or miss (and he made 3s at a solid clip, 38% for his career), Gordon brought the swagger to a team full of quiet leaders. His preening, fist pumping, and yelling ("I am Alex F***ing Gordon!") brought energy to Memorial Gym in the midst of an undefeated 2007-2008 home season.
So where is he now?
Too small to play SG in the pros, and without the playmaking ability to move to the point full time, Alex Gordon transitioned to the Turkish Basketball League (TBL), where his shooting ability and style of play was instantly successful. In his first season with Oyak Renault, he finished as the league's second highest scorer, pouring in 20.8 points per game. So what brought on this scoring burst? Had he made major adjustments in his game? Well...
|4/25/2009||Oyak Renault Bursa||Karsiyaka||43||33||4-10||
|5/1/2009||Oyak Renault Bursa||TED Koleji||35||24||0-2||
|5/9/2009||Oyak Renault Bursa||Kepez Bld||39||26||3-7||
This shows Gordon's last three games of the 2008-09 season. The numbers in bold are his 3-pt figures. For the season, he averaged over 11 3-pt attempts per game, including an 0-8 night. The statistics on how many times he pounded his chest and screamed obscenities at other players, sadly, are inconclusive. His statistics also show a newfound propensity to drive to the basket, as evidenced by some high free throw totals.
For the 2009-2010 season, Gordon started off with Kepez Belediyespor before undisclosed financial issues with the team led him to hold himself from practice after six moderately successful games. Despite claiming that he had no desire to leave the team, his contract was purchased by another TBL team, Erdemispor Belediyesi, who play at a home court that seats 2,500 and whose complex name will likely confuse Gordon as he pops his jersey and attempts to rep his team after drilling a half-court shot. Check out his Eurobasket profile here.
*At least this is how I remember it. May be apocryphal.