Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at the expectations that Derrick Gordon has following a season of hype during his redshirt year as a transfer student.
The guy sitting out always seems to take on mythic status.
Reports and rumors always had Gary Forbes, Luke Bonner, Rashaun Freeman, Shannon Crooks, Donta Bright and Chaz Williams dominating practice or pickup games the year before each was eligible to suit up.
The latest sitting-out standout was Derrick Gordon. The combo guard from New Jersey drew rave reviews for his practice play last year as he sat out under NCAA rules after transferring from Western Kentucky, where he led the Hilltoppers in scoring and rebounding en route to the NCAA tournament. His addition to an already strong nucleus has helped feed UMass' high expectations.
"It's hard to put expectations on a guy who's sat out a year. I think there's going to be some rust," said UMass coach Derek Kellogg, who was the source of some of last year's raves about Gordon's practice. "But I expect him to be a guy that helps us win. He has an opportunity to be in the starting lineup and get integrated into a good team and good program. I expect him to be a guy that comes every day and competes at a high level, puts the ball in the basket in transition, gets to the free throw line quite a bit and comes up with those big game-winning plays."
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