February 10, 2011

Gordon feeling right at home with decision to go to UNM

In just 15 games, Drew Gordon has become a fixture who Lobo basketball fans have started taking for granted.

Drew had a double-double Wednesday night against Wyoming with 18 rebounds and 16 points as UNM won for the fourth time in the a row. Gordon has scored in double figures in 12 of his 15 games. Nine times he has finished with a double-double.

That's pretty good for a junior transfer who sat out a year after leaving UCLA. He was a spectator as the Lobos won 30 games last season and went to the second round of the NCAA tournament. He was in street clothes until late December of this season when he finally became eligible.

"I'm pretty comfortable now,'' says Gordon. "It's been a long time coming. That year was probably the most stressful year of my life. I feel right at home here. I've always felt welcome. It took some time for me to feel at-home.''

Like in all major decisions, Gordon had moments when he wasn't certain.

"I had a few doubts right when I first got here. You don't get a lot of second chances like I did. I have no doubts now. I'm happy I came,'' Gordon states.

And the Lobos are glad -- very glad -- to have him. He is Mr. Inside, the top post player, the go-to guy in the paint.

"I'm expecting a lot out of myself. I'm my own worst critic. I don't care what people expect from me, I'm expecting more from myself,'' Gordon notes.

Wednesday's game at times resembled a wrestling match. "I love it when it is loosely called,'' Gordon admits. "The refs did a great job. That's the way I like to play.''

At the same time, the 6-foot-9 San Jose, Calif., native has a unique finesse. He sees the floor well, looking for passes. He had nine offensive rebounds against the Cowboys. That was two more than Wyoming had as a team.

"Offensive rebounds are something that don't come easily,'' Gordon points out. "Something like that is huge.''

In preseason votes, Gordon was picked to be the newcomer of the year in the Mountain West Conference. He is living up to those expectations. He very close to averaging a very rare double-double at 12.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

Gordon has become the most consistent player on UNM's roster. While others such as Tony Snell or Philip McDonald or Kendall Williams have good games and bad games, Gordon has had nothing but good games.

"Drew is playing at a high level and we need him to continue playing at a high level,'' says UNM coach Steve Alford.

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