A very good sign that your program is heading in the right direction is when highly touted transfer students commit to play for the Minutemen, and that's precisely what happened this past week when Western Kentucky stud Derrick Gordon committed to UMass following his decision to transfer after the Hilltoppers made a coaching change after a disappointing 16-19 season
Gordon started every game for Western Kentucky last season leading the team is scoring (11.8 PPG), rebounds (6.7 RPG), minutes (33.3 MPG) and finishing second in assists. Now would probably be a good time to mention that Gordon did all of this as a true freshman.
You read that last part correct, and it's the most important part of the equation. The 6'3 combo guard
who was by far the standout star on the Western Kentucky team last year will sit out the 2012-2013 season and then have three years of eligibility remaining when he joins, what will likely be a stacked 2013-2014 Minutemen squad.
Gordon was a 4-star recruit when he committed to Western Kentucky in 2009, the highest rated recruit to ever commit to Western Kentucky, and his departure is devastating for the Hilltoppers. However, their loss is our gain as Gordon will have a full year to learn the UMass system and then we will have the 4 star recruit joining a very talented senior laden 2013 squad that hopefully will be coming off an NCAA tournament run of their own in 2012-2013.
Coach Kellogg obviously deserves a ton of credit for this transfer as Gordon himself mentioned that Kellogg was ultimately the selling point for coming to UMass. "My relationship with Coach Kellogg was huge," Gordon said. "He's so down to earth and I felt like I could talk to him about more than just basketball."
"It was a hard decision for me, but I went with my heart," he added. "I think it's a terrific fit for me and I think we have a chance to be very good. They play the perfect style for me -- run and gun, pressing and a lot of pick and rolls."
The newest Minutemen, Derrick GordonObviously the anticipation for the 2012-2013 season is very high after the NIT Final Four run this past season, but it's never too early to feel great about the future of this program, and it reminds you as a fan that this Coach has created a program that isn't only focused on winning now, they're focused on winning for a long time to come.