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Kansas State Basketball: Dajuan Gordon Into the Portal

One of K-State’s more promising scoring options was sucked into the portal today.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Texas Christian Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State announced today that Dajuan Gordon will seek his basketball fortunes outside of Manhattan, Kansas (more on Rudi Williams later).

Not going to lie, this one hurts, because Gordon is one of the more talented players on the roster. The former 4* guard out of Chicago has been equal parts tantalizing and frustrating during his two years at K-State. Gordon averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists and averaged 28.6 minutes a game in the 2020/2021 season. He stated in 33 games games over his two years in the program.

I’m not sure where he’s going to go that allows him to play a larger role than he was asked to play this season. Gordon’s issue this year was consistency more than anything else. Looking at his scoring output, and his uncanny ability to follow up a double digit scoring game with a no-show game was only consistent part of his game. He was 3rd on the team in shots attempted, and seemed to have the greenlight all year.

One under appreciated aspect of his game was his knack for rebounding from the guard position. It isn’t often that you see a wing lead a team in total rebounds, but that’s exactly what Gordon did last season. He played hard for the Wildcats, and wasn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint against bigger opponents.

Impact on Program

This transfer answered one of my big questions heading into next season. How do you get Gordon and Miguel on the court at the same time at the 2 and 3, when neither guy can shoot?

The answer is, you don’t.

Modern basketball is all about spacing and if your wings can’t shoot, you won’t find an inch of space inside the arc. Gordon shot 21% from 3 last season and Miguel shot 22%. One of the two needed to make a huge jump in shooting next year if they had designs on being on the court at the same time.

I think Gordon is more polished as a basketball player, but Miguel is the better athlete of the pair (and that’s saying a lot because Gordon is a great athlete in his own right). I would have loved K-State to hold onto both Miguel and Gordon, but if one has to go, I prefer Miguel’s long term potential on both sides of the court.

Losing Gordon hurts, but having Miguel on board softens the blow substantially.

What’s Next?

The transfer portal is bursting at the seams, and Gordon transferring doesn’t change the shopping list for Bruce. He needed more shooting at the 2 and 4 yesterday, and he needs more shooting at the 2 and 4 today. If anything, Gordon leaving makes K-State a more attractive destination for a 2 guard or shooting point guard looking to make an immediate impact on a roster.

It’s hard to pinpoint any specific players at the moment, because the portal is constantly in flux, but hey, give me a Marcus Carr (star Minnesota guard who just hit the portal) and Nijel Pack backcourt in 2021/2022 and I’ll be happy.

If you’re going to wish for players, you may as well wish big.