For Former Mississippi State Bulldogs, The Dream Persists

Libor JanyContributor IDecember 16, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 09:  Jamont Gordon #44 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs drives for a shot attempt against Tarence Kinsey #21 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during Day 1 of the SEC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament March 9, 2006 at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Former Bulldogs' star Jamont Gordon scored a career-high 19 points, but Cibona was still trampled 80-66 on Dec. 10 by a dynamic Regal Barcelona team, which features Ricky Rubio and Juan Carlos Navarro, and ex-Maryland standout Terence Williams.

Gordon added seven rebounds (also a career high), two assists, and just one turnover (while helping hold the enigmatic Rubio to just four points), in a performance that was reminiscent of his days in Starkville.

The 22-year-old guard has played well for Cibona, leading the team with 10.4 points and 3.6 assists per game.

Reminiscent of his all-around dominance during his days in Starkville, Gordon is also averaging four rebounds and 2.1 steals per game, while leading the team in blocks.

Which makes it all the more perplexing that he is even in Croatia (Gordon signed with Cibona following a season in Italy with Fortitudo Bologna).

His 6-foot-4 frame accommodates a striking blend of strength and quickness, allowing him to drive to the basket with relative impunity. Gordon is also a competent defender and an above-average rebounder.

Then why did NBA teams pass on him in the 2008 draft, forcing him to join the exodus of undrafted, rejected players to play in Europe?

Some scouts weren't sold on his erratic outside shot or lack of explosiveness, and labeled him a project , according to DraftExpress.

Still, he has played well against periphery-NBA talent (not to mention former lottery pick Rubio), and a Stateside team will come calling soon.

Here's how several other former Bulldogs fared last week, both here and abroad:



Mario Austin, F/C, Meridiano Alicante (ACB): Finished with 11 points and three rebounds in 102-100 loss to Lagun Aro GBC on Dec. 13.

He is averaging 11.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game in Spain’s top premier league.

Timmy Bowers, G, Pepsi JuveCaserta (Lega Basket Serie A):  Scored six points in 35 minutes, adding 3 rebounds and 3 assists in a 72-70 win over Benetton Treviso on Dec. 13. 

Bowers is averaging 14.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game for JuveCaserta this season.

Erick Dampier, C, Dallas Mavericks (NBA):  Had eight points, eight rebounds, and four turnovers in 94-90 win over New Orleans on Dec. 14; 14 points and 18 rebounds in 98-97 win over Charlotte on Dec. 12; 20 points and 17 rebounds in 106-93 win over Miami on Dec. 11; One rebound in 7 minutes in 102-101 win over Phoenix Dec. 8. 

For the season, Dampier is averaging 8.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, and  2.1 blocks per game.

Lawrence Roberts, F, Partizan (Serbian, Adriatic, Euroleague):  Had six points and three assists, both career highs in win over Efes Pilsen on Dec. 10. 

Roberts is averaging 6.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists overall.



Monta Ellis, G, Golden State Warriors (NBA):  Had eight points and two points in 117-101 loss to Philadelphia on Dec. 14; 29 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in 104-95 loss to Detroit on Dec. 12; 27 points, six rebounds, and five assists in 96-91 loss to Chicago on Dec. 11; 18 points, four rebounds, and eight assists in 105-89 win over New Jersey on Dec. 9. 

He is averaging 24 points, five assists and 4.3 rebounds per game for the Warriors this season.

Travis Outlaw, F, Portland Trailblazers (NBA):  Was out while recovering from a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal  in his foot. Last played in a Nov. 14 win over Charlotte. 

Before going down, he was averaging 9.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game.