Travis Ford Not 'Caught Off Guard' by Gordon's Decision to Leave SLU

Gordon has been considered SLU's best recruit since former NBA player Larry Hughes.

January 03, 2019 - 8:25 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) updated with comments from coach Travis Ford -  Saint Louis University head coach Travis Ford says there weren't any warning signs of the requested scholarship release by freshman forward Carte'Are Gordon, Thursday. The Billikens head coach spoke to media just a few hours after the consensus top-100 recruit was granted his release by the university.

"I just think maybe he wanted a change of scenery, go experience something else whether that be college or professionally," Ford says. "I wouldn't say there's frustration, I wouldn't categorize is that way at all. We wish him the best, it wasn't anything ... He left on very good terms, mutually and just wish him the best."

Ford was asked if there were any other disciplinary challenges with coaching Gordon. 

"None different than anybody else," Ford replied.

Gordon made an official announcement Thursday morning via Twitter of his request to have his scholarship released from SLU. The Webster Groves High School graduate says the decision was due to "personal issues with my family and focusing on what's best for me and furthering my career."

Ford says he and Gordon talked about the situation on Monday or Tuesday, after the coach first believed the decision might be coming after Sunday's 83-55 win over Appalachian State University. 

SLU released a statement later that afternoon saying Gordon has been granted a release from his scholarship and is no longer a member of the Billikens' men's basketball team.

Gordon was SLU's leading shot-blocker (23 total blocks) and fourth on the team in scoring with 8.9 points per game. He was part of a three-man rotation in the paint with Hasahn French and D.J. Foreman. He was the No. 2 overall recruit in the state of Missouri and a concenus top-100 recruit in the nation last year. 

He thanked the "entire SLU community" including players, coaches, teachers and staff members. 

A tweet  Gordon on Wednesday, followed by social media silence, was the first public mention that the freshman could be transferring from his hometown school. 

He wrote, "Thank you St. Louis (waving hand emoji) you were amazing."

Related: Saint Louis Picked to Finish First in A10

You may also remember him as the player who broke a backboard in one of SLU's preseason practices back in September:

He won two state championships with the Statesmen after transferring from St. John Vianney High School.