Drew Gordon is actually in a pretty good position, if you ask him.
Sure, he never lived up to the hype from his days as an McDonald’s All-American out of Archbishop Mitty High. Sure, he’s pegged as an early-second round pick who’s a few bad workouts from not hearing his name called June 28.
But now, the way he sees it, he’s in a unique position to surprise some people.
“I’m looking forward to putting my name back out there,” Gordon, 21, said after Wednesday’s six-man workout at the Warriors’ downtown Oakland facility.
Gordon — a 6-foot-9, 240-pound senior out of New Mexico — participated in his first workout Wednesday. He joined Baylor forward Quincy Acy, Norfolk State center Kyle O’Quinn, Wisconsin guard Jordan Taylor, Long Beach State guard Casper Ware and Buffalo forward Mitchell Watt.
Gordon said he has Oklahoma City, Cleveland, Boston, Miami and Minnesota on his list of upcoming workouts. He expressed relief that he’s got the first one out of the way. He said he was rusty because it’s been a while since he’s competed against other players. Gordon said he spent the last month and a half working out solo in Santa Barbara and finishing up school work.
“I didn’t do terrible,” Gordon said. “I didn’t do amazing.”
Gordon’s strength is his rebounding. Last season with the Lobos, he averaged 11.1 rebounds in 30.8 minutes. Since many scouts believe good rebounders in college make for good rebounders in the pros, Gordon figures to draw some interest.
And that’s where his plan comes into play. His descent from high school phenom to forgotten prospect has created an opportunity for him to play the underdog role again.
“In the situation I was in, it didn’t call for me stepping out for 15 to 18 footers,” said Gordon, who averaged 13.7 points on 54.2 percent shooting last season. “I was really just a rebound-hustle guy. It works to my advantage though. Now that I’m at this point in my career, I’ll be able to surprise people with my skills.”
Kyle O’Quinn, a potential second-round pick out of Norfolk State, had a great day working out for the Warriors. Not just because he’s audition for a job in the NBA, but he got to spend some time with one of his childhood idols. O’Quinn grew up in the same Queens neighborhood as Warriors rookie point guard Charles Jenkins. He’s a couple years younger than Jenkins and said the former Hofstra star is the neighborhood hero whose career is still closely followed by the neighborhood.
“You would’ve died to see him play high school basketball,” O’Quinn said.