Gordon commits to Arizona, ready to be a 'West Coast Wildcat'
Five-star recruit Aaron Gordon announced his commitment to the Arizona Wildcats on Tuesday. Gordon made the announcement at a press conference in Chicago, where the McDonald’s All-American game will be played tonight at 6:30.
Gordon, a 6-foot-8 forward from San Jose, Calif., told reporters, “I hope Tucson is celebrating, because I’m going to be a West Coast Wildcat.”
With Gordon’s commitment, head coach Sean Miller’s 2013 class added its second five-star recruit, the other being small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Gordon is ranked the No. 4 recruit in the nation by ESPN, and his addition helped the Wildcats jump from having the 25th-best recruiting haul in the country to the fifth-best.
“He kind of felt for him, it would be the best fit,” said Tim Kennedy, Gordon’s head coach at Archbishop Mitty High School. “Their style of play really suited him. He loved the campus, the facilities. Coach [Sean] Miller was great for him. Aaron’s a basketball junkie, so he and coach Miller really hit it off.”
Gordon averaged 21.5 points, 16.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 3.7 assists per game in his senior season at Archbishop Mitty High School. Gordon chose Arizona over Oregon, Washington and Kentucky.
National signing day is April 17, and when Gordon, Hollis-Jefferson and four-star shooting guard Elliott Pitts officially sign with the Wildcats, and Miller will still have one scholarship to spare.
Gordon is listed as a power forward, but it’s widely believed his ultimate goal is to switch to small forward. Either way, Arizona is loaded with talent, especially in the frontcourt.
Arizona has Kaleb Tarczewski at center and Gordon, Brandon Ashley, Grant Jerrett, Angelo Chol and Hollis-Jefferson at forward, although Hollis-Jefferson is purely a small forward.
“I think he’s going to be successful just because of his drive and his motor and his work ethic,” Kennedy said. “He’ll have an immediate impact. He wouldn’t do well sitting on the bench, and he’ll find a way to get on the court and he’ll find a way to help his team win.”
Gordon is the most highly touted prospect to commit to Arizona since Brandon Jennings, a No. 1 overall recruit who committed to the Wildcats in 2008. He never played a game at the UA, though, instead choosing to play overseas in Italy for a year before going to the NBA.
“He has a lot of upside,” said Josh Gershon, a basketball-recruiting analyst for FoxSports and Scout.com. “6-foot-8 athletes with his build and motor don’t grow on trees. You could very well make the argument that he’s the best NBA prospect to ever come to Arizona.”
Gordon becomes the seventh five-star recruit to commit to Arizona in Miller’s tenure, along with Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson in 2011, Ashley, Jerrett and Tarczewski in 2012 and Hollis-Jefferson in 2013.
Both Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson will be playing in tonight’s McDonald’s All-American in Chicago’s United Center.
If You Watch:
McDonald’s All-American Game
When: 6:30 p.m.
TV: ESPNU, online on WatchESPN