One of the top undeclared high school basketball players made his college decision at Tuesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game media day when Aaron Gordon announced that he will play his college basketball for the Arizona Wildcats. Gordon picked ‘Zona over Pac-12 foes Washington, Oregon, and Kentucky.
“It was an extremely hard process,” Aaron Gordon admitted moments after announcing his future college choice. ”You can’t connect the dots forward. You can make the decision, live with it, and connect the dots backwards. Obviously, there’s always going to be some doubt… You just have to go with your gut feeling.”
Ranked fourth overall by ESPN and sixth overall by Scout.com, Aaron Gordon will bring his explosive athleticism to the desert. The 6-8 combo forward defines what it means to be a high flyer with his posterizing dunks but also plays with an incredible competitive fire meaning his effort is never in doubt.
Aaron Gordon adds to an already loaded front-court returning to Arizona. Last year, Sean Miller landed three top twenty big guys in 7-0 Kaleb Tarczewski, 6-10 Grant Jarrett, and 6-9 Brandon Ashley. Add the 6-8 Aaron Gordon to the mix next season and there certainly won’t be a shortage of size, length, or athleticism up-front for the Wildcats who figure to be the team to beat in the Pac-12.
It will be interesting to see though how Miller is able to keep all four highly recruited players happy in divvying out playing among them. ”I expect to play small forward/power forward,” Gordon said when asked about his future role with the ‘Cats. ”Start at the small forward, become a stretch four, but mostly at small forward.”
The San Jose native becomes the second McDonald’s All-American to make his pledge to ‘Zona joining 6-7 small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who was thrilled to hear the news of Gordon’s announcement.
“It’s pretty exciting to have Aaron Gordon come,” Hollis-Jefferson said with a smile on his face just minutes after the announcement. ”They call him ‘Baby’ Blake Griffin. Lob City, can’t wait for him to get there. When we play together, it’s going to be a great experience to have him.”
One thing is for certain, Aaron Gordon has high expectations for next season in Tuscon. When asked what a successful freshman season would entail, his response was simple, “A national title.” Hollis-Jefferson echoed those thoughts, “We want to win a national title. We got some guys out here who doubt us, think we won’t do it but it will.”
With Gordon declaring and shooting guard Keith Frazier popping for SMU later in the day, the only McDonald’s All-Americans undecided on his college destination is top ranked Andrew Wiggins who is still uncertain as to when he will announce.
Here’s Aaron Gordon highlight reel and and video profile
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.