Monday, April 1, 2013
What Aaron Gordon would mean for ...
By Paul Biancardi
On Tuesday during media day for the McDonald's All American Game, No. 4 overall recruit Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) is slated to announce his college decision from a list of finalists that is comprised of Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington.
Whichever school he chooses, his rare combination of skills and incredible athleticism will make him an instant-impact player and program-changing recruit from day one. Consider this: Gordon has drawn numerous comparisons to NBA All-Star Blake Griffin.
So before he finally ends the suspense and makes one college program very happy, let's break down what a commitment from Gordon would mean for each of his four finalists.
No. 4 overall recruit Aaron Gordon will decide between Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington on Tuesday.
What Gordon would mean for Arizona
Landing Gordon would demonstrate that Arizona under Sean Miller has emerged as the program to beat out West for the nation's best players. With tremendous size all around him and excellent perimeter players, including point guard transfer T.J. McConnell, Gordon would be a game-changer for Arizona who could help lead the Wildcats to an exciting and deep postseason run.
What Gordon would mean for Kentucky
Gordon would mean landing an elite athlete with an amazing combination of rebounding and finishing skills. He would be a major matchup problem because he can move his feet to defend and is a capable threat offensively out to the high post. With a stellar recruiting class already in place, Gordon would make the Wildcats an even more formidable team that could advance to the Final Four. However, will distance from home be a factor, as the rest of his final schools are all out West? And will the commitment of No. 1 power forward Julius Randle to Kentucky two weeks ago play a role in his decision? We'll have to see.
What Gordon would mean for Oregon
The Ducks jumped back into the mix with Gordon recently, and Oregon coach Dana Altman continues to push for star players. Gordon would be the face of the program and make a statement that Oregon is going to be a strong contender in the Pac-12 and on the national scene. Gordon could speed up the expectations of the program because of his unique athletic ability, rebounding and scoring skills. Current Oregon freshman point guard Dominic Artis could be influential in this decision, as he and Gordon played AAU ball together for the Oakland Soldiers.
What Gordon would mean for Washington
Washington has cornered the market on West Coast recruiting at different periods under coach Lorenzo Romar, but Gordon would be the biggest fish the Huskies have gotten in Seattle. And don't forget they have landed some of the best out West, such as Spencer Hawes, Jon Brockman, Brandon Roy, Isaiah Thomas and Tony Wroten Jr. Gordon's pledge would quickly make the Huskies nationally relevant again, would put them in the conversation with other high-level recruits and continue to raise the profile of what is already a successful program. Washington's incoming class has potential, and point guard Nigel Williams-Goss is a huge attraction who would give the Huskies a pair of McDonald's All Americans if they landed Gordon.