Oregon Ducks: Aaron Gordon

The Oregon campus is buzzing with hope after the Pac-12 tournament champion Ducks' Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament. Dana Altman -- the Pac-12 Coach of the Year -- has solidified himself as one of the better coaches in the college game. Altman has done a masterful job of piecing together a roster left in shambles by the previous Ducks' staff.

Altman has recruited well, including last year's class which included the future of the Oregon program. Point guard Dominic Artis, shooting guard Damyean Dotson and power forward Ben Carter are a formidable trio that should lead the Ducks to even greater heights. While Artis -- No. 62 in the 2012 ESPN 100 -- was certainly a huge signing for Altman, the Ducks are still searching for a true game-changer on the hardwood. Artis was the point guard the Ducks were in desperate need of, but the front court is where the Ducks have always fallen short.


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The Ducks kicked off spring practice on Tuesday. It was the first official on-field activity for new head coach Mark Helfrich, and one of the big questions regarding the Helfrich era was answered when the first practice was closed to the public and media, just as it was under Chip Kelly.

One Ducks target was on hand to take in the first organized effort of the spring. QB Morgan Mahalak (Novato, Calif./Marin Catholic) is in Eugene on an unofficial visit to get a closeup of the program and spend some time with the coaching staff. It has become clear that despite never starting a high school game, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Mahalak is one of the Ducks' prime targets at QB in the Class of 2014.

[+] EnlargeManny Wilkins
Tom Hauck for ESPNVersatile 2014 QB Manny Wilkins is waiting on an offer, but there's mutual interest between he and Oregon.
Another Oregon QB target and a friend of Mahalak, QB Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin) will head to Texas this weekend to participate in the Elite 11 regional event. In what should be a loaded event, Wilkins hopes to show off his considerable skill. As recruiting heats up for the 6-3, 190-pound QB, Wilkins is making the rounds in order to see and be seen. He plans on visiting Oregon unofficially later this spring and is likely to attend the Ducks' camp this summer. Wilkins has not been shy about naming the Ducks as one of his top schools. With Clemson commit Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) looking like a solid commit to the Tigers, the Ducks are well into the search for their next quarterback. It could come down to Mahalak and Wilkins.

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Will Aaron Gordon pick Oregon?

April, 1, 2013
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RecruitingNation hoops experts get together to predict where No. 4 prospect Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) will play his college ball. Gordon will choose among Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington on Tuesday at the McDonald's All American Game media day.

Click here Insider to see if anyone thinks he will pick the Ducks.
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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.

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Aaron Gordon to announce at McDonald's

March, 18, 2013
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According to a report in the San Jose Mercury News, ESPN 100 power forward Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) will announce his college decision at the McDonald's All American Game in Chicago on April 3. The game will be shown live on ESPN at 9:30 p.m ET.

Gordon has narrowed his choices to Washington, Arizona, Kentucky and Oregon. The senior will lead his Mitty team into Saturday's Open Division state final against Mater Dei (Santa Ana).

Ducks pursuing top 10 hoops recruit

February, 11, 2013
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Dave Telep has the inside scoop on Oregon's full-court press of No. 7 hoops recruit Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty). Get the full report here Insider.

Top 10 recruit Gordon down to three 

November, 15, 2012
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The news came over at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday night. ESPN 100 power forward Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty), the No. 7 overall recruit in the Class of 2013, trimmed his list to a trio of programs, including two from the Pac-12.

"Aaron has narrowed his list to Arizona, Washington and Kentucky in no particular order," his mom, Shelly Gordon, wrote in an email.

It's not a commitment and there's no timetable on his decision, but it is significant news. Gone from the list are Kansas, California and Oregon. The Blake Griffin clone is one of the few recruits left on the board who can alter the landscape of a class.

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Aaron GordonAP Photo/Steve YeaterWith his AAU teammates Tyrell and Tyree Robinson already committed to Oregon, Aaron Gordon is getting a heavy sales job from the Ducks.
The Ducks recently lost out on combo guard Darin Johnson of Sacramento (Calif.) Sheldon, when he committed to the rival Washington Huskies. The Ducks are still in search of talent for the Class of 2013 and have their sights set on two of the elite forwards on the West Coast. One of them has already visited and the other will be in town over the weekend.

Six-foot-7, 210-pound Jordan Bell of Long Beach (Calif.) Polytechnic has a top four of Oregon, UConn, Kansas State and Auburn and will be in Eugene for a visit this weekend. Bell has long said that UConn is his "dream school" and he would commit on the spot if he receives a long-awaited offer from the Big East power.

It doesn't look as if an offer is on the way from the Huskies, which puts Oregon -- another long-time favorite -- in the driver's seat for the Long Beach Poly star. Bell plans to wait things out and see if that coveted UConn offer comes his way. He likely won't commit until late 2012 or even wait until the spring, but a good visit to Oregon would go a long way in solidifying the Ducks as his favorite should things stay the same.

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Oregon recruiting: Quick Hitters 

September, 25, 2012
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Thomas OserTom Hauck for ESPN.comNorth Hollywood, Calif., offensive lineman Thomas Oser was one of three uncommitted prospects that took official visits to Oregon this past weekend. The other two, twins Tyree and Tyrell Robinson, committed.
It was an eventful weekend for the Ducks, as they steamrolled Arizona in their Pac-12 opener. Making it even more eventful was the recruiting activity on campus.

The Ducks hosted three of their top remaining targets over the weekend as offensive lineman Thomas Oser (North Hollywood, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) and two-sport athletes Tyrell Robinson and Tyree Robinson (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln) were all on campus for official visits.

The Ducks came away looking pretty good in their quest to fill the remaining spots in the class of 2013.

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Football recruiting is in full swing, and the Ducks hit a home run on Sunday when they landed commitments from Tyrell Robinson and Tyree Robinson (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln). While it was huge news for the Oregon football program, it was a coup for basketball coach Dana Altman, who is quietly making a serious push for some elite talent on the hardwood.

[+] EnlargeAaron Gordon
Courtesy Caroline Williams/USA BasketballThe No. 6 player in the ESPN 100, Aaron Gordon has plenty of connections to the Oregon program.
The addition of the two-sport star twin brothers allows the Ducks to sign them to football scholarships while adding them to the basketball program as walk-ons.

The Robinsons rescheduled their official visit to ensure they were in town at the same time as a pair of their AAU teammates.

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DuckNation Friday mailbag 

September, 14, 2012
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It's Friday and that means it is once again time to open up the mailbag and answer your questions regarding Oregon recruiting.

Nick T. (Los Angeles, Calif.)

I saw your article on [Zayd Issah] the linebacker that de-committed from Penn State. Do you think he's serious about looking at Oregon as a possible destination? Going from being committed to the local school to a school all the way across the country seems like it could be a problem. It would be nice to get another good sized linebacker like that!

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After learning last week that two of the nation's top high school basketball players would make official visits this fall, the Oregon basketball program received more good news when the Ducks were named to the top four of one of the elite small forwards in the country.

[+] EnlargeSemi Ojeleye
Dave Telep/ESPN.comSemi Ojeleye has Duke, Indiana, Stanford and Oregon in his final four.
Being named among the favorites for both Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) and Jabari Bird (Richmond, Calif./Salesian) was a big deal for the Ducks, but it was more surprising when four-star small forward Semi Ojeleye (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) named Oregon as the fourth school in his final group. The Ducks are the wild card as Duke, Indiana and Stanford have long been known as the leaders for the No. 9 small-forward in the ESPN 100.

Ojeleye unofficially visited Oregon and came away impressed with the facilities and the vision that Oregon coach Dana Altman has for him.

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Just days after Oakland Soldiers teammate Jabari Bird (Richmond, Calif./Salesian) confirmed that he will take an official visit to Oregon this fall, the top player on the West Coast announced that Dana Altman's program will get one of his official visits.

Five-star forward Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) said today that he will definitely visit Oregon and Arizona in addition to Washington, who is thought to be the leader for his commitment.

Kentucky, Kansas and New Mexico remain in the hunt, but it's beginning to look as if the three Pac-12 schools have the upper hand.

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Fall camp is more than halfway complete and opening kickoff is just 10 days away.

While the current roster is competing for starting spots, high school seniors are competing to become the next in line.

Recruiting is still at a relative standstill as coaches are not allowed to call recruits until Sept. 1. Even during the slow periods, there is always something happening in the world of recruiting.

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Oregon head basketball coach Dana Altman was given a tough task when he was asked to rebuild the Oregon program in 2010. With a roster depleted by transfers, Altman guided the Ducks to a CBI title in 2011. In season two, Altman almost delivered the Ducks a Pac-12 championship while having the team on the brink of the NCAA Tournament.

Altman's biggest challenge has been to even out the recruiting classes while trying to build a roster with transfer players. Last year the Ducks had two players who transferred in for their final year of eligibility. The goal is to set a solid foundation by bringing in high school players who are in it for the long haul.

With a strong group coming in this year, Altman and the Ducks look to build on last year's class by bringing in a new crop of high school players to help right the ship.

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