- Joel Francisco
With the early signing period upon us, it seems like an appropriate time to send out a few updates on the recruitment of some of the more enticing uncommitted and recently committed prospects in California.
Do Washington and Arizona standout for Gordon?
It has been well-documented that Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Mitty) will wait until the spring to make a decision and has the same list of Washington, Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon, Kansas and California that he has claimed for some time. However, at this stage, our sources are saying that this will come down to a Washington-Arizona battle to the end.
In my opinion, this is a must-get for the Huskies. After Tony Wroten Jr. left early for the NBA draft and highly coveted Marcus Lee bolted east to Kentucky, Gordon would be the perfect “wow” recruit who would keep Washington in the upper-echelon of the Pac-12.
Gordon’s skill set and athletic prowess would translate well to coach Lorenzo Romar’s up-tempo system. Meanwhile, Arizona coach Sean Miller's class is stacked at the 4/3 with the versatile Brandon Ashley and the multiskilled Rondae Jefferson enrolling next season. In any case, Gordon has done an outstanding job of narrowing down his choices, because all six of the programs on his list have coaches with the acumen to take his game to the next level.
Jordan Bell headed to the Pacific Northwest
As I was jotting down notes for the column, 6-foot-8 shot-blocker supreme Jordan Bell (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) popped for the Oregon Ducks. He visited Auburn over the weekend and described that trip as a “good visit.” However, the lure of playing in the SEC was not enough to fend off the Ducks.
Bell is a high-level athlete who runs and jumps as well as any 4-man in the nation. His timing on the defensive end is impeccable and he can finish with a vengeance on the break. Defensively, in addition to his ability to protect the rim, he also has the lateral quickness and active hands to guard multiple positions. If he can continue to develop his ballhandling and become a consistent midrange jump shooter, his ceiling is quite high.
ESPN 100 big man down to a pair?
Mamadou Ndiaye, the massive 7-foot-5 senior out of Huntington Beach (Calif.) Brethren Christian, is flying under the radar in terms of his recruitment. There are concerns about his ability to transition from offense to defense at the next level, but that has not stopped Seattle University and UC Irvine from possibly snagging his commitment. However, if Ndiaye decides to wait until the spring, look for more schools to take a peak at the gentle giant originally from Nigeria.