NCB On The Trail: Aaron Gordon

Recruit and return: Arizona 

March, 29, 2014
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In order to return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Arizona and its chances of dancing again in 2015.

Quick references:
2013-14 roster
2014 recruiting

Possible starting five:
G: T.J. McConnell
G: Nick Johnson
F: Stanley Johnson
F: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
F: Brandon Ashley


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Finding the perfect ESPN 100 blend 

December, 19, 2013
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Take a look at the top teams in the country and you’ll find a plethora of approaches. There’s varying styles of play, a broad range of coaching philosophies, and even vastly different levels of experience within their rosters.

But take a closer look and you’ll notice one of the only true commonalities is in regard to the way in which each roster is built. They’ve all got a dynamic offensive player or two, scorers or playmakers to serve as the pillars of the team’s offense, but those guys are then surrounded by complimentary pieces, or what Seth Greenberg has dubbed “blend players,” who buy into taking on less glamorous roles for the good of the team.


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#AskCoachB: Talking Tyler Ennis

December, 9, 2013
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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.



I agree, as I absolutely loved Tyler Ennis in the high school ranks. What I respected most about his game was the poise in which he played with and how he led.

As a freshman he is doing an outstanding job leading the Orange to a top-5 national ranking in an unassuming fashion. Over nine games he is playing 31 minutes per game, and he is making the most of those minutes.

He serves as Syracuse’s primary ball-handler, making decisions and scoring when needed. His assist to turnover ratio is 5:1, which is tremendous . He is nailing the 3-point shot at a 42 percent clip, which is impressive since the college 3-point line is a foot further than then the high school line (20-foot-9 vs. 19-9).

It’s obvious that Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, and Aaron Gordon are elite players and difference makers as freshmen, but Ennis is definitely in the conversation as a top-10 freshman.
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.

1. Kentucky
Dakari Johnson, Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress make up the most powerful frontcourt in the game. They can score, block shots and rebound with anyone.

2. Arizona
Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski, Aaron Gordon.
This threesome is strong, long and explosive, and they use those gifts on both ends of the floor.

3. Syracuse
C.J. Fair, Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, Baye Keita.
This bunch has both length and girth while protecting the basket and finishing inside.

4. Florida
Patric Young, transfer Dorian Finney-Smith (Virginia Tech) and Will Yeguete.
If Freshman Chris Walker becomes eligible in December this group could do serious damage together. They are extremely productive and could be dominant on the inside if Walker is playing.

Player of the Year
Marcus Smart. Nothing seems to faze this All-American. When you easily could have walked away from the college game and you come back, that means you are extremely confident in your ability. He has put up terrific numbers across the board, dominated the action at times and makes his team win -- that's what a POY does.

Arizona set to add even more talent 

December, 4, 2013
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Arizona head coach Sean Miller has the Wildcats off to terrific start, as they are currently ranked No. 2 after winning the NIT Season Tip-Off by knocking off No. 10 Duke. Expect this trend by the Wildcats to continue because Miller has consistently added four- and five-star recruits to the roster since taking over at Arizona for the legendary Lute Olson in April 2009.

Miller's 2014 recruiting class is no different.


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Gordon makes it official with UA 

April, 18, 2013
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ESPN 100 power forward Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) officially signed his letter of intent with Arizona, the school announced on Wednesday.


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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).

Wiggins is named Naismith Award winner

February, 25, 2013
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Senior small forward Andrew Wiggins (Thornhill, Ontario/Huntington Prep) was named the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner as the top boys high school basketball player on Monday. The award is handed out by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The 6-foot-8 Wiggins is the top-ranked player in the ESPN 100 and is averaging 23.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.4 steals and 2.1 blocks for Huntington Prep this season. Other finalists for the award were seniors Jabari Parker (Chicag0/Simeon) and Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty).

Wiggins was named along with Lone Peak (Utah) head coach Quincy Lewis, who received the award as the top boys high school coach.

"The strong performances of Andrew and Quincy this season stood out for our voters among the thousands of players and coaches throughout the country," said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "The two are very deserving of the Naismith Awards, demonstrating the talent and will to succeed that we've come to expect from past award winners."

Wiggins remains undecided on his college plans and is considering Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina.

Team USA announces Hoop Summit squad

January, 21, 2013
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USA Basketball announced on Sunday the roster for its 2013 USA Junior National Select Team that will take on the World Select Team in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit, and the USA will be led by two coaches and four players with prior international basketball experience, including USA medalists and prep standouts Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose, Calif.), Rondaé Hollis-Jefferson (Chester H.S./Chester, Pa.), Jabari Parker (Simeon Career Academy/Chicago, Ill.) and Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian Academy/ McKinney, Texas).

The U.S. roster also features 2012 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team Training Camp participants Aaron (Travis H.S./ Richmond, Texas) and Andrew Harrison (Travis H.S./Richmond, Texas), as well as USA Basketball newcomers Kasey Hill (Montverde Academy/Eustis, Fla.), Demetrius Jackson (Marian H.S./Mishawaka, Ind.), Bobby Portis (Hall H.S./Little Rock, Ark.) and Noah Vonleh (New Hampton School, N.H./Haverhill, Mas.).

The 2013 Nike Hoop Summit will be played at 4 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, April 20 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.
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Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) is the No. 1 player on the West Coast, the nation’s No. 2 power forward and the No. 7 overall prospect in the ESPN 100.

And what makes him one of the most coveted uncommitted recruits in the country -- he’s down to Washington, Arizona and Kentucky -- is that he can dominate opponents with both his physical ability and his versatility. One thing is for sure: You won’t outwork this 6-foot-8, 210-pound athletic marvel, who can influence the outcome of any game.

You can watch Gordon in action Monday at noon ET on ESPNU when his Archbishop Mitty squad takes on No. 3 Lone Peak (Utah) at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. But to give you an idea of what to expect and what makes him so good, let’s break down the major parts of Gordon’s game.

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Hoophall preview on ESPNU RecruitingNation 

January, 16, 2013
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ESPN's National Recruiting Director Paul Biancardi will preview this weekend's Spalding Hoophall Classic on ESPNU's RecruitingNation on Thursday.

One of the marquee events during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, this year will feature 25 players in the ESPN 100. Biancardi will breakdown the games of No. 1 Andrew Wiggins and No. 2 Jabari Parker along with No. 7 Aaron Gordon, No. 8 Noah Vonleh and No. 12 Dakari Johnson. ESPN and ESPNU will televise six games on Sunday and Monday.

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For Darin Johnson it was the right time to make a decision.

After taking some time to think about which school best fit his future, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound shooting guard (Sacramento, Calif./Sheldon) announced Sunday he will play college basketball at Washington.

“They’ve got a good thing going with that staff,” Johnson said. “I’m trying to get to the next level. I feel like they’ve got the perfect plan for me."

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Darin Johnson announced Sunday he will play college basketball at Washington.

"Just committed to the University of Washington!!" the senior said on his Twitter page, giving a verbal commitment to the Huskies.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound shooting guard (Sacramento, Calif./Sheldon) picked Washington over Oregon and San Diego State. He recently visited Washington with Huskies point guard commit Nigel Williams-Goss (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep) and forward Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty), who is rated the No. 6 player in the ESPN 100.

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When Darin Johnson looks at Washington’s basketball team, he sees a program that produces pros.

[+] EnlargeWashington's Tony Wroten
Steven Bisig/US PRESSWIREThe ability for Washington to turn out pros like Tony Wroten Jr. is a big part of the program's appeal to Darin Johnson.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound shooting guard (Sacramento, Calif./Sheldon) sees Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten Jr. preparing for their rookie seasons. He sees second-year guard Isaiah Thomas playing well for the Sacramento Kings. Johnson sees the success of those players and looks at the Huskies’ coaching staff as a group that does a good job developing guards.

“They have produced a lot of pros,” Johnson said. “They develop guards that come into their program. That’s big, not only getting to the next level, but to also develop them, so when they get to the next level they actually do something.”

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Aaron GordonScott Kurtz for ESPN.comAaron Gordon, the No. 6 player in the ESPN 100, visited Washington last weekend.

From a high school standpoint, San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty coach Tim Kennedy considers Aaron Gordon “as good as it gets.”

The 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward has the ability to take over a high school game, whether it is on the perimeter or in the post.

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