It’s time for Aaron Gordon to make a decision.
The 6-7, 210-pound forward from San Jose, Calif. is the biggest 2013 prospect who hasn’t committed to a school. The five-star prospect is expected to announce his decision 9:30 a.m. PT Tuesday to reporters at the McDonald’s All-American practices in Chicago.
The schools vying for his services include: Washington, Arizona, Oregon and Kentucky.
The Huskies have been targeting Gordon for several years. A little while back, there were hopes among UW fans of landing a dream 2013 class that included: Jabari Parker, Jabari Bird, Issac Hamilton and Gordon.
Coach Lorenzo Romar seemed to go all in on the 2013 class when the Huskies failed to sign anyone in 2012 that made an immediate contribution. The Huskies signed three transfers. Perris Blackwell and Gilles Dierickx redshirted while Mark McLaughlin never played at UW.
One by one, Washington’s top targets picked other schools.
Parker committed to Duke. Bird signed with California and Hamilton chose UTEP.
However, Gordon remained a high priority and he kept the Huskies on a list that started with 15 and now includes four.
Realistically only three remain. He hasn’t officially dropped Kentucky, but the Wildcats took themselves out the Gordon derby two weeks ago when they picked up Julius Randle, who is considered the top power forward in the nation.
Gordon eliminated Oregon when he initially narrowed his list to three, but recently added the Ducks. Oregon made an unexpected run to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 and adding Gordon could make the Ducks a Final Four contender next season.
I’ve talked to Gordon more than a dozen times over the past year and I’d be very surprised if he picked Oregon.
Everything tells me it’s Arizona or Washington in that order. A few months ago, I thought the Huskies were in the driver’s seat. But not any more. Not exactly sure what happened.
Washington fans may want to access blame if the Huskies whiff on Gordon and that’s understandable considering his stature. He’s a program-changing recruit. Check out the highlights (above).
He’s a legitimate high-school superstar. He’s a coach’s dream because he works hard, brings tremendous energy to the floor and he has a tremendous desire to get better each and every day. He averaged 21.6 points 15.7 rebounds 3.3 assist 2.1 blocks last season.
At Washington he would be the centerpiece of a young team with several players moving into new roles. You’d have to think Gordon would be good enough to start the season opener and he’d play near the top of the key and on the low block in Romar’s high-post offense. He’d also get to pair with Nigel Williams-Goss, a McDonald’s All-American who is considered one of the top high school point guards in the country.
At Arizona, Gordon would likely vie with five-star incoming freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson for the small forward spot vacated by all-Pac-12 standout Solomon Hill. On the one hand, the Wildcats coach Sean Miller has history developing post players including Hill and Derrick Williams, the No. 2 pick in the 2011 NBA draft. But you have to wonder how Gordon will get minutes on a crowded front line that includes Hollis-Jefferson, forwards Grant Jefferson and Brandon Ashley, who were 2012 five-star prospects, center Kaleb Tarczewski and forward Angelo Chol.
Give credit to Miller for keeping everyone happy in this day and age when players transfer at the drop of a hat.
Apparently he’s done a good job selling Gordon he can be a perimeter player at Arizona in the mold of Scottie Pippen or Shawn Marion. Truth is, Gordon isn’t a perimeter player. He’s a post player. Think of a shorter Blake Griffin. Gordon may not want to hear that, but it’s the truth. His shooting, ball-handling and passing skills are deficient. However, he’s an incredibly explosive low-post player.
You could argue that among the teams pursuing Gordon, Washington needs his talents more than any other. However, barring a last-minute reversal it appears Gordon will choose Arizona.
Here’s a look at the predictions of ESPN writers. None of them picked the Huskies.
But what do you think? Does Washington still have a chance at landing Gordon?