Aaron Gordon will play at Arizona, joining a front line loaded with former five-star prospects.
The heralded 6-7 forward from San Jose, Calif. picked the Wildcats over Washington, Oregon and Kentucky. He made the decision Tuesday morning during media day at the McDonald’s All-American game in Chicago.
Gordon joins fellow McDonalds All-American Rondae Jefferson-Hollis. Both will likely compete for minutes at small forward.
Arizona also returns forwards Grant Jerret and Brandon Ashley, who were 2012 McDonald’s All-Americans, highly-touted center Kaleb Tarczewski and forward Angelo Chol. In addition, the Wildcats bring back guard Nick Johnson and welcome T.J. McConnell, who transferred from Duquesne.
It’s reasonable to assume Arizona will be the preseason favorite to win the Pac-12 title.
Meanwhile, losing Gordon is a big blow for the Huskies who targeted him six years ago while recruiting his older brother Drew. Back then, UW finished second in the recruiting race for Drew who picked UCLA before transferring and finishing his career at New Mexico.
Once again, Washington is a runner-up in the Gordon derby.
He would have been the centerpiece on a young UW team with many unproven players. Considering his talent and stature, Gordon likely would have started the season opener. He averaged 21.6 points 15.7 rebounds 3.3 assist 2.1 blocks as a senior at Archbishop Mitty.
The Huskies have a four-man 2013 recruiting class that includes: PG Nigel Williams-Goss, SG Darin Johnson, PG Jahmel Taylor and SG Mike Anderson. Williams-Goss and Johnson signed binding letters of intent last fall. Taylor and Anderson verbally committed to UW and are expected to make it official when the signing period begins April 17.
Washington also adds low-post players Perris Blackwell and Gilles Dierickx, who sat out this season due to transfer rules.