Arizona suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of Ohio State in last week's Sweet 16, but Sean Miller and the Wildcats received great news on Tuesday.
Aaron Gordon, the second-best uncommitted player left on the board, announced that he's headed to Arizona.
Gordon, a 6-foot-8 forward from Archbishop Mitty (Calif.), is ranked No. 5 in the 247 Sports rankings. He chose the Wildcats over Oregon, Kentucky and Washington. The Wildcats have been involved with Gordon for a long time and have been considered one of the favorites. Oregon was a late addition to the party, Washington's Lorenzo Romar had a tremendous relationship with Gordon, and Kentucky had the Kentucky appeal.
But Arizona won out and will be a great fit for him.
Despite being a consensus top-six prospect, Gordon is almost like the forgotten of the elite. He doesn't get the publicity of Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, the Harrison twins or Julius Randle. However, given his skill set and athleticism, he is extremely intriguing -- and could have the highest ceiling outside of Wiggins.
Gordon has expanded his game dramatically over the past couple of seasons, going from a player who mostly has an impact in transition to one who can handle the ball, run the break and also knock down perimeter shots.
He has tremendous athleticism and is an absolute high-flyer. Gordon is excellent on the offensive glass and finishes as well as anyone in the country. Defensively, he blocks shots, rebounds and can quickly turn a loose ball into points at the other end.
Above all, it's Gordon's energy that sets him apart. He has a nonstop motor and looks to make plays at both ends of the floor regardless of time or score.
The younger brother of former New Mexico star Drew Gordon will be a major asset at Arizona. While Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Grant Jerrett all return next season in the paint, Gordon will get time at the 3. Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom are both gone, leaving open some time on the wing. Given Gordon's vision of playing small forward, that should work out well.
Next season is shaping up very nicely for Arizona. The Wildcats are young but extremely talented in the frontcourt with Nick Johnson and Duquesne transfer T.J. McConnell. Throw in five-star freshman Rondae Jefferson and scorer Elliott Pitts on the perimeter, and things are looking great in Tucson.
Moreover, Gordon's commitment is a sign that Miller continues to be one of the best recruiters in the game.