Class of 2013 power forward Aaron Gordon has never navigated through the recruiting process before, but the fact that his brother — Drew — and sister — Elise — both have has made it a lot easier on the youngest Gordon child.
“I think that’s been a huge help of being able to see the dos and don’ts of going through the recruiting process,” Tim Kennedy, Gordon’s Archbishop Mitty High School (CA) head coach, said.
“I think it helped him narrow down his school list very early on and not having to deal with a lot of schools he definitely didn’t have any interest in so he didn’t waste his time and they didn’t waste their time. I think that helps a lot and it definitely helped me and it made everybody’s life easier.”
Although Gordon was able to cut his list of schools early on, he’s still unsure of which of his final three schools — Arizona, Kentucky and Washington — he’ll select. He was close to committing a few months ago but opted against it because he wasn’t completely comfortable.
“Right now, he’s just waiting [to commit] until the season is over for the spring signing period,” Kennedy said. “I think he got close to [committing in] the fall signing period but he just didn’t feel 100% comfortable so he said he was just going to wait. I think he’s got something in his mind but it’s not 100% so he’s going to wait.”
Part of the reason Gordon hasn’t committed yet is because he likes many different things about each of his three finalists; something Kennedy elaborated on. Gordon is close with each coaching staff but there are some aspects that can potentially separate one school over another.
“With Kentucky, just the reputation they have with [head] coach [John] Cal[ipari],” he began. “He wants to be competing with the highest competition and he enjoyed his trip seeing the facilities and tradition. I think that excited him.
“With Washington, he’s had a relationship with [head] coach [Lorenzo] Romar since [his brother] Drew was getting recruited and of course his dad knows him from early on so there’s a comfort level there. It’s on the west coach so that’s a big draw as well. Being close to his family and hometown is huge.
“With Arizona, of course it’s the west coast as well; that’s a big draw. Also just the success they’re having right now and their facilities that they’ve built up and the shooting program that they’ve developed is definitely a big draw.”
The fact that Kentucky is the only remaining option not on the west coast may be a costly factor since in the beginning, Gordon wasn’t even considering leaving the west coast. However, because of the impression that both Kansas and Kentucky made on him, he has since reconsidered his position.
“I think location is pretty big,” Kennedy added. “Early on he was saying he was west coast for sure but then I think he wanted to open up and see what was out there by including Kansas and Kentucky and he was really impressed by both of those schools. They have great traditions and the fan bases are great. The love for basketball they have got him excited to where he expanded his thoughts to ‘maybe I won’t just play [on the] west coast.’”
In addition to location, Gordon has several other important factors he’s weighing. Among others, playing style, the opportunity to win a championship and a program that will help him improve are all important to the 6’8, 225-pound California native.
“The biggest thing is he wants to be playing in a free flow offense where they’re getting up and down a lot which all three of these schools offer,” Kennedy said. “He wants to be able to play on the wing and be the versatile player that he is. He wants to go to a program that can help him develop and that he can help develop into winning championships.”
Although he likely won’t commit for at least another couple of months, Gordon has no plans on taking any more visits. He has already taken two trips each to Arizona and Washington and one to Kentucky. One potential problem with Kentucky, however, is the fact that they’ve already built a six-man class in the class of 2013.
“I haven’t talked to him since the last guy signed with Kentucky and I haven’t looked at their numbers for how many scholarships they have available so I think that situation is a little different,” Kennedy added.
Despite the fact that Gordon likes every coaching staff and everyone is recruiting him as hard as the others, Kennedy says he has built a great relationship with one staff in particular.
“Washington stands out just because they’ve been recruiting him since day one,” Kennedy said. “They’ve known him since Drew so there’s definitely a comfort level.”
*Photograph courtesy of Bleacher Report