The University of Oregon is widely known for their run-and-gun mentality on the gridiron,but rarely are the Ducks considered a powerhouse on the basketball court.
All that may be about to change with one high school recruit.
Aaron Gordon, 18, has been at the frontline of college basketball recruiting debates for the better part of the last year. However, after dropping Oregon off of his short list of possible schools, Gordon is once again considering Eugene, Ore. as a future destination. Gordon is also considering Arizona, Washington and Kentucky.
It’s not every day a top five national recruit adds three PAC-12 Conference schools to his shortlist, but Gordon, a native of San Jose, Calif., appears to be giving some attention to programs close to home. Obviously, Kentucky is still a major player in the bid for Gordon.
Oregon (19-5, 8-3 PAC-12) is currently part of a rebuilding in the PAC-12 along with No. 9 Arizona and UCLA. The Ducks were able to snag top recruit Dominic Artis in the 2012 recruiting class and have seen substantial results with him in the lineup. Oregon head coach Dana Altman has shown his desire to budding superstars, yet another encouragement for Gordon to join the Ducks.
Arizona, unlike Oregon and Kentucky, has shown its desire to produce players through long careers in the program. The biggest contributors this season for the Wildcats are Solomon Hill and Mark Lyons, both of whom are seniors. The highest producing freshman for Arizona is Brandon Ashley, averaging eight points per game in roughly 21 minutes each night.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari is notorious for grooming young freshman into NBA stars very quickly. Gordon’s sudden re-interest in Oregon, however, shows the Ducks may have the upper hand.
Gordon has announced that he wants to wait to see how his prospective teams play in the NCAA tournament before making a decision, solidifying the importance of post-season play for the Ducks this season.
If Oregon plans on signing Gordon, it is crucial that they begin to improve their play heading into the PAC-12 Conference tournament. During Artis’ recent injury, the Ducks lost four of five games to conference opponents, but believe the freshman point guard will return against Washington on Feb. 13.