Can Arizona Wildcats Freshman Aaron Gordon Win the Pac-12 Player of the Year Award?

Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

The headline names entering the college basketball world this upcoming season include Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker, just to name a few. Another name that should be thrown directly into that group however, is Aaron Gordon, a 6-foot-8 forward out of California who is joining the Arizona Wildcats‘ program under head coach Sean Miller next season.

With Gordon in the fold, the expectations for the Wildcats during the 2013-14 season are through the roof, especially given the other notable returns that will also be in the fold for Miller and Arizona. The Wildcats did lose both Solomon Hill and Grant Jerrett, each of whom were selected in last month’s NBA Draft, but Arizona shouldn’t miss a beat in terms of competing for a Pac-12 Conference crown in 2014.

Yet, just how important is Gordon to the Wildcats’ success? Well, the hype has continuously grown over the past few years and the expectations of him being the team’s top performer right away as a freshman is not farfetched one bit. In fact, what if he could be the best player in the conference right away?

Gordon’s athleticism and recent play is grabbing headlines and there’s no doubt that he is going to be a joy to watch in Miller’s system at Arizona. In fact, Gordon recently claimed MVP honors at the U19 World Championships in averaging 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Now that’s saying something about Gordon’s potential, there’s no doubt about it.

Gordon has worked his way up to being an early top five projection in the 2014 NBA Draft and with his improving skill set and athleticism, there’s no doubt that Gordon has the talent and the squad to claim the Pac-12′s Player of the Year award in 2014.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

 

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  • mermansteve

    I would be highly surprised to see Gordon pick up POY award – especially as a freshman. His offensive skills talent and athleticism are not in doubt, but he needs to learn how to defend, learn to play team ball and learn to score against bigger and more skilled defenders than he has ever come up against; and also needs to learn the conditioning needed to play hard at a high PAC-12 level for 35 minutes a game on the court. Those are all unknowns and challenges yet to be conquered that many other returning stars in the PAC12 who have already shown they can carry their team on their backs that he will be competing with.