CHICAGO -- Last year, the Arizona Wildcats signed three frontcourt players ranked in the top 20 of the ESPN 100.
On Tuesday, the Wildcats struck again with a potential frontcourt star when forward Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) committed to play for Sean Miller over Kentucky, Washington and Oregon.
Gordon, who is the No. 2 power forward and No. 4 overall basketball recruit in the Class of 2013, made the decision at a news conference during the McDonald's All American Game media day. He said he was close to deciding on Arizona last fall but couldn't come to a final conclusion.
"I hope to be the X factor," Gordon said of joining Arizona next season.
As a senior, Gordon averaged 21.6 points, 15.7 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 2.1 assists per game.
During the recruiting process, there was a focus on Arizona's talented young frontcourt with freshmen Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley. Gordon, listed as a power forward, viewed Arizona as a place where the numbers would allow him to slide to the small forward spot. "What they have is a really, really loaded frontcourt, so that would make us so big, and they have a very experienced backcourt as well," Gordon said. "They lose three of their seniors, three of their main scorers. Sean Miller's a really good coach.
"I love it. I'm not trying to be conceited or cocky, but I'm not the type of player that can afford to be left on the bench. I don't know what specifically I'll do for you, but I'm going to produce numbers, points, blocks. Having a huge frontcourt, that would push me out (to the small forward position). I think I'll be too big for 3s and 2s and too fast for 4s and 5s."
The 6-foot-8 Gordon draws comparisons to a high school version of Los Angeles Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin. Gordon is one of the strongest, most explosive forwards in the Class of 2013. He consistently impacts games and his motor runs at a high level.
The Wildcats already signed a pair of ESPN 100 prospects during the early signing period in November: McDonald's All America small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Chester, Pa./Chester) and shooting guard Elliott Pitts (Concord, Calif./De La Salle). The spring signing period begins April 17.
Gordon kept his remarks short and sweet during the news conference. When asked what a successful season at Arizona would look like, he simply said "national championship."