UA meets Gordon's defensive expectations

Aaron Gordon had high expectations for Arizona's defense. Read on to see if he feels Arizona met them and more.

When going through the recruiting process, Aaron Gordon looked at nearly everything.

In fact, one aspect of each team he looked at is how he would fit in defensively.

"I looked at the depth chart before I came here and I knew we could be very good defensively," Gordon said. "What they talked to me about was offensive and producing and I knew coming in we would be a defensive challenge.

"I saw T.J., who is real gritty as a point guard and can defend anybody. Nick Johnson is as athletic as a defender as there is. I can guard one through five and with Brandon and then Kaleb it was an incredible lineup that I thought could do really good defensively and we ended up doing really well."

Many felt Arizona would be improved, but maybe not as much as it was. Gordon on the other hand, saw it coming.

"We were so versatile and athletic, long and really smart," he said. "I definitely saw us being this good defensively, so I am not surprised."

Gordon was good on defense almost right away and the overall defensive mentality of the Wildcats seemed to be contagious.

"I was asked to defend the best front court player every time," Gordon said. "It is what I like to do and they give me the challenge here sometimes.

"What I like about this team is that if we played somebody that has a good scorer, we are all arguing to see who gets to defend them and it is really funny and it is fun."

Still, Gordon was able to improve on the defensive side of the ball, including one area in particular.

"I guess running off screens," he said. "Before I came here I couldn't really chase a two or three off a screen and now I can guard both."

So what makes a good defender?

"I would say it is about half physical and half mental," Gordon said. "It is physical because you need to have that athleticism and foot speed to get to the spot and take the blow the offense is going to give you to deter their momentum.

"The mentality of it is that you need to do that every time up the floor, so it goes hand in hand with each other."


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