When Aaron Gordon announced for Arizona during McDonald's All-American festivities last spring, Wildcat fans knew they'd better cherish each moment he spends on campus. Gordon checks in officially at 6-9, 225 pounds, and his athleticism is off the charts and wildly appreciated by NBA scouts.
But for the next several months, at least, he'll showcase his talents in Tucson. And although his scoring lags his overall talent, he has been plenty productive through the season's opening act.
Gordon is averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds per game, along with nearly two blocks per game as well. His 50 percent field goal shooting sounds good, but in fact that puts him lower than several other Wildcat regulars. The truth is that Arizona hasn't faced an elite opponent just yet, but that will change as they head toward the preseason NIT in New York over the next 10 days.
Based on what we've seen so, far, however, Gordon's physical attributes certainly have not been overstated. He played tremendously at San Diego State and especially in the first half, showcasing a more versatile style than perhaps what he's likely to display consistently this season.
Gordon wasn't the only McDonald's attendee to choose Sean Miller's program. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson lacks Gordon's explosiveness and ceiling, sure, but he's already playing 20 minutes per game and averaging a solid nine points and four rebounds per contest while shooting a highly efficient 12-18 from the field.
Again, we'll learn a lot more once these guys step up in competitive class, but Hollis-Jefferson already has established himself a key cog in the machine. I never regarded him as a one-and-done recruit, and assuming he improves during this season and returns for his sophomore campaign, he could become one of the Pac-12's best players in 2014-15.
Elliott Pitts signed as a regional, four star high-major recruit and, while he's unlikely to play a big role this season, obviously will compete against very stout competition in practice.
Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson are the stars of this class, and both are off to a promising start. Gordon may not have the skill level just yet to match the exploits of the aforementioned trio in 2013-14, but there's a lot of season to play and a long career ahead of him beyond that.