Five-star California prospect Aaron Gordon is one of the most unique prospects in the Class of 2013, and on Tuesday during an in-home visit from Kentucky coach John Calipari, that point was driven home.
"He came to my house yesterday and we had a good talk about what his program was all about and how he really wanted me to be a part of it," said Gordon, a 6-foot-8, 212-pound forward who is ranked No. 5 in his class by Scout. "He told me how it's different there than anywhere else, how it's not for everyone. He said I'm not a traditional player, and they're not a traditional program, but he loved how competitive I am and how I'm always working to get better. He said it would be the perfect place for me because of my desire to work hard and win."
The Wildcats' recruitment of Gordon has come full circle in the last year. Entering last year's AAU circuit, he wasn't sure if UK had any interest. Likewise, he wasn't ever too interested in UK.
But things have changed dramatically in the last few months. Kentucky is the national champion, six more Cats have been selected in the NBA Draft – including the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the form of Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist –
and Calipari appears to have been won over after watching Gordon perform this summer with the Oakland Soldiers.
"He said he really liked my skill set and my athleticism and my desire to win all mashed into one," Gordon said. "A lot of players may have one or two of those things, but not all three. That's what he liked the most about me."
The UK boss was flanked by assistants Orlando Antigua and Kenny Payne as part of his coaching staff full-court press for the in-home visit.
"I never really thought I wanted to go out to Kentucky," said Gordon, who plays for Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. "I always thought I'd stay somewhere around here, you know, on the West Coast, and they weren't really recruiting me very hard, so it wasn't a big deal. But when they started showing strong interest and he came out to visit me, that kind of changed. I like the idea a lot more now. I want to get out there for a visit and see more."
Kentucky is one of five schools in the mix for Gordon. He is also looking at Oregon, Washington, Kansas and Arizona.
"They're all on an even level until I take my visits," Gordon said. "After I take my visits, I think I'll have a much better idea of how they stack up, and I'll probably make my decision in the spring."
The two parties are now working on an official visit date. Gordon said it's likely to be in "early October," but not as part of UK's celebrated "Big Blue Madness." He'll be at Kansas for that weekend.
He is still in the process of locking in dates, but said the order will likely be Oregon, Washington, Kentucky, Kansas and Arizona.
The only other in-home visit Gordon has completed was with Arizona coach Sean Miller on Monday night. "It was a good visit, too," he said. "I really enjoyed it. Coach Miller is great."
Asked what he'll be looking for during his official visits, Gordon said: "I'm a basketball player, so I know that part will be fine at any of those schools. My heart will tell me where the best place for me is. It will be more about the vibe than anything else."
Gordon recaps in-home visit with UK staff
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