After a flurry of marquee commitments in October, Kentucky fans have been able to sit back and catch their collective breath on a break from John Calipari's thrill-a-minute basketball recruiting ride.
That changes this weekend.
Another five-star prospect will be making his way to Lexington as the Wildcats play host to San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty forward Aaron Gordon after they return from their season opener Friday night against Maryland in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The 6-foot-8 Gordon, who is ranked No. 6 in the Class of 2013 by Scout and FoxSports, will be spending Saturday and Sunday at UK. It will mark his fifth and final official visit after trips to Arizona, Kansas, Washington and Oregon.
Many national recruiting observers have long considered Gordon a lock to stay on the West Coast, and Washington is widely viewed as the likely leader, but one of his AAU coaches with the Oakland Soldiers says not to assume anything with this particular player.
"Let me tell you one thing about Aaron and his family: Kentucky is definitely in the running if they're getting a visit," Mark Oliver said. "He wouldn't be making this trip if he weren't extremely serious about Kentucky. He's not that type of kid. It's not that type of family to get on a plane and take a trip across the country if they weren't genuinely interested.
"The whole location thing is overblown. They're looking for the best fit for Aaron, wherever that might be."
Oliver has spent countless hours with Gordon in the gym and traveling to all of the major AAU events during the spring and summer over the years. And while he doesn't take an active role in Gordon's recruitment -- "That's just something I don't do, and this family has been through it all before with Aaron's brother and sister" -- Oliver says knowing Gordon's personality, Kentucky may have a better shot than some are willing to give the Wildcats.
"This is a kid that, above everything else, he wants to win," Oliver said. "He doesn't care about being somewhere where he can take all the shots or average 30 a game. That's not what he's about. People who saw him play with (the Soldiers) at Peach Jam know that winning is everything to him. He wants that Final Four. And that's what Kentucky is about. You look at the kids they've had lately, they go there to win."
Oliver sees Kentucky as a good fit for Gordon, basketball-wise. Another former Oakland Soldier, Kyle Wiltjer, is currently on the Wildcats' roster and "He tells me he loves it there."
"How he fits in with the other players and the coaching staff will be a big factor," Oliver added. "He likes all of these schools. He can't go wrong with any of them. I think it's just a matter of where he feels the most comfortable."
Don't expect Gordon to be overwhelmed by the UK experience and give a commitment on the spot this weekend.
"He's not that type of kid," Oliver said. "In fact, he's one of the only kids I've ever been around who actually took all five visits. Most of them decide they've had enough after two or three; some after just one. But he's taken all of these visits, and he'll digest all the information and go over it carefully with his family before doing anything."
After helping lead the Oakland Soldiers to the 2012 Nike EYBL championship, Gordon earned Player of the Game honors this summer at the Under-Armor Elite 24 All-Star Game in Los Angeles. He scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds in the event that also featured UK commitments Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison and Marcus Lee, as well as Wildcat target Julius Randle.
Kentucky currently has five verbal commitments for 2013: the twin guards from Texas, California center Lee, Michigan wing James Young and Kentucky forward Derek Willis. The Cats are expected to add two more players to the class. Gordon, Randle and the recently reclassified Andrew Wiggins are thought to be the top priorities for filling those two spots.
Gordon ready for UK visit
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