Aaron Gordon, a five-star small forward ranked #5 in the entire nation for the class of 2013, is on his official visit to the University of Washington this weekend, and he is joined by shooting guard Darin Johnson, and point guard and Washington commit Nigel Williams-Goss.
Gordon is thought to be considering primarily Washington, Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon and Kansas. While the 6’8″ recruit from San Jose, California isn’t planning on committing until April, the battle for his verbal is already fierce, with Romar, Sean Miller, Bill Self, and John Calipari all paying Gordon a home visit in the last month. Now, fresh off of his official to Oregon, Gordon is in Seattle, and it is Washington’s turn to make as much of an impression as possible on the young player.
For now, the competition appears too close to predict, though Washington certainly has as good a chance as any other team of landing him. One thing that could help nudge Gordon in Coach Romar’s direction is the experiences of Gordon’s brother, Drew Gordon, who committed to UCLA early in his recruitment and then ended up disliking the program and transferring to New Mexico. Gordon’s coach, Tim Kennedy, has said that Aaron learned from the experience of his brother, and because of that, values a coach with which he can connect very highly. More on that here from Percy Allen of the Times.
If Gordon really does value coaching and scheme over flash, than Washington seems like a perfect fit, but only time will tell if the glitz and glamor of a program like Kentucky or Oregon (for the Ducks, I’m mainly speaking of glamorous facilities) will prove too alluring for the eighteen year-old.
Darin Johnson, while not as highly touted as Gordon, would be a solid addition to the program. He stands 6’4″ and is given three stars by ESPN and Rivals and four stars by Scout. He is far more likely to feel comfortable committing on the spot if he is truly impressed during the visit, simply because he has said nothing about waiting to commit, but there is no reason to expect his verbal to be imminent.
While Nigel Williams-Goss is already committed to Washington, his presence is important this weekend for two reasons. For one, in today’s age of ruthless recruiting, it is important to continue to maintain connections to verbal commits all the way until signing day to avoid any flipping to other programs. Second, Williams-Goss can serve as a voice in the ear of Gordon and Johnson, a peer that can, if he chooses, attempt to convince the other two to join him at Washington.
No matter the outcome, this is undoubtedly a key weekend for Washington basketball, and you can bet that we will quickly bring any news that emerges in the coming days straight to you.