The extra seasoning Roy Hibbert received in four years in college as an athlete and person was vital to his eventual success. Then a plodding big man, he has transformed himself into a two-time All-Star with Defensive Player of the Year merits through hard work and patience. Read More. Written by Andrew Perna on Mar 08, 2014
Aaron Gordon continues to show questionable ability on offense and projects as a tweener between small forward and power forward.
Gordon attempted to establish himself as a small forward beside Brandon Ashley at power forward, but he will now move over to his more natural position with Ashley out for Arizona.
"He's stuck between positions and I think we're going to have to embrace the fact that ideally, he's a four in our league," one scout said. "Now that Brandon Ashley likely is out the season, he'll move to his natural position and I think that will help his stock. Once he gets stronger, I think he'll be fine there. He's so quick, plays the game the right way and plays so hard, he's going to be really good. But you have to understand what he is and what he isn't."
Brandon Ashley will miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury.
Ashley was averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for previously undefeated Arizona.
"Last night, early in our Cal game, Brandon Ashley suffered a foot injury that will end his season," Arizona coach Sean Miller said in a statement. "While we're all disappointed, we are also aware that Brandon needs our support and positive energy surrounding him. ... This adversity will ultimately make Brandon and our team stronger moving forward."
Miller feared the injury was a broken foot after the game.
"We have to get back to the drawing board and make sure we can move forward if Brandon is not with us," Miller said shortly after the loss.
Arizona will use Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as Ashley's replacement in the starting lineup, but depth will become an issue for Miller's team.
Stanley Johnson has committed to Arizona, choosing the Wildcats over Kentucky and USC.
Johnson is a 6'6, 225 lbs wing out of Mater Dei High School.
“He is a different type of kid,” Oakland Soldiers coach Jules Milstead told TucsonCitizen.com’s Javier Morales during the summer. “I haven’t seen a kid like that with his motor, his basketball IQ, with his ability in the open floor, and with his body control.”
Johnson is the No. 9 ranked player in the class of 2014.
Aaron Gordon’s athleticism and motor have drawn comparison to Blake Griffin.
“I think it’s unfair to put that on Aaron,” said Sean Miller, who will coach Gordon at Arizona this season. “I don’t know if he’s as much of a post player as Blake Griffin is. Aaron might not even be as big physically as Blake Griffin. ... But he does some other things that are much different. He’s much more fluid away from the basket entering his freshman year, I think if you would make that comparison at equal time, than Blake Griffin [was]. The one thing they share is athleticism in and around the basket or in transition.”
Gordon has shown the ability to play both inside and out.
“What he does, he does a little bit of everything,” Miller said. “And he can really handle the ball. He’s an unselfish passer, he’s great in transition. He can rebound at both ends. From a defensive perspective, it’s like he’s an upperclassman. He can guard a variety of players. And he takes that part of his game seriously. ... I’m almost describing an older player and yet Aaron just turned 18 years old.”