Elite 2013 forward Aaron Gordon named his top three, but the Oregon Ducks were not in it after previously being in the top three. An excellent final official visit from the Kentucky Wildcats was the event that allowed Kentucky to replace Oregon in Gordon’s top three, and it is a blow for the Ducks 2013 class. However, it was highly unlikely for Oregon to land Gordon anyway, especially with the Washington Huskies and Arizona Wildcats being so heavily involved in his recruitment.
The Kansas Jayhawks and California Golden Bears were also eliminated, as Bill Self’s final push wasn’t enough to get Gordon to consider Kansas among his favorites. Cal had a commitment from teammate Jabari Bird, but the Golden Bears were never considered serious contenders to land the top ten recruit.
Gordon’s decision to eliminate the Oregon Ducks and Kansas Jayhawks comes after a good week for both programs in nabbing commitments from Jordan Bell and Joel Embiid respectively. Both players are four-star big men, with Bell selecting Oregon over Auburn and Embiid KU over Florida and Texas.
The common thought is that Gordon will stay out west, with Washington being viewed as the pick to land him. However, that has likely changed after the official visit to Kentucky, which was reportedly an incredible one for the five-star power forward. The Jayhawks were viewed as the team that had the highest chance of luring Gordon out of the west, largely because of Self’s push to land him and the fact that the Wildcats already have the Harrison twins and Julius Randle. Another thing that made it seem like UK had a lower chance is the fact that the Wildcats are involved in Andrew Wiggins’s recruitment as well.
Sean Miller has been actively pursuing Aaron Gordon, so Arizona also has a high chance of landing him. Things are pretty even in the top three, but I still think Gordon will stay out west and will likely end up going to the Washington Huskies.
Jordan Bell’s decision to pick Oregon on Tuesday looks all the more important right now, because Gordon’s decision to take the Ducks out of his top three (it wasn’t a surprising decision at all) means that Bell is most likely the final elite recruit in the Ducks class. In fact, Oregon might also be done with recruiting in 2013 after securing their fourth commitment in the class from three-star in-state SG A.J. Lapray.
By the way, Bell has signed his letter of intent.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.