McDonald's All-American Game 2013: Aaron Gordon's Stock Rises After MVP Showing
Aaron Gordon jumped right into stardom with his performance at the 2013 McDonald's All-American Game.
Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins were the headliners coming into the game, but it was Gordon who stole the show. He won the MVP Award with his 24-point, eight-rebound performance.
It wasn't so much that he scored 24 points but rather how he scored them.
Parker and Wiggins are clearly the class of the 2013 crop of recruits. They're both multi-talented and should go on to productive college and NBA careers. They had solid performances on Wednesday night, but they didn't seem to want the spotlight.
It almost felt as if Parker and Wiggins didn't have anything to prove, so why have a ton of highlight-reel plays. You can kinda see where they're coming from in that regard.
While they took a step back, Gordon looked at the game as his personal showcase.
Athleticism is one of his biggest assets. At 6'8", Gordon can jump out of the gym. It's these kinds of games where Gordon can take over. The fans expect and want to see fun, open basketball. Defenses are perfectly happy to let guys run at the basket unopposed, and there's plenty of fast-break opportunities.
On one such opportunity, Gordon found himself with all the time in the world to execute a massive dunk. He went for the between-the-legs dunk, only to be denied by the rim. It was the kind of lowlight that could have defined his game. Instead, he went out and hammered down huge slam after huge slam. He had nine total dunks on the night.
Many scouting reports have raved about Gordon's competitiveness, and it was easy to see why after the All-American Game. He exerted himself on both ends of the floor. Gordon routinely ran the length of the floor to quickly get back on defense. He wasn't just cherry-picking, waiting to hit another dunk.
Gordon already had plenty of hype coming into the game. 247Sports has him sitting No. 6 in its composite ranking, but this game put him over the top.
Sean Miller could have used some good news after it was revealed an official possibly had a vendetta against him (h/t Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports). He received some in the form of a commitment from Gordon (h/t Darren Sabedra of the San Jose Mercury News).
The Arizona Wildcats had an up-and-down regular season in 2012-13. They're losing two quality seniors in Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill. Getting Gordon next year will definitely help to blunt their departures. He could very well make the Wildcats the top team in the Pac-12. At the very least, Gordon will turn Arizona into must-watch basketball because of his fantastic dunking.
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