LOS ANGELES – Arizona freshman forward Aaron Gordon was named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 on Tuesday in a release by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, making him an early frontrunner for one of college basketball’s most prestigious awards.
Gordon is one of nine freshmen from around the nation named to the list, and one of just six players from the Pac-12 Conference. In recent weeks, he has also been named to watch lists for the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Trophy and the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award.
The San Jose, Calif., native has gotten off to a fast start in 2013-14, posting double-doubles in both of the Wildcats’ regular-season contests thus far. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds in Monday’s win over Long Beach State, just days after debuting with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in a victory over Cal Poly.
Gordon leads Arizona in rebounds (10.0) and blocks (2.5) per game, while sharing the team scoring lead with frontcourt-mate Brandon Ashley at 13.5 points per game. He is shooting 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from the floor and 66.7 percent (2-of-3) from beyond the arc.
The MVP of the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game, Gordon earned tournament MVP honors while leading the United States to a gold medal at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague. He also owns a gold medal as part of the victorious Team USA at the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship.
The preseason list will be cut to 20 candidates midway through the campaign, with the 10-man Wooden Award All-American team set to be announced during the week of the NCAA Tournament’s regional rounds. The complete preseason watch list can be found at woodenaward.com.
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