San Jose Archbishop Mitty power forward Aaron Gordon, recruited by half of the programs in the Pac-12 including Arizona, had to come away impressed by the sellout crowd that honored the 1988 Final Four team at McKale Center on Sunday.
Arizona coach Sean Miller can not talk specifically about recruits per NCAA rules, but he referred indirectly to Gordon and other prospective recruits when discussing the appearance of Sean Elliott, Steve Kerr and the rest of the 1987-88 team.
“Looking at the 1988 team, and one of the great things about honoring them is how well each of them is doing 25 years later,” Miller said. “It’s amazing. They have camaraderie and a brotherhood that is genuine which a lot of people talk about but very few teams from that long ago have it.
“But look at who they are as people today and what they have done in their post Arizona careers. To me, as a coach to Arizona that is the greatest gift I can give these players. It was about the past touching the current. Obviously when you’re in this building and you feel it and you’re a prospect, you know that this is one remarkable place to go to school at, a community to grow and live in and to be a part of a basketball program that is more than a team that it has all the elements of greatness attached to it.”
I happened to arrive at McKale Center at the same time of Miller before the scrimmage. It was an odd sight: He walked alone among a small crowd of fans outside the building. Nobody bothered him. He looked very calm and confident, walking with a grin. As I shook his hand I could tell this is a man of his word when he talks about the benefits of coaching the program.
Make sure to check out my blog at TucsonCitizen.com that notes the interior presence of Arizona undergoing an upgrade from when the Wildcats reached the Elite Eight in 2011.
Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner