Arizona Basketball

Sean Miller: Arizona Wildcats star recruit should not be compared to Blake Griffin


Aaron Gordon has established himself as the most decorated player to be recruited by Arizona.

— MVP honors for the national U19 team that won a gold medal at the FIBA world championships in July.

— Ranked as the No. 3 overall player and the No. 2 power forward in his class by Rated as the No. 4 overall prospect and the No. 2 power forward in his class by both and

— MVP of the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game after finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes.

— Compared to Blake Griffin, NBA All-Star of the Los Angeles Clippers. …

Arizona coach Sean Miller can live with with the first three accolades listed above but he believes it’s unfair to compare Gordon to Griffin, the former Oklahoma All-American, as many have in the national media.

Griffin (6-10 and 251) has a bigger build than Gordon (6-8, 215). Although Gordon figures to fill out his frame with the conditioning program at Arizona, he excels mostly facing the basket while Gordon is more of a post-up player.

They share an explosiveness to the basket, but Miller told recently that the comparisons are not justified.

“I think it’s unfair to put that on Aaron,” he told “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 was to the point with Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News about his comparison with Griffin: “I think I can play point guard and he can’t.”

“He’s an incredible player; he’s the No. 1 pick,” Gordon continued. “I can’t be too mad if people are comparing me to a No. 1 pick. But I can play point guard.”

Griffin took Oklahoma as far as the Elite Eight during his sophomore season, one in which he earned various national player of the year honors, including the John Wooden Award.

Gordon aims to take Arizona further this season, in what could be his only year with the Wildcats. If the UA goes beyond the Elite Eight, the individual accolades such as Griffin earned, will happen for Gordon.

“(His U19 team MVP) was more about his unselfishness and his talent,” Miller told “They combine to make him a very unique player. What he does, he does a little bit of everything. 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.”

— Feeling nostalgic: The last time Arizona won a game when it scored 47 points was at ASU during the 1947-48 season. The UA defeated the Sun Devils 47-46.

Countdown to Tip-off Blogs:
— Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller on fast track to Pac-12 success
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— Arizona Wildcats preparing for what could be memorable 2013-14 season publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, and


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