Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
That’s the lingering feeling for Washington basketball after it was once again passed over by a top-tier prospect that strung the Huskies along to the end of the recruiting trail.
Five-star forward Aaron Gordon chose the Arizona Wildcats on Tuesday morning during media day at the McDonald’s All-American game in Chicago. Washington is thought to have finished second for the 6-foot-8, 215-pound 18-year-old from San Jose, Calif. Kentucky and Oregon were Gordon’s other options.
The Huskies had a shot at Gordon because of Lorenzo Romar’s relationship with Gordon’s father, Ed. Romar had recruited Aaron’s older brother Drew, but also finished second in that sweepstakes when Drew chose UCLA prior to transferring to New Mexico.
Aaron Gordon joins an ever-growing list of high-end recruits Washington has come close on, but not been able to convince to join the program. All the way back to Ryan Hollins — who had committed to Romar when he was the coach at Saint Louis but was not released to go with Romar when he took the Washington job — to Martell Webster out of high school and the ultimate almost, Terrence Jones, Washington has just missed several times.
None of the close calls were more egregious than Jones. He put on a Washington hat at a televised press conference when he verbally committed to Washington and went to Kentucky. Jones was drafted by the Houston Rockets 18th overall in the 2012 draft.
Washington has four players slated to join it next season. Point guard and McDonald’s All-American Nigel Williams-Goss and wing Darin Johnson have signed national letters of intent. Point guard Jahmel Taylor and transfer wing Mike Williams have verbally committed to the Huskies. They can sign their letters of intent during the spring signing period, which runs from April 17 to May 15.
Now, Washington waits on C.J. Wilcox’s decision to stay for his senior season or enter the NBA draft. If Wilcox returns, it will have one scholarship available.