Gordon named to Naismith watchlist

TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona freshman forward Aaron Gordon was named to the watch list for yet another prestigious award on Thursday when he was one of 50 players recognized by the Atlanta Tipoff Club as an early candidate for the Naismith Player of the Year Trophy.

Gordon is one of eight freshmen from around the country and one of just five Pac-12 players to make the list. In recent weeks, he has also been named to watch lists for the John R. Wooden Award, the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Wayman Tisdale Award.

The San Jose native has been imposing in the early going for No. 5/4 Arizona, registering three double-doubles in the Wildcats' first five games. He leads UA with averages of 9.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game, while netting 13.0 points per contest on 48.1 percent shooting from the floor.

Gordon has provided one of the signature moments of the early season in college basketball, converting an inbounds lob pass while being fouled with less than two minutes to play to help cement a hard-fought road win for Arizona at San Diego State. He had a season-high 16 points in that contest.

The MVP of the 2013 McDonald's All-American Game, Gordon earned tournament MVP honors while leading the United States to gold at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague. He also owns a gold medal as part of a victorious Team USA at the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship.