Mark Olivier and Derrick Artis, coaches for the illustrious Drew Gooden Oakland Soldiers AAU program, spoke with PointGuardU.com about some of Arizona’s targets that will be running with the Soldiers next year.
“Jabari Bird has looked awesome,” Artis told PGU. “His ball handling has improved, and he’s just such a go to scorer for his team. He can score at will and he’s gotten even more athletic, surprisingly.”
“Jabari is the kind of player you always want on the court,” Olivier said. “And where he plays you have to play good defense, so he’s improving in that area.”
Olivier also had glowing remarks about Aaron Gordon, an uber-athletic forward from Archbishop Mitty in San Jose.
“Aaron’s physique is incredible, he’s putting up 30 and 40 points a game, he’s a man amongst boys out there, it’s really not fair,” Olivier added. “His jumper is looking real good, his handle is getting tighter, it’s really impressive the way he’s handling the ball now and getting ready for college.”
Both Gordon and Bird are highly coveted recruits in the class of 2013, and while Arizona and Washington appear to be the schools to beat, Artis and Olivier said they remain wide open.
“It’s still kind of early for them,” Artis said. “I know they both like Arizona, who doesn’t? But they’ve got a lot of time to decide and I haven’t talked to either of them about deciding early. I think they’re still open to a number of schools.”
“There are a lot of programs in there for them,” Olivier told PGU. “Arizona and Washington are high up there, but I don’t think you can narrow it down to a small number.”