Aaron Gordon made a roster of 16 finalist for USA Basketball's Under-19 squad that will play in Prague in less than two weeks, but Arizona Wildcats forward Brandon Ashley and commit Rondae Hollis-Jefferson were cut. USA Basketball announced the list of 16 finalists for a roster that will be whittled down to 12 players in the coming days.
2014 shooting guard Justise Winslow, an Arizona recruit out of Houston, is also on the roster of finalists.
Gordon's place on the team is especially impressive considering his age. Concerning, however, is the brief synopsis of Ashley that came from Draft Express' Jonathan Givony, who was in attendance at the tryouts.
One guy who has been somewhat disappointing so far is Brandon Ashley. Just kind of floating around. Not showing much toughness or intensity.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 15, 2013
This points to the problem that Ashley had with the Wildcats his freshman season and the learning curve he'll face this coming year. Furthermore, Gordon's success thus far could allude to him greatly challenging Ashley at the power forward spot, especially if Sean Miller opts to play small -- or simply with his five best players.
If T.J. McConnell is what he's supposed to be -- a starting point guard -- and Jordin Mayes and Gabe York fight for minutes, that could very well turn next year's Arizona team into a small-ball unit that bumps Gordon into the power forward slot. And that's assuming there wasn't the possibility for Gordon to play power forward anyway. We're not even mentioning Matt Korcheck's availability.