The Arizona Wildcats had a special run in 2013-14 spending much of the regular season as the number one team in the nation and capping it off with a trip to the Elite Eight.
On Thursday, two of the key pieces from that Wildcat crew were selected in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Aaron Gordon got it started being selected earlier than many mock drafts had him slated. The Orlando Magic at fourth overall selected him with the fourth overall pick making him the fourth Wildcat in history to be selected in the top five. The other three included: Sean Elliot in 1988, Mike Bibby in 1998 and Derrick Williams in 2011.
I’m going to Disney world!
— AG (@IamAaronGordon) June 27, 2014
Gordon was one of the most heralded freshman to come to Tucson in quite some time and as the season progressed and he got more and more used to Sean Miller’s system, he lived up to that hype. He started all 38 games, averaging 12.4 points, a team-high 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks in 31.2 minutes per contest.
The Magic oooed and ahhed watching their 2013 first round pick Victor Oladipo and his great leaping ability. Add Gordon to that and the Magic will have some show as part of their core moving forward.
In the second round, a second Wildcat was selected. With the 42nd pick, the Houston Rockets selected guard Nick Johnson. The 6-3 captain of the Wildcats last season was the Pac-12 Player of the Year as he lead the Wildcats in scoring at 16 points to go along with 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 33.0 minutes per game.
#APlayersProgram has four draft picks in the last two years, tied for second nationally. UA's five picks since 2011 ranks 8th nationally.
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) June 27, 2014
Johnson also played high school ball at Highland High School in Gilbert before transferring to Findlay Prep in Las Vegas before coming back to Arizona to play for the Wildcats. Johnson is not the first player selected by the Rockets in recent memory. They selected Chase Budinger out of Arizona as well in 2009.
Johnson now teams up with Dwight Howard, and former rival (though they never faced each other) James Harden in Houston.