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Arizona Wildcats basketball notes: Jerrett leaves for NBA, Gordon officially signs

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Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA Basketball lost last night to Cal University, 77-69.

Arizona freshman forward Grant Jerrett is headed to the NBA after one season with the Wildcats, head coach Sean Miller and Jerrett announced last night.

“Today, with the support of my family, I made the decision to enter the 2013 NBA Draft and pursue my lifelong dream of playing professional basketball,” Jerrett said in a statement. “I would like to thank all Wildcat fans, my teammates and coaches for making my year in Tucson an incredible experience. I will forever be an Arizona Wildcat.”

Rumors surfaced days ago that Jerrett was entertaining the thought of leaving, but his high school coach, Eric Cooper, told CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman that “Grant has no intention of going in the draft at this time.”

Goodman also reported that Jerrett will likely sign with agent Brian Dyke of of Shibumi Sports. Dyke is married to Cynthia Cooper, sister of Eric Cooper Sr., who was Jerrett’s high school coach at La Verne Lutheran in California.

Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com reported that Jerrett is likely to sign with agent Brian Dyke of Shibumi Sports. Dyke is the husband of Cynthia Cooper, who is the sister of Eric Cooper Sr., who was Jerrett’s high school school at La Verne (Calif.) Lutheran.

Just days later, Jerrett appears to have changed his mind. He had until April 28 to decide his future.

“I would like to wish Grant well as he pursues his goal of becoming part of the NBA,” Miller said in a statement. “Not only is Grant a talented player, but he is an even better person with a wonderful and supportive family. I look forward to helping him in any way that I can as he moves forward in his basketball career.”

This season for the Wildcats, Jerrett averaged 5.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and a team-high 1.0 blocks per game in 34 games. Jerrett found most of his success from behind the 3-point line, shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc. More than 50 percent of Jerrett’s total field goals last season were 3-pointers.

Jerrett was a member of last season’s No. 3 rated recruiting class along with frontcourt mates Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski.

Next season, the Wildcats are bringing in the fifth-best recruiting class with 5-star forward Aaron Gordon of San Jose, Calif., leading the way in terms of star power.

Jerrett is currently projected to go undrafted by DraftExpress and NBADraft.net. The 2013 NBA Draft is scheduled for June 27 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Gordon makes it official

Arizona commit Aaron Gordon signed his letter of intent on Wednesday, making his addition to the Wildcats for next season official. Gordon announced his commitment to the Wildcats on April 2 before the McDonald’s All-Star Game, but couldn’t officially sign with Arizona until yesterday — the start of the NLI signing period.

Gordon signed his letter at his high school, Archbishop Mitty High School, in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday morning. He is expected to enroll in July.

“We are excited to welcome Aaron Gordon into our basketball family,” Miller said. “Aaron is the ultimate winner. He has won multiple California state championships, which speaks for itself. He’s also a great teammate, incredibly unselfish and a relentless competitor.”

Gordon had been considering Oregon, Kentucky and Washington in addition to Arizona.

The day after announcing his commitment to the Wildcats, Gordon shone in the McDonald’s Game in Chicago, tallying 24 points and eight rebounds with nine dunks. He didn’t do quite as well in the Jordan Brand Classic on April 12 in New York, though, scoring just three points on 1-of-6 shooting.

“Definitely was not my best,” Gordon said on Twitter after the Jordan game. “Tomorrow’s a new day. Best believe I’m gunna be in the gym tomorrow. Good or bad.”

Gordon, who is listed at 6-foot-8 and 205 pounds, rose in Rivals.com’s final 2013 recruit rankings, leapfrogging Duke commit Jabari Parker as the No. 3-ranked recruit in the nation.

Arizona’s other recruits, McDonald’s All-American small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and guard Elliott Pitts, came in at No. 21 and 126, respectively.

2014 recruit decommits from Wildcats

With the talk of Arizona forward Grant Jerrett potentially departing for the NBA, word has surfaced that his former high school teammate might leave the Wildcats before ever joining them.

Eric Cooper Jr. reportedly decommitted from the Wildcats on Monday.

Cooper is rated a two-star guard in the class of 2014 by ESPN and Scout.com, and unranked by Rivals. He originally was to be a part of the 2013 class, but reclassified to 2014 because of a variety of knee issues.

In addition, Cooper will make his second high school transfer of his career and play for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, the old stomping grounds of former Arizona guard Mark Lyons.

Cooper, a 6-foot-2, 180 pound guard, played at St. Anthony High School in Long Beach, Calif., last year and averaged 22.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

He played with Jerrett at Lutheran High School prior to that, where his father Eric Cooper Sr., coached both of them.

Cooper, now the coach at St. Anthony’s, played at the UA under former head coach Lute Olson.

It is unclear where Cooper Jr., will re-commit, but Rivals lists San Diego State, UCLA, UNLV and USC as his other college choices.

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