Nick Johnson (middle) and Arizona took it to the biggest teams on its schedule and are stronger after escaping with a 13-0 nonconference record.

Nick Johnson (middle) and Arizona took it to the biggest teams on its schedule and are stronger after escaping with a 13-0 nonconference record. - See more at: http://arizona.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1591007&PT=4&PR=2#sthash.KAMIpEaY.dpuf
Nick Johnson (middle) and Arizona took it to the biggest teams on its schedule and are stronger after escaping with a 13-0 nonconference record. - See more at: http://arizona.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1591007&PT=4&PR=2#sthash.KAMIpEaY.dpuf
Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports

It should come as no surprise, but Arizona basketball players Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson announced their intentions to turn professional. 

Gordon, a freshman, is projected as a top-15 pick in the NBA Draft. He was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and averaged 12.4 ppg and a team best 8.0 rpg.

“This was a real difficult decision because I love the University of Arizona,” said Gordon.

“At the end of the day I have to make the decision that is best for Aaron Gordon,” Gordon continued.

Johnson, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year and a consensus All-American, is not as surefire a pick but he believes he has a chance to be drafted “where I want to be.”

“The feedback that I got is something that I feel confident about,” Johnson explained.

Johnson was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 16.3 ppg and was considered the team’s unquestioned leader.

Sean Miller said that losing the two players was bittersweet, but that overall it “is a good day.”

“It is bittersweet because people like them don’t come along too often,” Miller said.

Miller made a point to call them people and not players, stressing their character.

The moves now puts the Wildcats roster back at the allotted 13 scholarships. The team had previously been two over the limit with the signing of four players for the 2014 recruiting class.

Although the Wildcats lose nearly 40% of their team scoring, they return five players who started six games or more.

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