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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Broken nose won’t keep Aldrich out

Kansas center might sport protective mask for today’s matchup against Colorado

KU center Cole Aldrich, who has his nose stuffed to stop a bit of bleeding, talks with Kansas head coach Bill Self during the second half Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln.

KU center Cole Aldrich, who has his nose stuffed to stop a bit of bleeding, talks with Kansas head coach Bill Self during the second half Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln.

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Born and raised in hockey country, Cole Aldrich would love to wear a bulky, colorful goalie mask to protect his broken nose in today’s 3 p.m. home game against Colorado.

One with “the back on it, with a big ol’ Jayhawk on the side,” the Kansas University center joked.

Instead, if the 6-foot-11 Minnesotan does choose to wear a mask, it’ll be a simple shield, like the one NBA standout Richard Hamilton has made famous.

“It’s just a clear one,” Aldrich said, the Jayhawk goalie mask simply a figment of his wild imagination.

“It’s got straps on it. It’s a regular one.”

Aldrich, who had his nose set by doctors Thursday afternoon — a day after taking a hard elbow while chasing a rebound against Nebraska — spoke with reporters Friday sporting a heavy white piece of tape on the bridge of his schnoz.

The tape will remain for today’s game.

It’s yet to be decided whether he’ll wear the protective mask that was fitted Thursday and delivered to him Friday morning.

“If it’s comfortable, I’ll wear it. If not, I probably won’t,” Aldrich said, admitting his nose “is a little tender here and there. It’s probably going to be a little tender the next day or so, but that’s how it is.”

He said a broken nose would not keep him out of the lineup today.

“I don’t see any way,” Aldrich said, asked if he could miss the KU-CU contest. “Worse comes to worse, it’ll get hit again, and I’ll have to get it set again.”

Aldrich joked that he hasn’t received much sympathy from teammates, coaches and classmates since getting his nose whacked in the second half of a 68-62 victory over the Cornhuskers.

“I was hoping to get a little more (attention),” Aldrich said. “Maybe here or there. People will say something like, ‘I hope it heals well.’’’

Aldrich’s roommate, Tyrel Reed, feels for his buddy, who has suffered some scars in the heat of battle this season.

“I think he’s going to be fine, (but) he looks a little banged up right now from his whole body. He got his tooth messed up earlier in the season,” Reed said of Aldrich chipping his front tooth in a home victory over Kansas State on Jan. 13. “I’m sure he’ll be ready to go.”

Freshman big man Markieff Morris has resisted any temptation to tease Aldrich about the broken nose.

“I got my nose broken twice before (in high school) so I know how it feels,” Morris said. “The first time I ran into a divider that divides the court. The pole on the bottom broke my nose. The second time I jab-stepped. The guy went for the jab and hit my nose out of the way.”

Morris said he wore a mask as his nose healed.

That’s his suggestion to Aldrich.

“I heard he was (going to wear one). He said he didn’t want to. Until he breaks it again ... then he’ll know why he should have worn it,” Morris said.

KU coach Bill Self said, “He’ll probably wear tape two or three days. I don’t know if he’ll wear the mask or not. If he feels comfortable in it, it’s fine if he wears it. If he doesn’t feel comfortable in it, then he won’t. He’s not hung up on wearing it though.”

Self grinned when asked if he ever broke his nose during his days as a point guard at Oklahoma State.

“I don’t think so. Many people have probably suggested it looks like I had,” he cracked. “I don’t think I’ve ever broken my nose.”

Ah, but did he break the nose of any foes?

“No. No. I was a finesse player,” he responded.

On the business at hand ... KU (16-4, 5-0) today will try to defeat the Buffs (9-10, 1-4) for the second time in 14 days. The Jayhawks won, 73-56, on Jan. 17 in Boulder. KU is 3-0 since then; CU 1-2 with a home victory over Iowa State, a home loss to Kansas State and a loss at Texas Tech.

“This is going to be tough. They put up a great fight at their place,” Aldrich said. “Their (Princeton style) offense is really tough to guard. We struggled guarding it at times. They can really shoot from the outside. It’ll be a tough game.”

KU will travel to Baylor for an 8 p.m. tip on Monday.

Comments

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 12 months ago

He should have some fun with this if he has to wear a mask. Why not? Those clear plexiglass ones are boring. Get some art student to paint one up like hockey goalies wear. Some suggestions:- the Joker's smile- Beak'em 'Hawks face- Snarling bear faceOther suggestions?

jayhawk159 10 years, 12 months ago

wat a bro!!! tough it out big guy. i see u. hit somebody and hit somebody hard. giv them a message that ur a force to b reckond wit!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 12 months ago

He should wear the "Ultimate Mask"....Jason from Friday the 13th...end of discussion!!!

Nick Cole 10 years, 12 months ago

That's great that Cole is a tough kid and all. However, this basic story has now been told three of four times on KUSports.com. Instead of reading things like this on game day, I would love it if this staff would do a little more in depth research and analysis of KUs opponent at hand. If you didn't waste your time rewriting the same story, you would have some free time to gather some useful information. Maybe a nice little comparison of the two teams could be something you busy gents could put together. This comparison should contain, but is not limited to, the following: - Offensive Advantage- Defensive Advantage- Frontcourt Advantage- Backcourt Advantage- Our Team Stats v. Their Team Stats (i.e. Rebounding, PPG, Turnovers, Steals, etc.)- Top Players Indv. Stats v. Top Players Indv. Stats - Player v. Player Matchups- Height, Weight and position of each player from the opposing team- The list goes on and on with things you guys could write about.I have just provided a plethora of topics. You all don't even have to think of things to write about. All you have to do is gather the goods and type it up. I can now only hope you will use tthis and something good will come.Rock Chalk!

jayhawker_97 10 years, 12 months ago

you've got our supports from fans, Aldrich.feel better, and get out there do what you're best at. show your toughness in the court, too.beak, whack, and kick the buffs' bu++s one more time. this time, you'll pay your dues from being weak against NU game. and hopefully, you'll enjoy being a monster all the rest of the games.go Hawks!

Dirk Medema 10 years, 12 months ago

If this were last year's team that went four deep on the front court, and then had the potential to slide a 6-6 into the 4 for a "small" lineup, it would be great to have Cole administer an enforcer foul. As it is, if he gets into any sort of foul trouble, as he has at times this year (primarily providing help, help, HELP defense) we get real small and inexperienced. I loved Jaybate's take on using Thomas at the 4, and even Little can give more toughness than the twins, and let a less crucial player be the enforcer. Anyone else want to step up - besides Sherron? You don't have to be the biggest guy on the team to be tough, and let the other team know it. I for one, do have a little respect for Cookie Miller for attempting to do that in the last game. I agree that his execution was over the top and solidly into the realm of being a punk, but at least he was trying.

kuwillkillit 10 years, 12 months ago

BleedCandB- I would have to agree with you here. I used to like to read game day articles, mostly for everyone's comments. However it seems like after they changed the website it has gone stagnant. No real stories from Keegan and CO, therefore no insightful comments by posters. Two out of Five articles are MBB, one about a nose, and Garys normal drivel. Dont get me wrong i like the other sports topics too, but on BB saturday i expext to see more than the bear minnimum of two pieces of flare as opposed to mabey four. Its too bad i find my self going to Phog.net more and more these days. I like this site and everyones insight somebody needs go get on these Guys butts or i can see the fan base moving on. Ok off to the bar Rock Chalk!

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