Sunday, March 8, 2009

Jayhawks well-represented on coaches’ Big 12 teams

Self wins coach of the year; Marcus Morris, Taylor named to All-Rookie team

All-Big 12 first-teamer Cole Aldrich, right, walks off the court with Big 12 Player of the Year Blake Griffin of Oklahoma.

All-Big 12 first-teamer Cole Aldrich, right, walks off the court with Big 12 Player of the Year Blake Griffin of Oklahoma.


Kansas fights back, defeats Texas to win title

Trailing by 14 in the opening half, the opportunity for five straight Big 12 titles was slowly fading for the Kansas men's basketball team.

Kansas University’s inside-outside combo of Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich earned first-team All-Big 12 recognition on Sunday.

Collins, KU’s 5-foot-11 junior guard from Chicago who averages 18.3 points and 5.0 assists a game, and Aldrich, a 6-11 sophomore center from Bloomington, Minn., who averages 14.8 points and 10.5 boards, were joined by Blake Griffin (Oklahoma), DeMarre Carroll (Missouri) and Craig Brackins (Iowa State) on the first teams of both the Associated Press and the league coaches.

Collins and Griffin were unanimous choices by both groups.

“I’m really happy for Sherron and Cole. Both are very deserving of first-team honors,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Without exception, you could say they have been two of the most consistent players in the Big 12. As the two leaders of this team, it is also a reflection of how their teammates have matured throughout the year.

“The bottom line is, the reason we got better and won the league is because we had other players step up that didn’t get individual recognition, but made our team better.”

KU had no players represented on the second and third teams or honorable-mention squad.

However, freshmen Tyshawn Taylor and Marcus Morris were named to the coaches’ all-rookie team.

Aldrich was named the coaches’ co-defensive player of the year with Missouri’s J.T. Tiller and also was named to the all-defensive team.

“Cole has been impressive. He played four minutes a game last year and averaged a double-double this year,” Collins said. “He’s improved so much. I’ve been able to watch it. It’s been terrific to see.”

Collins has been pleased with his own progress this season as well.

“I think I started slow. I was going uphill,” said Collins, who reported back to school out of shape following offseason arthroscopic knee surgery. “I think I had a good year leading the team. Coach did a good job with us (him and Aldrich). We bought into his system and have worked hard.”

Of Collins, Aldrich said simply, “He’s been our leader all year.”

Griffin was unanimous for the AP’s Player of the Year award. Griffin enters the postseason averaging 22.1 points and 14.2 rebounds.

“He’s the best player in the country,” Self said. “He’s athletic, tough, wants to be a player, is a nice young man, seems to be a good teammate. He has all the pieces to be great (in NBA). Blake gets you 22, 23 (points) and 10-12 (boards) a night.”

Both the AP and coaches named Kansas State’s Denis Clemente the Big 12’s newcomer of the year and Oklahoma’s Willie Warren freshman of the year.

Recruiting: Doran Lamb, a 6-4 junior from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., tells he has a current list of KU, UConn, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Syracuse and Xavier. He’s the No. 21-rated player in the Class of 2010. ... John Wall, a 6-4 senior guard from Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., attended Baylor’s 66-62 loss to Nebraska on Saturday in Waco, Texas. Wall is considering BU, Memphis, KU, Miami, Duke and North Carolina State.

2008-09 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Men's Basketball Team Awards

Player of the Year
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma

Defensive Players of the Year
Cole Aldrich, Kansas
J.T. Tiller, Missouri

Newcomer of the Year
Denis Clemente, Kansas State

Freshman of the Year
Willie Warren, Oklahoma

Sixth Man Awards
LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor
Matt Lawrence, Missouri

Coach of the Year
Bill Self, Kansas

All-Big 12 First Team

Craig Brackins, Iowa State
Cole Aldrich, Kansas
Sherron Collins, Kansas
DeMarre Carroll, Missouri
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma

All-Big 12 Second Team

Denis Clemente, Kansas State
Willie Warren, Oklahoma
James Anderson, Oklahoma State
A.J. Abrams, Texas
Damion James, Texas

All-Big 12 Third Team

Curtis Jerrells, Baylor
Cory Higgins, Colorado
Leo Lyons, Missouri
Ade Dagunduro, Nebraska
Byron Eaton, Oklahoma State
Josh Carter, Texas A&M;

All-Big 12 Honorable Mention (Listed alphabetically by school)

LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor), Kevin Rogers (Baylor), Jacob Pullen (Kansas State), J.T. Tiller (Missouri), Austin Johnson (Oklahoma), Terrel Harris (Oklahoma State), John Roberson (Texas Tech), Alan Voskuil (Texas Tech).

Big 12 All-Defensive Team

Cole Aldrich, Kansas
J.T. Tiller, Missouri
Ade Dagunduro, Nebraska
Terrel Harris, Oklahoma State
Justin Mason, Texas
Derrick Roland, Texas A&M;

Big 12 All-Rookie Team

Marcus Morris, Kansas
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas
Denis Clemente, Kansas State
Zaire Taylor, Missouri
Willie Warren, Oklahoma


Lance Hobson 12 years, 1 month ago

I think we may be underestimating the impact Collins has had on this team. When he leaves, we may be really hurting next year, even with everyone else coming back.

easyfive 12 years, 1 month ago

Sherron should have got the "player of the year!"

jhawkpb23 12 years, 1 month ago

I think Sherron will be back next year...depending on how far the Jayhawks go in the NCAA and Big XII tournament. If they make an early exit, then both Sherron and Cole will be back for sure next year I bet.

LAJayhawk 12 years, 1 month ago

I'm basing this on absolutely nothing but my intuition:

I think Sherron's odds of returning are 50/50 at this point. Even if he's only projected as a second-rounder, he still could go.... or he could stay. He would have his reasons for going (his kid, for one) and reasons for staying (improved stock). Staying could hurt him -- aside from injuries, his numbers could go down with more help next year -- and so could leaving and getting a non-guaranteed, second round contract. Because of his size, there are a lot more unknowns for Sherron than most early NBA entrants.

I really have no idea what he's going to do. And it's not very often that I feel that way about a guy possibly leaving early.

Cole I'm pretty sure will stay even though he may be a higher draft pick than Collins. He needs the time, and I think he knows it.

But, of course, I could be totally wrong.

theajayhawk 12 years, 1 month ago

Sherron is gone. With everyone else getting better around him, as an individual player, Sherron cannot do anymore than what he has done this year. In other words, he is unlikely to be a higher pick in 2010, when compared to 2009.

actorman 12 years, 1 month ago

Am I being completely biased to say that I thought Brady had a shot at the All-Defensive team? I realize that that team is usually based mostly on numbers and Brady doesn't have anything that jumps out at people, but given how often he shut down the other team's best scorer, I thought he might still have a chance.

Matt Bowers 12 years, 1 month ago

Usually Kansas does not get this much credit in the Big XII. The only surprise I saw out of all of this was Cory Higgins. That guy lit everyone up and he did it with ease. We had better remember him and watch out, because they have top 150 recruits coming next year to Colorado. Like I said, it was nice to get recognized by the Big XII as a legit team. Thought that M.C. and Tyshawn were right on and glad to see them getting their due. Usually this is where the rest of the Big XII take their frustration out on us.

Rock Chalk

huskersnjayhawks 12 years, 1 month ago

Sherron needs to come back. Refine his skills.

exiledhawkfan 12 years, 1 month ago

Great point actorman, I have to agree with you...

Underdog777 12 years, 1 month ago

Sherron is moving on to the NBA. His development situation is very similar to Mario Chalmers. What does he have to gain by staying? Cole is probably gone (75% chance). His personal situation is different than Sherron. Plus he could get stronger in college and improve his draft position. Every non-Juco player on the team could leave before four years, except Reed and Morningstar.

xfm11 12 years, 1 month ago

Just hit me tonight, but could Sherron's decision be what John Wall is waiting for as well?

Obviously, NBA still out there.. but if Cole comes back and Wall could come in and be the point guard for one year, that may be the ideal situation for him?

Just a thought, mixed with KU optimism, but it could happen right?

kranny 12 years, 1 month ago

How could anyone have underestimated the impact Sherron has had on this team? I've said before that we'd be lucky to have 10 wins this year without him. I retract on the 10 and move it up to 15. Think about who would've scored in his place if he wouldn't have been on the team. Think about how easily it would've been to defend us w/o Sherron-pack it in on Cole and make Reed, Morningstar and Taylor beat you. He's averaging almost 20 a game. That's close to 25% of our scoring. Sure somebody else eventually would've stepped up but not until there were many more losses. Tyshawn benefitted from having Sherron guide him on the court. You have to remember also that Sherron is also the extension of Self on the floor. He knows coach's system. Reed, Morningstar maybe a little but Sherron was in there the past 2 years. If KU makes it to Sweet 16, Sherron is gone and I wish him the best of luck. He's one of the best all-around point guards to ever wear a Jayhawk uniform.

deepbeak 12 years, 1 month ago

This may not be the the forum, but it has been over thirty years since the great Paul Harvey featured the theft and mystery behind the disappearance and return of the Baby Jay. Maybe time to tell the rest of the story. The ljw omitted the tag line, but the udk could have broken the case. The clues were in the ransom note and pictures.

Anyone else old enough to remember or care?

Newfie 12 years, 1 month ago

Why wasn't Tyshawn Taylor at least 2nd or 3rd team all Big 12? Tyshawn is great, and is going to be a major force for the Jayhawks for a long time.

optichawk 12 years, 1 month ago

The NBA game is a different one for an under 6-foot guard. Sherron has stepped up his game, especially on the shooting end but execs like Buford and Pritchard are interested in a guy that can breakdown a defense and dish to a more prominent player...makes for a better product to market. The league is full of guards that shoot the rock well AND distribute the ball. If there is an area that Collins can improve by sticking around, its following in the footsteps of Valentine, Vaughn and Miles, and learn how to distribute the ball around to his supporting cast. This will also help him become more wise about his shot selection which he didn't get the luxury of as much this year. If he decides to go, I will be happy for him but obviously want him to stay and learn more from a better coach than he will see at the next level.

As for Cole, what a giant step in one year and it will be intersting to see how high he can take his game next year. I hope D Manning can work with him and teach him his patented up and under move...that would be killer for Cole to whip out on some of the big men he faced and had trouble scoring on.

Newfie 12 years, 1 month ago

I think LAJayhawk has about got it right...Sherron is at least a 50/50 to go pro. It's a down year for the NBA draft, so it would help his chances to go this year. With Cole, it would help to stay another year even though he would already be a higher pick than Collins. A big good man is a hard thing to find, so he'll go high no matter when he leaves KU. But another year with Bill Self and Danny Manning would really help his chances of having a long stint in the NBA.

Jacobpaul81 12 years, 1 month ago

This is in no way a knock on Collins, but I hope he's gone. I know people will hate me for saying it, but if Collins is around next year, there will be too much focus on one player. I'm ready for coach to hand the ball over to this roster!

G - Tyshawn Taylor G - Brady Morningstar G - Travis Releford G- Tyrel Reed G- Elijah Johnson G- Tyrone Appleton SF - Mario Little C- Cole Aldrich C- Jeff Withey C- Markieff Morris PF- Marcus Morris PF - Quintrell Thomas PF - Thomas Robinson

Now that's a freakin' basketball team!

Scott Smetana 12 years, 1 month ago

Damian James is a top 3 player in the league... just my opinion.

actorman 12 years, 1 month ago

Deepbeak, I've never heard about anything happening to Baby Jay, and I thought I knew (virtually) everything about KU history. What happened?

jayhawker_97 12 years, 1 month ago

Matt Lawrence, Missouri => shouldn't he be like getting the 100th man award?

i think Mario or Reed deserve the honor, instead..

yates33333 12 years, 1 month ago

I think Morningstar should have been on the all defensive team.

keith horinek 12 years, 1 month ago

when a team wins a major BCS conference title outright and only gets two players mentioned for post season honors, that's a travesty. Morningstar, Taylor, MC. Morriss, should have been mentioned somewhere. I would like to see cole and sherron come back next year and repeat and maybe get more teammates on these end of year accolades. either way, winnning the big 12 outright when both OU and MU were ranked higher and considered better teams than KU is outstanding. P.S. the texas game was once again a classic barn burner!

Timmay97 12 years, 1 month ago

OK.....why is everyone talking about Sherron Collins leaving more than Cole Aldrich?

If you want my honest opinion, I think the chances of Aldrich leaving before Collins are better. Why? It's a down year for the NBA draft and YOU CAN'T TEACH HEIGHT!

I consider Collins the equivalent to Jameer Nelson on the Magic. If he has any hope of exceling in this league, that's the type of player he must become. I do think Collins would do wonders for NBA teams, but I think the conversation is with the wrong person. It's Aldrich who could leave KU.

deepbeak 12 years, 1 month ago

Actorman, If I recall correctly, was fall of '77. Disappeared (snatched) prior to TCU football game from downtown upholstery shop while getting ready for season. Went missing 2-3 games (including k-state) before returned unharmed. Made front page of udk and ljw. Paul Harvey, too! Ransom note and pictures of a hostage bird delivered through campus mail. Reward offered. Never solved.

The police were even taking tire castings at location of return!

JayhawkPhil64 12 years, 1 month ago

I agree Morningstar should have been on the all defensive team but think it is incredibly naive to believe Collins will be back. I would thrilled to have him back though.. I am afraid Aldrich will be gone also. I hope I am wrong.

Actorman, you reminded me on another post that if we had more players than scholarships next year, Morningstar would probably give up his scholarship. You seem a little more sane than most posters on this subject so I will ask you a question. Does that seem right to you? Keep in mind, it would now be necessary even if Collins stays and we don't sign Wall..

d_prowess 12 years, 1 month ago

Does anyone have access to the draft projection websites? Last time Collins leaving came up, someone posted that we wasn't even slated to be selected in the draft. So if it is still true, there is no way he would leave! Can someone let us know where he falls on some mock drafts??

SyberLAN 12 years, 1 month ago

I think both Collins and Aldridge go this year. Sherron can get a shot at pro ball. He can always go back to school when that phase of his life ends. He really needs to improve his ball skills, and finishing his shots, but that would have happened by now. Would it be bad if he makes 2-3 hundred thousand a year playing in Europe? Sign me up.Cole can be a millionaire this year guaranteed. He's gone. HCBS is recruiting like gangbusters, perilously close to passing the limt. They are both gone. And God bless them both !

Greg Lux 12 years, 1 month ago

I am sorry that Brady Morningstar didn't receive any acknowledgments .. his contributions to this team were huge and to not at least receive honorable mention is wrong. IMHO

Rock Chalk

LeBo 12 years, 1 month ago

<p> is my favorite site.

Collins has only be listed as a first-round talent for two weeks out of the season. There are alot of guards in this draft. I think Sherron is a 1st round pick, but I am not sure the NBA scouts do. The weight and injury possible have not subsided in the mind of GMs. This is unfortunate because Collins is awesome.

Cole loves KU. He is dropping the the mock drafts. That coupled with he love for KU tells me the both will be back next season.

dwill33 12 years, 1 month ago

am i the only one that noticed blake griffin is going to second base on Cole?

KUFan90 12 years, 1 month ago

I think they both return. Cole needs to become stronger, and can only increase his draft stock. Why would Sherron leave early to be a mid-late 2nd rounder or perhaps not be drafted at all? You don't leave early for that.

kennethst 12 years, 1 month ago

Hi everyone-did Sherron Collins get hurt at the end of the Texas game? He twisted his ankle and was limping-but then I never saw or read anything I'm hoping he is ok. Anyone know for sure?? Thx!!

exiledhawkfan 12 years, 1 month ago

does anyone else think it looks like Blake Griffin is trying to cup Cole's breast in the picture with this story? dude needs to go cop a feel off someone else...

jesusisajhawk 12 years, 1 month ago

I hope I am wrong but I think both Collins and Sherron will go. I have heard that Cole's family is not very well off financially and could always be a contributing factor. Sherron is likely in a similar situation.

While I agree that Cole has plenty of ability to improve and could be a serious force next year, he will also likely improve for years to come in the NBA. Seven foot white guys generally have long careers in the NBA because they continue to improve. Think about Ostertag, he honestly was not that good in college, certainly not as athletic as Cole, but he continued to improve in the NBA and has had a long career.

chanutejayhawk 12 years, 1 month ago

I can't remember where I heard this, but somewhere someone said if Sherron were to leave this year, he would go late 1st round. If he were to stay one more year, he would not only rewrite the Jayhawk record books, but go #1 overall. Again, I'm not basing this on anything other than I heard it somewhere. I have no idea what any of the records are, so don't bash me for saying this.

d_prowess 12 years, 1 month ago

chanutejayhawk, I won't bash you, but I highly doubt Sherron would ever go #1 in the draft. But that makes me curious to know when the last time a #1 pick was a senior? Any one with some time on their hands today can answer this one!!

Eric TheCapn 12 years, 1 month ago

Speaking of well-represented, has anyone noticed three clips of the 2003 Jayhawks in a commercial for the LG view. It's random, but always nice to see Shoes Langford throw it down on TV.


p_eland7 12 years, 1 month ago

lets face it here sherron in undersized but he has got to be one of the best finishers inside the paint of most of the guards in the country. NBA scouts are going to be able to look past his size and maybe draft him late first round at best this year, but if he were to stay for his senior season, considering he doesn't get injured, his stock should do nothing but rise. sure we are going to have a better team, but that can only help him. he will remain the backbone of this team next year even if all the young guys step up like they should. the NBA scouts are goin to see that he has the kind of game that a guard can be very successfull with in the NBA with how well he can create his own shot and how well he finishes with much bigger defenders around him and i project him to be a mid to late first rounder for sure if he stays.

hawkaholic3 12 years, 1 month ago

Second round? If Collins enters the draft this year he'll definitely go first round, maybe even top 10! I can't say I'm ready for him to go yet, but he does have a daughter to provide for... I wish him luck in which ever way he goes.

actorman 12 years, 1 month ago

Thanks, deepbeak, that's a great story. I can't believe it was never solved!

JayhawkPhil, thanks for the compliment but I'm not sure I get your question. When you ask whether it "seems right," I assume you're asking whether it's appropriate? If that's the question, I would say that it's the kind of selfless, team-oriented thing that I would expect from Brady, and that he would probably love to do it to help the team, given that it wouldn't be a problem for his dad financially.

I don't have any special expertise to base this on, but I think both Sherron and Cole will be back. I hadn't heard that Cole's family is having financial trouble; does anyone else have info. on that? If that's the case, maybe he would go, but he seems to love it at KU and I think he would stay at least one more year. And despite what hawkaholic says, there's no way in hell that Sherron will be a top 10 pick, and at this point he would most likely be a late first rounder at best. This is the first year that he's stayed healthy, he still forces the ball too much and commits too many turnovers, and his size would be an issue. Don't get me wrong, I love Sherron and he's been great overall, but NBA teams look at a lot of factors when determining where to draft someone.

On the other hand, if he stays another year and cuts down on his mistakes (with a better supporting cast around him), he could possibly go in the top 20 picks next year. But number 1 overall??? To quote "Airplane," surely you can't be serious!

stravinsky 12 years, 1 month ago

"Many great college players are bad investments for pro teams. Sherron is a great investment because he's built well and can bang bodies with the trees and survive the long seasons"

Dunno if I would quite say that, he's had some injury issues in the past. Those sorts of things make a lot of teams real nervous...

From what I've read so far, Cole is projected as a top 15 pick while sherron is projected as mid 2nd round. Of course that's nothing a good tournament run couldn't fix, but I'd like to see him back.

I'm real curious what we're doing about scholarships though, especially if we continue to recruit John Wall. I mean, if we could have John Wall, it would be amazing. Think about having a Derrick Rose caliber player to augment this KU team (I know, I know, praising Rose on a KU site? It's crazy talk! But you gotta admit, the kid's good. He just luckily choked in time for KU to win the title). Especially if we get Cole back. The Morris twins will be mad improved next year, Withey will probably be a beast, Taylor is gonna be amazing, Robinson and Johnson should be stellar, and the rest of the crew will also be hugely improved... Is it wrong to be this excited about next year when it's March and your team is projected as a 2 seed?

On an unrelated note, Chalmers is making Rose look silly again tonight with Heat vs Bulls. I love my Bulls, but I'm okay with seeing Chalmers continue to slapdown rose.

Scott Wood 12 years, 1 month ago

I saw where Wall named a leader today, has anyone heard who that is? He is going to announce at the Jordan Classic. All I know is that it is not going to be Baylor. Anyone heard anything??

stravinsky 12 years, 1 month ago

I definitely wouldn't complain about getting Stephenson instead of Wall, especially if we keep Taylor and Sherron.

If they all stay, our big men are going to be RIDICULOUS next year. Ahhh I'm stoked.

Theutus 12 years, 1 month ago

To you people that think Collins is a top 10 draft pick.... I want whatever you're smoking.

Pretty much every reputable projection in the country barely has him getting drafted at all (if at all).

Cole on the other hand, could probably pull top 10 if he has a strong finish.

100 12 years, 1 month ago

Collins & Cole luckilly have smart people around them who know the trade.

Better yet, both know they have legitimate shots to be lottery picks after the 2010 season.

In short, they'd be crazy not to stay through next year.

We're talking millions of dollars (not to mention a degree and the best year of your life not flushed down the drain like Greg Oden did, x3)

RCJ, Cole & Sherron

kerbyd 12 years, 1 month ago

Hey Guys, I looked at mock drafts on: College Hoops Update, NBA Draft, The Sports Bank, Draft Express, NBA, Ny NBA NBA, Sports Fantasy Guide, Inside, Draft Depot, The Hoops Report, and NBA Mock Draft. NONE....I repeat NONE listed Collins anywhere in their drafts. A lot did not list Cole either. However, quite a few did list Cole and the highest was #6 on The Hoops Report. Just for your mulling over.

deepbeak 12 years, 1 month ago

actorman, I know the rest of the (whole) story. Maybe I can find a udk reporter interested in solving the mystery-or maybe old news since they weren't born yet and may not care? Checked the e-archives for udk & ljw, but they don't go that far back. Will check when my daughter visits campus next month.

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