Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Collins, Aldrich named to All-District team

Kansas center Cole Aldrich puts his arm around guard Sherron Collins as the two make their way from the floor late in the second half against  Iowa State Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich puts his arm around guard Sherron Collins as the two make their way from the floor late in the second half against Iowa State Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Jayhawks will play against Bears or Huskers

The Kansas men's basketball team knows that it gets the number one seed going into the Big 12 tournament. What they don't know is who their Thursday morning opponent will be.

Kansas University’s Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich were named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association 2008-09 All-District Six Team on Tuesday.

KU coach Bill Self was named the organization’s district coach of the year.

Other members of the All-District team: Blake Griffin (Oklahoma, player of year), James Anderson (Oklahoma State), Craig Brackins (Iowa State), DeMarre Carroll, Leo Lyons (Missouri), Denis Clemente (Kansas State), Willie Warren (Oklahoma) and Ben Woodside (N.D. State).

District Six consists of the states of Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The winners of the organization’s Henry Iba Award (national coach of year) and Oscar Robertson Trophy (player of year) will be announced on April 3 in Detroit.

So far, KU’s Self has been named national coach of the year by Yahoo Sports, Athlon Magazine, and


Stephenson update: Lance Stephenson, a 6-foot-5 senior shooting guard from Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y., plans to announce his college choice after the PSAL championship game on March 21 in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

First, however, his team must defeat Brooklyn Boys and Girls High School on Sunday to even reach the final.

“It’s going to be a surprise,” Stephenson told the New York Daily News in referring to his choice. He’s visited KU and Maryland and is also considering St. John’s. The Daily News said there’s still a chance he could play overseas.

Stephenson is the state of New York’s all-time leading prep scorer.

Wall update: John Wall, a 6-4 senior point guard from Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., tells that Memphis is his leader. He has visited KU and Baylor and is also considering Miami, North Carolina State and Duke.

“They (Tigers) have always been in the lead with the other schools right behind them,” Wall told

Wall, the country’s top prospect, has said he won’t choose Memphis if Tyreke Evans returns for a sophomore season.

Memphis last weekend received a commitment from No. 2-ranked DeMarcus Cousins, a 6-9 forward from Mobile, Ala. The country’s No. 3-rated prospect, shooting guard Xavier Henry, also is headed to Memphis.

Wall is planning to announce his choice at the Jordan Brand Classic on April 18 at Madison Square Garden.

More on Memphis Invitational: ESPN’s Andy Katz wrote on Tuesday that KU will play Memphis next season in St. Louis. The Journal-World reported last Nov. 26 that the game is part of the proposed Memphis Invitational tournament in which KU would play two or three games in Allen Fieldhouse in that mid-November “tourney” versus small to mid-major schools.

KU then would meet Memphis in St. Louis on the final day of the “tourney.” It’s been proposed that Arkansas and Louisville meet in the other game of a one-day doubleheader in St. Louis.

KU officials have said no contracts have yet been signed for the proposed tourney, but the Jayhawks definitely want to play in the event.

KU will play in the Las Vegas Invitational in 2010. The tourney format will likely feature two KU home games and two in Las Vegas, the marquee game KU versus Arizona. KU will play in the Maui Invitational in 2011 and has no tourney set for 2012. A good bet for 2012 would be another Jayhawk Invitational, which likely would feature four home games.

Early tourney start: KU coach Self is pleased the Big 12 tournament starts today. In the past, it was a Thursday-Sunday format. This year, the tourney ends on Saturday, a day ahead of Selection Sunday.

“There are some negatives with moving it, primarily for fans who go to watch their team from the beginning. Now it starts Wednesday (middle of work week),” Self said. “But for the betterment of our league and the ability to give the (NCAA Tournament) committee as much information as possible, it’s far better for everybody to have it end on Saturday. Far better,” he repeated.

“Teams that play Sunday travel Sunday night to get back, then can leave as early as Tuesday to go to the next (NCAA) site. It puts a strain on those respective teams. I think this is good.”

Tourney tickets on sale: A limited number of all session and single season tickets for the Big 12 tournament are on sale. Tickets are available for purchase at the Ford Center box office and via all Ticketmaster outlets. Prices are $40, $50 and $55 per session, depending on location. On game days, fans can buy tickets at the box office beginning at 9:30 a.m. until halftime of the last scheduled contest of the day.

Self on how many Big 12 teams will make the Big Dance: “The bottom line is our league has gotten better over the last month. We had three teams a lock three weeks ago, now we have four that no matter what happens are a lock (KU, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas). I think we’ll get six in. I think we’re closer to seven than five, a couple need to do some work in Oklahoma City.”

Mr. Aldrich speaks: Walter Aldrich, the dad of KU sophomore Cole Aldrich, reiterated to Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press that a decision whether to return to KU or enter the NBA Draft will not be made until after the season.

Walters speculated that Aldrich would be the second center taken in the draft behind UConn’s Hasheem Thabeet. Walters speculated Aldrich would net a two-year guaranteed contract (team option third year) worth about $7 million.

“That’s a little more money than a union sheet-metal worker makes,” Walter Aldrich told Walters.

Walter Aldrich is a union sheet-metal worker who, according to Walters, has been laid off. Other centers who could be taken ahead of Aldrich: Jordan Hill, Arizona; B.J. Mullens, Ohio State and A.J. Ogilvy, Vanderbilt.


Michael Auchard 10 years, 10 months ago

Tough times for the Aldrich family. I would like to pretend I'm naive enough to think Papa Aldrich's lay-off won't influence the several hundred thousand fans of KU Basketball. Thanks W, you strike us even from your presidential grave.

"Don't ask what you can do for your country, ask what I've done to your country" -- Will Ferrell as GWB

Robert Murphy 10 years, 10 months ago

Give Walter $100,000. next year to be an assistant coach. Then Cole would not be rushed along and could have another great year at KU get to the final four and enjoy himself. Better than sitting on the bench and traveling for 6 months. He sure won't start for any NBA team. Time to start paying college players, the coaches and the schools make millions. Three years minimum with large insurance policies. Then the NBA would get kids ready to play and the colleges would make more because the schools could get some real player recognition instead of here today and gone tomorrow. Helps the tradition of the sport.

Robert Murphy 10 years, 10 months ago

Walter could teach the players sheet metal work. Might ultimately be worth more than basketball. Yes that's it sheet metal 101 (learn to make your own basketball rims)

yates33333 10 years, 10 months ago

Yahweh's political views are about as phony as his name.

jchawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

Hummmm doesn't St. John's play games at Madison Square Garden. Come on Stephenson come to KU we would like to see you in a Jayhawk uniform next year.

rcjh88 10 years, 10 months ago

I would love it if Stephenson came to KU as well, but I would rather have Sherron back 1 more year!!

Joe Joseph 10 years, 10 months ago

Collins and Aldrich are gone.

We need to hope Tyreke Evans stays at Memphis so we can land John Wall. Doesn't look like Stevenson will be coming this way either if his decision is going to be a "surprise" and since he is making his decision in March.


quigley 10 years, 10 months ago

"KU then would meet Memphis in St. Louis on the final day of the “tourney.”

Good. I thought we had settled this in the National Championship, but I guess we will have to beat their ass again. How many times can these recruits watch KU pound Memphis and still go there? Not too many more.

jayharchitect 10 years, 10 months ago

I'll hopefully be at MSG on the 21st with my Jayhawk gear on! Come on Lance!

Tim Orel 10 years, 10 months ago

What does Calipari do for these players? I'm not suggesting illegalities, but does he promise them their own posse? I haven't visited the Memphis campus, but Lawrence and KU have a special charm of their own. Is it that the players want the thrill of a larger city? Are they promised that they're never going to have to work outside of the gym? The academics available at KU are pretty good, and I'm sure the players have all the tutoring help they could want. AFH is a temple, and one never hears about the place Memphis plays its home games. Do these guys just want to consistently beat up the woeful competition that Memphis schedules every year?

I'm just wondering why (by this article) the top three players in this year's class want to go to Memphis.

David Reed 10 years, 10 months ago

anyone else get the feeling that Stephenson's comment about "it's a surprise" means it's not KU

okjhok 10 years, 10 months ago

Wall, the country’s top prospect, has said he won’t choose Memphis if Tyreke Evans returns for a sophomore season.

That tells me all I need to know about John Wall. That's not the type of player I want to root for, especially at my alma mater. He doesn't give a damn about college basketball. I would say good luck to Mr. Wall at Memphis, but I don't wish him good luck. I wish for him to get his ass handed to him by the Jayhawks next year.

Tom Gillaspie 10 years, 10 months ago

One of the main reasons that these top recruits want to go to Memphis is that Cal promises them playing time regardless of effort on their part. He is also willing to create an offense around these players to showcase their talent for the NBA. They have an NBA franchise in their backyard that the players can visit and hang around. IF he lands Wall and already has Xavier and Cousins he might actually win it all at Memphis next year. Wouldn't count on it though, too many young ego's in the mix all trying to impress the scouts isn't a recipe for a great team. Which is what it takes to win the NCAA tournament - a TEAM.
Stephenson is going to St. John's (good for Norm). Wants the limelight and to be the one big star on the team. Wall is only a chance if Evans stays in Memphis and Collins goes pro.
We really need Aldrich to stay. With Johnson and Robinson coming next year we are on the path to another great TEAM. We really don't need one-and-done players. We need to add more integral parts of the next team that can win it all.

YaBoyJrod 10 years, 10 months ago

Sucks to hear this for most KU fans but Wall is a must for Kansas.He will have the same effect that Rose had his fresh year. WALL COME TO KU WHERE YOU CAN LEARN BBALL THE RIGHT WAY.

WilburNether 10 years, 10 months ago

Yahweh, why do you apparently feel compelled to pollute a sports discussion with ludicrous political nonsense?

okjhok 10 years, 10 months ago

John Wall is not a must for Kansas, my friend. No player will ever be as big as the team at Kansas, and that's essentially what you're saying Wall would be for KU. He wouldn't fit at KU. Even without Collins, the backcourt will be fine next year with Taylor a year older, Johnson stepping in as the best athlete on the floor, and Brady and Tyrel playing their roles. Kansas basketball does not need John Wall.

jchawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

supermario15 I have the feeling surprise means staying at home to play.

And my opinion about Memphis, I can see winning Conf. USA with 3 one and done freshman but I just don't see winning a National Championship.

RyanHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Why would it be a "surprise" if Stephenson says he is going to St. Johns? People have thought he was going to St. Johns for over a year! Stephenson is coming to KU or going to Europe where he can sign a shoe deal immediately! He will not go to St. Johns and Norm Roberts will be fired after the season. If Stephenson does go to St. Johns it might save Norm’s job for a year. I would love to have Norm come back and join KU’s staff and still coach Lance next year!

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't see any one player as a necessity for a great KU team. I see Bill Self as a necessity for a great team.

Going into the NCAA tournament there are teams with more mcdonalds all americans on their rosters (we currently have two) and i'm sure none of those teams will over look Kansas.

If Wall doesn't like the concept of working for a starting position then we don't need him.

easyfive 10 years, 10 months ago

When is the bosses going to give Bill what he asked for? New living quarters for his guys! Jhawk towers is a joke!

How is Bill going to get great players, if they have to stay there?

Roy W. said, "Oh we don't need a new FH..." Now that, that joke is gone.
We need a new one!!!!!!!!!
Not everyone likes to ride in a model T. and say look at me.

This is the only way KU is going to move forward.

Craig Lang 10 years, 10 months ago

I hate to say this, but:

If Aldrich stays, KU will be a pre-season top 5 next year and Aldrich will be a contender for POTY. If he goes, KU will fall somewhere towards the bottom of the top 25.

That's horrible news about Aldrich's father getting laid off. I hope he has saved enough to sustain his family for one more year. If not, I'm sure Cole will be going pro.

hawkitup 10 years, 10 months ago

Okay, let's not kid ourselves. Yes, I love Kansas basketball and can't imagine wanting to play anywhere else except Allen Fieldhouse but that's because I grew up cheering for and loving KU. The truth is, Memphis DOES have something to offer these kids. Why would they NOT want to go play at the FedEx Forum (which is an NBA facility)? Bill Self knows how to develop players, however, Kansas is not known for their one and dones therefore the attraction level isn't as great as Memphis is. These guys want to play for the place that is going to help them reach their ultimate destination (the NBA) the quickest. That place is Memphis (as much as I hate to admit it). KU develops talent, but at Memphis they are free to do whatever in that dribble drive offense and display natural abilities which pushes them closer to the NBA. Don't get me wrong, it frustrates me to no end that ANY player would pick another school over my beloved Jayhawks, however let's be honest about the situation. Let's not assume that other schools don't have anything on us to offer these guys.

One more thing, I think Collins and Aldrich will both leave. Stephenson's surprise is anybody's guess...I just hope it is KU.

Jeff Hargate 10 years, 10 months ago

Have you guys seen the new Memphis basketball "dorms"? It's like staying at the Ritz. I don't like that we are losing players to Memphis, but they play in a NBA arena and have over-the-top accomodations. Most blue chip basketball recruits could care less about our tradition...or anybodys for that matter. They want to be treated like a pro from day 1. What we hang our hat on (tradition) is really of little relevance unless the recruit is from the midwest. If recruits loved what we love as KU fans we would not be having this discussion. I remember Roy feeling like this and then he landed Nick, Kirk and Drew...keep your fingers crossed! Rock Chalk!

KUbsee69 10 years, 10 months ago

RE: Cole supporting his family ... what makes everyone think that NBA players automatically provide monetary support their families? Some may, but I'll bet most don't. Cole's a really nice kid, so he might, but I'm not sure that's a reason to limit one's ultimate potential by leaving too early. I think most fathers would take the high road and suggest that their offspring do what's best for the kid, not the parents.

P.S. Yahweh has the worst case of unawareness that I've ever seen. (i.e. he appears to be a political moron).

KUbsee69 10 years, 10 months ago

On the subject of AFH vs an NBA class arena ... do you really think the players care about the design of the arena seats? They should care about the atmosphere & gameday fan(atic) support. Nowhere is that better than at AFH. What player cares about seat comfort, consessions, high-priced luxury suites? AFH is not just a facility ... IT'S A SHRINE. Nobody in their right mind would ever consider replacing it.

If you've ever been in Sprint Arena, you know that the seating is poor, with no leg room and very narrow seats. Getting in and out of your seat, past anybody else is a real chore. Nobody I've talked to has been very impressed, yet it was designed as an NBA ready arena. Give me AFH anyday!

Athlete housing is another subject and better housing is needed, but takes time and money. Money is not exactly falling out of trees these days.

truefan 10 years, 10 months ago

I would love to land Stephenson or Wall, but Tyrek Evans is leaving this year so Wall is going to Memphis as long as Evans stays healthy. I would love to tell you to pencil Memphis into next year's championship, but we landed a bunch of 5 stars a few years ago and they didn't win it all until they were juniors with both senior and freshman support. Those three players are talented, but they won't have the leadership or experience they need. Stephenson's parents have been basically making his decision for him through his recruiting process and telling him that he is going to St. John's. It would be a bigger surprise if he went to KU or Maryland. On another note, I believe that his statement that "it's a surprise" has more to do with him not telling the press what his decision is early than it is about which school he is chosing. We have a shot at him, he loved the atmosphere, his parents loved the atmosphere, and WE LOVE LANCE STEPHENSON!!! Let's just hope he makes the choice to come here, if not, we need to hope that Aldrich and Collins stay for another season.

easyfive 10 years, 10 months ago

Memphis has about as many coaches as players. Get Cole's dad in here if possible. Sherron's dad too.

Mike Crosbie 10 years, 10 months ago

RE: players housing. Don't forget that when Bill self was negotiating his new contract, he was unSELFish enough to make new housing for the players a part of the deal. It's not here yet but is on the way......

Rock Chalk !!!!

Scott Oswalt 10 years, 10 months ago

easy5- they're remodeling the jayhawk towers. where have you been the last year?

Michael Auchard 10 years, 10 months ago

yates33333, et al., "Democracy is a great institution and, therefore, it is liable to be greatly abused" -- M.K. Ghandi

How am I politically unaware because I blame the worst economic recession since 1981 on the former administration? Wow, there are still some Bush supporters left? Congratulations to your hard-line, gun-toting 3% of the population, sir. I guess Ol' Dubya's policies didn't end up killing all of my generation (yet), so yeah, ride your horse into the ignorant sunset. You guys must own multi-billion dollar corporations to oppose 20/20 vision so fervently. Somehow I think I've been a lot more involved in the political process than farmer Yates and company.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

It's hard to speculate anything right now about Wall and Stephenson. I honestly don't like Tyreke Evans game (Iverson type to get his points), but if he does leave, it's all but guranteed that Wall will go to Memphis. It makes sense and Calipari is using the Bill Self tactics of a couple of years ago that gets "Great" players to all play on one team in order to show the NBA scouts that they can play in a system of elite basketball players and gel as a team.

As for Stephenson, I don't know what to think anymore. I think it would be a surprise if he came to KU, but I also think he needs KU in order to reshape his perception and image a little. What better coach to do that than Bill Self! Stephenson's parents have said that they thought getting away from New York might be good for their son, but in the end staying close to home has it's "Perks". After what Brandon Jennings has gone through overseas, I don't see Lance Stephenson going that route. I sure hope on March 21st my dreams come true and I can see Lance Stephenson in a KU uniform. KU would be two and 3 deep at almost every position. How awesome would it be to see Lance Stephenson and Mario Little going up against Xavier Henry? How awesome would it be to see Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, and Elijah Johnson going up against John Wall? How awesome would it be to see Marcus and Markieff Morris, and Thomas Robison going up against Demarcus Cousins? How awesome would it be to see Cole Aldrich and Jeff Withey going up against.........................Wait...........Memphis doesnt' have any centers? That would be great seeing all those players playing against Memphis next year in St. Louis.

Robert Murphy 10 years, 10 months ago

If all the basketball players had never been and no games were ever played you wouldn't know the difference. Life would be going on just as it is. If all the sheet metal workers had never been here life as we know it would not exist. No roads or bridges, no multi story buildings, probably no cars. Sheet metal 101 might be more important to humanity than basketball. Think about it.

ddeck87 10 years, 10 months ago

I fail to see how Cole would be the #2 center in the draft. Jordan Hill is is more athletic and is putting up relatively the same numbers as Cole. Also, if Greg Monroe leaves I think he will go ahead of Cole just because of his potential. Sorry, but I see another year for Cole no matter how his family issues are going. Another year would only improve his stock and his game. Comeback anyways Cole!

not_important 10 years, 10 months ago

It isn't so much the floor of the arena that makes a new facility better than an older one. It is the locker rooms, players lounge, etc. that wows the young recruits. The new practice facility and locker rooms that are currently under construction at the Fieldhouse will bring our facilities up to that standard. Once a team is on the floor, the court is still 94 feet long, 10 feet to the rims, 15 feet to the free throw line, yada, yada, yada.

AverageCitizen 10 years, 10 months ago

jeffthejayhawk - "Have you guys seen the new Memphis basketball "dorms"? It's like staying at the Ritz."

Well, I wouldn't call the dorms the Ritz....

easy5- "Memphis has about as many coaches as players. Get Cole's dad in here if possible. Sherron's dad too."

I thought Sherron's dad was still in prison. Also, isn't the number of coaches limited by the NCAA?

My thoughts- I think it would be funny if Tyreke Evans declares for the NBA draft and doesn't hire an agent. Wall committs to Memphis and then Tyreke pulls his name and comes back to Memphis! Let's see ow much ball there is to go around then. Who gets the stats? Who gets to be point guard for their NBA audition?

It's unlikely either Lance or John will come to KU. I think it's too bad that John never saw a game in AFH. I imagine the old gym looks pretty antiquated to John without the fans and a game.

bewareofthephog 10 years, 10 months ago

In the end all that matters is...


JustinBV 10 years, 10 months ago

Yahweh, I find it ironic that your party affiliation which seems to pride itself on diversity and political correctness allows you to so quickly label an entire political party as gun toting farmers.

With your self-proclaimed vast knowledge of the political process, you apparently also seem to think that if you are against Obama, then you HAVE to be Pro-Dubya. Your school of thought says that if you agree with Obama's stance on health care reform, then you are forced to agree with every other decision he makes. In your world, the political process is black or white and to be followed blindly, with no room inbetween. So your views from the extreme left make you no better than the gun-toting farmers who you think you are superior to.

Dan Harris 10 years, 10 months ago

yahweh- Your ignorant; stupid; or a jackass. I'm just not sure which one?

Lance Hobson 10 years, 10 months ago

Yahweh, foul on you for bringing up politics on a basketball blog.

The Jayhawk Towers are the projects and remodeling them would be gold-plating a turd. Heck, I want to go to Memphis after hearing how nice it is.

Michael Auchard 10 years, 10 months ago

JustinBV, you raise interesting points here, and you do it eloquently. I did not, however, mention Obama anywhere in my rebuttal to the mob. I do not think my views would be considered extremely Left anywhere except in, perhaps, Kansas. I'm sorry if I offended anyone with this train of entries. This is a sports site and everything gets messy here if we deviate from that genre. I meant my first post as a joke, just trying to be funny quoting Will Ferrell, and then I tried to defend myself against slanderous comments. I love the Hawks as much as any of you and should never have gotten into politics to begin with. Together we have the best program in the country and I didn't mean to get us away from that. I hope you can accept my apology.

easyfive 10 years, 10 months ago

Well, are we going to have to settle for Memphis's crumbs.

soswalt4: Bill did not ask to for a remodel at the towers.

AverageC.: Memphis has 13 coaches, go checked out Memphis tigers.

Okay, put Sherron's mom on the wemens team for one more year!!!

I am just wanting KU to keep up with the times. You can't live on/in the past, but to live the now.

JustinBV 10 years, 10 months ago

Accepted, and right back at cha. I guess I was flabergasted that an Antler hadn't invaded the message board yet, so the lack of controversy as I was reading through the posts disappointed me. Go KU, they're awesome, every one else blows.

Michael Auchard 10 years, 10 months ago

Anyone else notice that all the announcers for the Big 12 games can do today is talk about KU? They've brought up Chalmers about 8 times already.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Regarding Yaweh's posted quote of Will Ferrell and a link of it to Mr. Aldrich losing his job..

I don't fault persons for wishing he had not introduced politics into a sports forum. I do fault persons for criticizing him and saying he is wrong on the facts, especially when they just ad hom him.

Regarding George Bush's well-documented political contribution to the economic bubbles and economic collapse under his administration...

"Nothing in politics happens by accident."--Franklin Delano Roosevelt

lahawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe we are talking politics in this forum. Bad form!!! Just so the facts are straight though the housing collapse and the Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac issues can't be blamed on G.W.B. In fact, all of the housing crisis issues and problems we are facing today are the results of failed policies and procedures forced into place by Democrats during the Clinton administration. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means a Bush fan, but you can't blame him for the housing crisis. Anyway, GO HAWKS!!!! I sure as he!! hope KU can land Stephenson!!! The Hawks will need a top flight scorer next year if Collins leaves.

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