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Originally published February 22, 2010 at 06:26p.m., updated February 23, 2010 at 11:01a.m.

Gary Bedore’s basketball notebook

Aldrich named basketball Academic All-American of the Year

Kansas center Cole Aldrich blocks Oklahoma forward Ryan Wright's shot during the first half, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich blocks Oklahoma forward Ryan Wright's shot during the first half, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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2010 KU-Oklahoma

Reader poll

What is KU's toughest game left on the schedule?

  • at Oklahoma State 11% 532 votes
  • vs. Kansas State 55% 2497 votes
  • at Missouri 30% 1379 votes
  • Undecided 1% 66 votes

4474 total votes.

Reader poll

Will the KU men's basketball team go undefeated in Big 12 regular season play?

  • Yes 61% 1246 votes
  • No 28% 568 votes
  • Not sure 10% 214 votes

2028 total votes.

Kansas defeats Sooners, wins Big 12

The Jayhawks won their sixth-straight Big 12 Conference title with a win over Oklahoma Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Reader poll

If you could only pick one Jayhawk, which would you put on the first-team All-Big 12 roster?

  • Marcus Morris 11% 306 votes
  • Sherron Collins 41% 1145 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 47% 1304 votes

2755 total votes.

Kansas University junior Cole Aldrich on Monday was named ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors Association of America Academic All-American of the Year.

Aldrich, a junior communication studies major, joins Jacque Vaughn (1997) as the only KU player in history to win the award. He’s KU’s first first-team Academic All-America pick since Ryan Robertson in 1999.

He was joined on the first team by Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame), Patrick Foley (Columbia), Matt Howard (Butler) and Yves Mekongo (LaSalle).

“It's huge. I really just try to work as hard in the classroom as I do on the court,” said Aldrich, who needed — and achieved — a 4.0 first semester to boost his grade-point average to over 3.3, the minimum standard needed for consideration.

Aldrich was honored in a ceremony after the game. That’s the moment his dad, Walt, who was sitting in the stands, learned of his son’s achievement.

“I tried to keep it a little quiet. I told my mom before the game, and she was really excited. She was really proud of me,” Aldrich said.

And Dad?

“It was really cool to see his face,” Cole said. “(He’s) really surprised, but proud. He knows I work really hard.”

Aldrich was named second-team Academic All-Big 12 last season.

Here’s a list of KU’s all-time Academic All-Americans: 1971 - Bud Stallworth; 1974 - Tom Kivisto; 1977 - Chris Barnthouse; 1977 - Ken Koenigs; 1978 - Koenigs; 1979 - Darnell Valentine; 1980 - Valentine; 1981 - Valentine; 1982 - David Magley; 1996 -Jacque Vaughn; 1997 - Vaughn; 1997 - Jerod Haase; 1999 - Ryan Robertson.

Final games

Senior Sherron Collins has one home game left in his KU career, a week from Wednesday versus Kansas State.

Aldrich likely has just one left as well. It’s all but certain he’s headed to the NBA after his junior season.

“I really haven't thought about it,” Aldrich said of KSU possibly being his final Allen Fieldhouse appearance. “I'm just having fun. That's really what I'm doing, trying to enjoy our (league) title and just being an Academic All-American.”

Henry honored

Xavier Henry on Monday was named Big 12 rookie of the week for the third time this season. Henry hit his first eight shots, two of those three-pointers, Monday and scored 18 the first half of Monday’s victory over Oklahoma.

Simien to be honored

Former KU great Wayne Simien confirmed that his jersey will be hung in the fieldhouse rafters at halftime of a game next season. There had been some preliminary talks about perhaps having it hung at halftime of Wednesday’s Kansas State game.

“I felt that day should be about Sherron. It’s Sherron’s day,” Simien said, politely deferring to Sherron Collins’ Senior Day. “There’s no rush. I’ve talked to coach about it. We’ll pick a day next year.

“It’s a great honor.”

Not much sleep

The Sooners (13-14, 4-9) have to be wondering what else can go wrong this season. Smoke at The Oread hotel brought the Sooners out of their hotel rooms late Sunday night for more than an hour.

“It was exciting,” coach Jeff Capel said. “I guess around midnight, a little before midnight, the fire alarm started going off. It was really, really loud, moving everyone down to the lobby. We were down there for about an hour, hour and a half. It was something in the laundry room.”

“I thought it was maybe a KU fan or something like that. They say being on the road, you are never surprised to have something like that happen. I don’t know if we’re good enough where they’d think to try to do something like that.”

Stats, facts

KU had no turnovers in the final 24 minutes, 30 seconds. KU’s six turnovers were fewest in a conference game since Feb. 13, 1999, versus Texas Tech. ... KU has won a nation’s best 53 conference titles.

Comments

Eliott Reeder 10 years ago

Well done, Cole. As a student who is NOT an athlete, I am very impressed by this. Way to stick to the books while dominating the boards. Proud of ya big man.

boxersdrule 10 years ago

Couldn't be prouder of you Cole Train!

KUBlue0809 10 years ago

Awesome Job Cole! Way to represent KU on and off the floor. Keep hitting the books and the boards

jayhwkroks 10 years ago

Congrats, Cole!!!!!!!! How about you come back for one more year and try and repeat!!!!!!!! Go Hawks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JayCeph 10 years ago

Academic All-American of the Year... already?!? I'm ecstatic for Cole and the 'Hawks but doesn't this sound like it is coming a bit early? There are still 5 games to go in the regular part of the conference season, then the conference tourney and then the NCAAs. Are grades already in?!?

KU1992 10 years ago

SWWEEEEEEETT! CONGRATULATIONS COLE! That is super impressive. What a focused individual he must be. Putting in the time to not only be an All-American basketball talent but student as well.

Lance Hobson 10 years ago

Congrats, that's an incredible honor and a great way to represent the university. Very ironic that such a big honor is bestowed on someone who will not actually graduate. Maybe Cole needs to finish his degree, it's only right after getting such a major award!

Aaron Carpenter 10 years ago

How lucky are we as Kansas fans to watch such a quality young man both on and off the court. Cole is as great a Jayhawk as we have ever had and I am proud to have been able to watch him play! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Ryan Wood 10 years ago

If we're still using Roy's watered-down jersey requirements, Cole Aldrich is guaranteed a spot in the rafters.

Jayhawk444 10 years ago

You make us all proud to be Jayhawks, Cole. Congratulations.

William Daniels 10 years ago

@HowMuchRice

While I agree with you on the watered-down retired jersey requirements, I don't think this is the time to make that point. This is a high honor. This is a University which first and foremost strives to be an top-tier educational institution and succeeds. For Cole Aldrich to achieve this honor at our University is rafter-worthy in my book.

Shawn Mansfield 10 years ago

I agree, Academic All-American of the Year is worthy of a retired jersey.

Steve Brown 10 years ago

Cream rises to the top: well done lad.

Mike Kendall 10 years ago

Congrats, Cole! Your Dad and your family are proud of you! Your grandma would definitely be proud of you! I know I'm selfish when I say this (it was said above earlier), but come back one more year and go for another title!!!!!

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

Please Cole, when you sign that multi-million dollar lottery contract, find a good dentist!! :} Congrats.

Soobawls......you're ......oh..... never mind! You have the right to your opinion.

Omegatron 10 years ago

The question is. Has anyone won it twice? If not, is he up to the challenge to be the first?

jayhawker_97 10 years ago

atta'boy, son! so much that you've accomplished, and so much more to wait for you in the near future. congratulations and you made KU a better place to study!!!

Rick Arnoldy 10 years ago

Soobawls, it's quite evident you could use a few classes in that field of study.

Joel Hood 10 years ago

COMS Studies at KU is academically comparable to a CLAS degree in Psychology or Sociology.

BMonstaC 10 years ago

Awesome honor for a great kid and an exceptional Jayhawk! Your hard work on and off the court are yet another testament to a program of the highest quality. You've made a wonderful and very positive contribution to the legacy that is KU basketball. My hat's off to you big fella. Keep working hard, there are still goals left on this years list. RCJH!

kranny 10 years ago

Sounds like somebody forgot to take his Zoloft today.

hawk316 10 years ago

Congrats, Cole! It's great to have such quality young men represent the University of Kansas. Speaking of which, another classy move by Wayne Simeon in deferring his honor to next year so as not to take the spotlight away from Sherron.

honk_for_hawks 10 years ago

As far as I know, if you are named an All-American, you get your jersey retired. If you are player of the year, obviously you get it retired. If you are MOP of the NCAA tournament (like chalmers), you get it retired. I don't really think its that watered down, its more watered down than other schools, but it is really more a testament to the quality of players we have here as opposed to it being "easy" Simien may not have been the flashiest player, but he was a workhorse and deserves his spot in the rafters. Would have been better if not for all the injuries. It sucks that his NBA career never panned out.

fansincewilt 10 years ago

If Cole gets a national championship this year and comes back for another one next year, I believe he would be the first to get three national championships since Henry Bibby and the only one to do it in recent history. His name would go down as one of the greatest players in the history of college basketball. What do you think? Go for it, Cole. If he got the academic all-American award again, he would be the only player ever to get that award twice and three national championships.(I think.) Sidney Wicks did get three championships and the academic all-American award. I think everyone knows we have a special player in Cole. I guess maybe the days for players of his caliber staying four years are long gone. If he goes, we will really miss him.

100 10 years ago

What's great is seeing Bud Stallworth was our first "official" academic all American....

And Darnell Valentine grabbed the award 3 times!

navyman 9 years, 12 months ago

Well done Cole - your grandma is looking down and beaming at how well her grandson turned out not only on the court and the classroom but as a man. Well done

Rick Arnoldy 9 years, 12 months ago

Soobawls, what is your major? Don't hide behind the internet. What did you study and what did you do with it?

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