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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kansas’ Aldrich joins elite company

Kansas center Cole Aldrich waves to the Allen Fieldhouse crowd after he was announced the NCAA Basketball Academic All-American of the Year Monday, Feb. 22, 2010.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich waves to the Allen Fieldhouse crowd after he was announced the NCAA Basketball Academic All-American of the Year Monday, Feb. 22, 2010.

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Jayhawks clinch title, break records

The Jayhawks clinched at least of share of their sixth straight Big 12 regular season title on Monday. Sherron Collins and Brady Morningstar also became the winningest four-year players in KU history.

Cole Aldrich isn’t going to challenge fellow Academic All-American of the Year Jacque Vaughn to a 1-on-1 battle of the brains.

“I don’t know if I’m as smart as Jacque,” Aldrich, Kansas University’s junior center, said with a smile, in commenting on becoming KU’s first basketball player to win the country’s top academic honor since Vaughn in 1997.

“Jacque is incredible. He is a poetry major. We saw him in San Antonio (at Final Four) two years ago. He just lets things flow off his lips. I don’t quite have that. It’s a real honor to be part of that elite group,” added Aldrich, who has an overall GPA of 3.32 in Communication Studies.

Vaughn actually was a Business Administration major who dabbled in poetry on the side. He had a GPA of 3.6 entering his senior year, according to the 1996-97 KU media guide. The 1997 KU grad went on to play 12 years in the NBA. He’s currently an NBA free agent who makes his home in Lawrence.

“One thing about Cole, I don’t think he writes poetry as well as Jacque did,” KU coach Bill Self joked on Tuesday’s weekly Hawk Talk radio show.

“We’re not calling him (Aldrich) Bill Bradley just yet,” Self added, referring to the brainy former Princeton University/New York Knicks standout who went on to a career in politics.

“Still, it is a remarkable accomplishment, especially for a guy that is a fun loving, goofy kid that just enjoys college. I think it’s really neat. Cole would be the first to tell you he owes so much to the faculty members, professors and all the people in the athletic department. We have an unbelievable support staff and Cole — all our guys — benefit from it.”

Aldrich to be eligible to be a first-team Academic All-American needed “to be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.”

The Academic All-American of the Year is basically the captain of that first-team.

“You could be the AP national player of the year or the Naismith Award winner. That means you are THE guy (in college basketball),” Self said. “In this arena, Cole is THE guy. It’s something he told me he wanted to go after. I don’t think in his wildest dreams he thought he’d be THE guy.”

Aldrich told the Journal-World in a January interview that one of his main goals this season was to a be first-team Academic All-American.

“Just for the fact in my immediate family we’ve never had anybody graduate from college or even attend a university,” Aldrich said. “So one huge goal of mine is to graduate, also to do really well in the classroom, to show people the stereotype that basketball players or athletes are just in it for the sport is not true. There are a lot of guys in it for academics, too.”

Aldrich, who is expected to turn pro after this, his junior season, will be about a semester short of graduation — hours he could complete via correspondence. Senior Sherron Collins will graduate in May with a degree in African American Studies.

KU now has 14 first-team Academic All-Americans, second nationally to UCLA’s 17. Ryan Robertson was the last Jayhawk to be named a first-teamer, back in 1999.

“Cole exemplifies everything that is right about college athletics,” Robertson said. “As I look back on my own career, it is the one award that sticks out most. With this award, Cole has made his family, fans, and alumni proud, and I am just really happy for him.”

Breaking the tie: KU (27-1, 13-0), which has snared at least a share of its sixth-straight Big 12 regular-season title, can win it outright with a victory Saturday at Oklahoma State. Second-place Kansas State improved to 23-4, 10-3 after beating Texas Tech, 83-64, on Tuesday in Lubbock.

Self indicated it is Big 12 policy to present a team the trophy once it is assured at least a tie, which is why there was a ceremony after Monday’s victory over Oklahoma.

“Our administration talked to me about it. I said, no, I don’t want the trophy or our guys to get it until we take care of business and win it outright,” Self said. “(But) it is sort of a bad deal because now T-shirt shops are printing shirts and selling them. Why wouldn’t we let the guys at least have a photo-op which we did. It was not a big-time ceremony.

“We’ll celebrate it Senior Night (next Wednesday against Kansas State) if we take care of business.”

K-State will play host to Missouri on Saturday.

Big 12 play: The Jayhawks are just three wins from a perfect 16-0.

KU’s 2001-02 squad is the only team in league history to go undefeated.

“We’re playing for a great seed, outright championship and to do something few teams have done in this league. Only one other team has done it,” Self said on Hawk Talk.

“We’ve not talked about that (yet), but certainly a win in Stillwater would put us in position to (talk about it).”

Of course, OSU (19-7, 7-5 heading into today’s game at Texas) will have great motivation in Saturday’s 3 p.m. game at Gallagher-Iba Arena. “I think they are in the NCAA Tournament,” Self said, “still yet, one marquee win would solidify everything. They’ll be excited and ready. We need to be as well.”

Comments

100 11 years, 9 months ago

Great job Cole!

Finishing your degree would be huge -- one semester left, there's no place like home...

omng392 11 years, 9 months ago

Great Job Cole!!!

One more year??? :>)

Timmay97 11 years, 9 months ago

You never want YOUR team to lose, but if KU had to lose a game, losing to Okie State wouldn't be the end of the free world. To me, it would do two things:

1) Keep the team level headed

2) Help the Big 12 get that 7th team in the tourney.

It feels good to have the top conference this year. #1 in the RPI. The Big East is tough, but the Big 12 is just as tough.

Part of me just wants to CLINCH the conference at Allen Fieldhouse on Sherron's final night. To me, it just sounds so sweet!

docileboy 11 years, 9 months ago

Great student athlete.

Of course all of us selfish fans would love to have him back next year.

DocBean 11 years, 9 months ago

Timmay97 - you're crazy. Losing does NOTHING for this team. Winning keeps us lined up for the St. Louis #1 spot.

DocBean 11 years, 9 months ago

I hope everyone has become fans of "I bet KU can find 100,000 fans before MU does" on facebook. We're trailing by about 800 and both schools could get to 100,000 by the end of the day.

Joe Baker 11 years, 9 months ago

Congrats Cole!

Finish the degree in one more short year.

Rock Chalk Beat the Pokes!

jayhawkjoe98 11 years, 9 months ago

I know losing to OSU wouldn't be the end or a terrible game to lose... but it would put A LOT of pressure on Kansas to win @ home against Kansas State to ensure winning the Big 12 outright.

Aside from the KU game, Kansas State has two very likely-to-win games @ home against Missouri (this Saturday) and Iowa State (senior night).

If KU loses @ Oklahoma State, and Kstate beats Missouri... man. That puts a ton of pressure on KU to win @ Allen to lock up the Big 12 outright. Kstate will be playing with reckless abandon; literally nothing to lose and everything to gain.

KU is arguably about to embark on the most difficult 3-game conference-stretch that any Big 12 team has faced this year. It will be fortunate to win more than one of these final 3.

51Flood 11 years, 9 months ago

Don't lose.... Greatest year ever unfolding before our eyes.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 9 months ago

jayhawkjoe...why will KU be fortunate to win more than one of the next three? We went TO KSU and won when they were as hyped as they ever could be. We went to Texas and won when they were as hyped as ever and hoping to get things back on track. And, we dismantled MU at home. Granted, MU away will be a totally different game, but you can't tell me the MU players won't have that dismantling in the back of their mind wondering if they can even play with KU. KSU has to come to Allen, and the crowd will be going crazy. OSU is the one that really concerns me, but I really haven't been that impressed with them this year. KU SHOULD go 3-0 in these next three games. I guarantee we will be favored in all three. However, I can see one loss if we aren't completely focused.

More than going undefeated in the league, I want to secure the overall #1 seed. If KU loses even once and Kentucky wins out, you can forget that.

quigley 11 years, 9 months ago

Timmay- I get what you're saying. I used to think for the longest time that when we lost in the Big XII tourney it was a GOOD thing. I figured, we would be brought down to earth before the NCAA tourney and would save the guys legs for an extra day or two. I was always worried that they would run down after the long season and then the Big XII tourney, then the Big dance. Of course, the '08 team changed that when they won everything, so.....let's win them all.

Bruce Brock 11 years, 9 months ago

Timmay, I agree that a loss to OSU wouldn't be the end of the world, but I don't agree that it would help the players stay level-headed. A loss can erode confidence. A good coaching staff can find flaws in any win to keep the players level-headed. Note the second half against OU. And as for getting a seventh B12 team into the tourney -- a loss to Kansas doesn't hurt any team's standing.

Plus, if the Jayhawks successfully follow the oldest cliche in sports -- play 'em one game at a time -- they could make some great history. Winning the next three games gives them a perfect conference record; seals the deal on a No. 1 seed in the NCAA's no matter what happens at the B12 tourney; earns the program its 2000th win on Misery's court (Ha!); and could move them into second place past Carolina in all-time wins.

That would be a win for the ages with no downside. I don't believe great success now would increase the chances of the players overlooking any Bradleys or Bucknells in the early NCAA rounds.

kuclay 11 years, 9 months ago

I, along with everybody else here, would like to congratulate Cole on this great achievement. But lets not forget to also congratulate Sherron on attaining his degree. He's made his momma, his kids, and the KU community proud and assured himself of a future beyond basketball. Well done, Cole and Sherron!

gojhawx 11 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

d_prowess 11 years, 9 months ago

I wonder why Jacque hasn't been to a KU game this year since he is living in Lawrence. Normally they show all the former players that are in attendance and he hasn't been shown once. Please Jacque, come out to a game!!

SoCalAlum 11 years, 9 months ago

For gojhawkx- FYI, at many universities (especially here in California), there are majors in Latin American Studies, but they neither study Latin nor Americans - they study Latin America (Central and South America)...here, the major you inquire about is actually called Chicano/Chicana Studies. And yes, there is an Asian American Studies major (and an Armenian Studies major, and a Deaf Studies major too...and don't forget the "mother" of them, all, Womens' Studies). Anglo American Studies - not by that name necessarily, but most universities have American Studies or American Popular Culture. A community college near you likely has one or more or the above classes - if you can get the driver of your little yellow school bus to make a stop there, check it out.

KGphoto 11 years, 9 months ago

Yo! Cole gots da smarts!

Unrelated:

Was anybody else aware that Sherman Hemsley still had some eligibility?

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/multimedia/dynamic/00114/Richmond_Florida_Ba_114958c.jpg

I was not.

Ain't nobody rocks da skullett, like Sherman rocks da skullett!

Joel Hood 11 years, 9 months ago

On this board and another there are a few posters who seem a bit ignorant of the CLAS degree programs offered by KU and other universities. Universities provide degrees in many different fields and areas of study. Traditional universities are typically not designed to produce ITT automatons. KU CLAS programs provide a well rounded education – not job training. The KU COMS degree program covers a broad spectrum of theory and research that is used in business, marketing, psychology, etc. It is also a great foundation for law school or other professional graduate programs. With any CLAS degree, there are many requirements in math and science – a well rounded education. So please, for all the posters who laugh at some of the degree program names, keep posting your comments – it only exposes your ignorance.

RockCaCO3 11 years, 9 months ago

Stud in the classroom and on the court. Congratulations Cole!

KGphoto 11 years, 9 months ago

Who else noticed that ESPN stole the Austin Powers headline today?

tis4tim 11 years, 9 months ago

gojhawx,

That was one of the more pathetic posts I've seen on this board in recent memory.

The truth is Sherron will find plenty of opportunities with a degree in African American Studies because he is a winner and you, my sad and bitter friend, are not.

Interestingly enough, one doesn't need a degree to figure that out.

packywacky88 11 years, 9 months ago

KU now has 14 first-team Academic All-Americans, second nationally to UCLA’s 17. Rock Chalk!!! Polks going down on Saturday!!!!!! 16-0 !!!!!! Then on to Indy!!!!!!

Debbie Mangen 11 years, 9 months ago

Can someone tell me if they know if the highlight video shown after the OU game is on the net?

missKU 11 years, 9 months ago

EVERYONE needs to go and vote for Sherron!!! Fan voting is open for the Bob Cousy award. John Wall is beating him by 20% you can vote every 24 hours.

http://www.cousyaward.com/vote.php

JayCeph 11 years, 9 months ago

Why was gojhawx comment removed? I read it and didn't find anything more or less offensive about it than the other posts on this site? How did it violate the usage agreement?

To remove it portends a spooky reconciliation of tolerance at the worst level.

Joel Hood 11 years, 9 months ago

JayCeph - the disparaging comments he made about African American studies & the KKK could be interrpreted as racist or hate speech. It surprised me that someone flagged it.

scholz 11 years, 9 months ago

I'd be ok with a loss to Oklahoma State. Last time we won a National Championship, 3 teams were a speed bump along the way. KSU, Texas and Oklahoma State.

docileboy 11 years, 9 months ago

A win in Stillwater would take a lot of pressure off. I will be there you be there ignorance. Go Jayhawks.

JayCeph 11 years, 9 months ago

jayhawkerjoel... I see the comment about the KKK being out of line. Good point. Forgot that was in there.

As for the impetus behind his/their initial question... seemed valid enough. However, he/they didn't advocate joining the Klan or that they did good work. I think he/they merely drew a heavy handed parallel. From what I've read on this site *(many times), that doesn't constitute a violation of the usage agreement.

hammerhawk 11 years, 9 months ago

Wow. For a minute there, I thought the article was talking about THE Jacque Vaughn who played for us back in the early '90's. Whew. Man he was good!!

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

jaybate news service (jns):

Dateline: Stillwater, OK

Slug: Cal to Jersey, Ford to UK, Scott Sutton to OSU, Oral Roberts to ORU...

jns stringers in Stillwater, Oklahoma aka Ibaville report a rumor that John Calipari has agreed in principle to become head coach of the New Jersey Nets. Wall, Cousins, and Ashley Judd will join Johnny the Squid in the land of cement tennis shoes. Judd will be the first female NBA assistant coach.

jns stringers also report a rumor that Travis Ford has agreed in principle to take over the staggering UK program and shepherd it through the forfeiting and rebuilding process rumored imminent.

jns stringers also report Scott Sutton will jump from ORU to Okie State to try to become the first Sutton not to be driven to substance abuse after coaching the Cowboys.

Finally, in this game of musical coaching chairs, ORU is reportedly in supernatural negotiations with god to bring Oral Roberts back from the grave to coach ORU. ORU officials speaking on deep background expect that supporters of ORU and of the Oral Roberts ministry will be asked to come up with about $60 million to persuade god to bring the irrepressible minister back to this mortal coil.

Developing...

(Note: All fiction. No Malice.)

JayCeph 11 years, 9 months ago

@ Jaybate - priceless (driven to substance abuse... LMFAO!!)

Mike Kendall 11 years, 9 months ago

Like I said before, the O-State game scares me. I think it will be a close game. Last time we played on CBS this year, we lost at Tennessee. Last time we played at O-State, we lost 61-60, but won the NC. So, something's got to give on Saturday. The other concerning thing is the Cowboys are hanging with the Longhorns in Austin. The atmosphere in Stillwater will be awesome! RCJHGOKU!

Mike Kendall 11 years, 9 months ago

Ralster-- I concur. Soobawls is weird!!!!!

aplanojayhawk 11 years, 9 months ago

Awesome Cole. Set a goal and surpassed it. Proud to be a Jayhawk.

jaybate 11 years, 9 months ago

soobawls,

Takin' on the soft sciences.

Challengin' their methodological validityyyyyyyyyy.

Questionin' whether there can be science without induction and fully controlled, double blind testing at levels of confidence.

Doubting MK-ULTRA has the mind control thing down, because of too much psycho-babble.

Suggestin' Madison Avenue cannot give us subliminal suggestions that make us buy deodorant in hopes of getting laid and avoiding our death wishes and feelings for our mothers and fathers.

Taunting the spirit of Max Weber.

Dissin' the international relations game theorists that have reinstituted our world and rigged it against everyone but those that funded the grants for them to game the outcomes.

Givin' short shrift to Dr. Phil, maybe even to Oprah.

Tellin' the CIA to give up on psy-ops.

Okay....someone had to say it.

Hopin' they don't come for ya.

Hopin' you don't get the Mordecai Venunu treatment for calling nuclear spades nuclear spades.

Next thing ya know you'll be challengin' the hard sciences for veering off into algorithmic method and abandoning induction.

Rockin' and Chalkin'

TheShot122293 11 years, 9 months ago

I'll go ahead and ask the question. What then, soobawls, is your major?

murph 11 years, 9 months ago

Soobawls' major is junior high study hall. He's studying a way to ever grow up. He obviously doesn't HAVE a degree, or he'd understand that the ones he cites as being "pseudo" are actually pretty demanding. Not many easy A's there. Oh, yeah - and the letter on his cap is L...standing, of course, for "Loser".

Joel Hood 11 years, 9 months ago

Pseudo science? I guess ITT Tech has a major in comic book photoshopping, huh?

TheShot122293 11 years, 9 months ago

soobawls,

sooooooooooobawls,

waiting for an answer....

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