Friday, January 29, 2010

Aldrich still trails Wilt, Born


Cole Aldrich flirted with his second triple-double as Kansas University ripped Missouri Monday. When he gets No. 2, he’ll still be tied for second with B.H. Born on the legitimate Jayhawk basketball charts. Unofficial as it may be, Wilt Chamberlain (1958 and 1959) rules the roost with at least five such feats. Now a second Born triple has come to light, so he’s still one-up on Cole.

Aldrich’s initial three-ply, officially the first in KU history, was 13 points-20 rebounds-10 blocks last season against Dayton. He went for 12-16-7 against Missouri. NCAA statistical procedures sadly have cheated some highly deserving guys like Born and Chamberlain. Due to other tardy tabulations, add the likes of Bill Russell, Bob Kurland, Oscar Robertson, Bob Cousy ... the list of statistical denial is long and illustrious.

Mark Yakle of Overland Park, a KU figure filbert of distinction, says it’s time to boost Born’s resume. It includes a 1953 NCAA title game effort of 26 points, 15 rebounds and 13 blocks (not officially tabulated then). Bert also got five steals, was fighting a vicious cold, was battered to smithereens by Indiana and fouled out with 5:36 to go. He was the first man on the losing team in the finals to be named most valuable for the tourney.

Yakle contends that if Kansas had won that 69-68 spellbinder, Born would have been hailed to the heavens instead of being shoved aside by adoration for the Hoosier stars. B.H., though his jersey deservedly hangs in Allen Fieldhouse, was a low-key, somewhat frail 6-foot-9, 190-pound kid from Medicine Lodge who never clamored for attention. I’ve never admired a KU athlete more than I do B.H., who did more with less physicality than just about anyone.

Clyde Lovellette pounded Born relentlessly, sometimes sadistically, in practice in Bert’s freshman and sophomore seasons, yet he admits it got him ready for his brilliant final two years and a great AAU career. He jokes that he and Clyde averaged 15 points a game for the 1952 NCAA champs — Clyde with 28.5 and Bert with 1.5.

Bert’s second triple-double, researched by Yakle, was against Oklahoma on Feb. 6, 1954 — 28 points, 15 rebounds, 12 blocks and “several steals in a brilliant defensive performance.” So Cole Aldrich is left playing catchup and B.H. Born gets some overdue plaudits.

The NCAA explains that its basketball records are confined to the “modern era,” which began with the 1937-38 season, the first without the center jump after each field goal.

Individual rebounds were not counted until 1950-51; assists were added in 1983-84; blocked shots and steals were officially added in 1986-87, same year for the three-point shot inclusion.

Fortunately for KU, sports publicist Don Pierce kept close track of Lovellette’s rebounds: 218 in 1950, 211 in ’51 and 411 in ’52, when he led the nation in scoring. Somebody had to be feeding Clyde to help him get all those points. Sadly, Jerry Waugh, Claude Houchin, Dean Kelley and Bill Hougland saw a huge number of assists vanish.

Think about shot-blockers such as Russell and Kurland, assist geniuses such as Cousy and Robertson and the early KU passers ... the NCAA statistics shortchange them in so many ways. It ain’t right, but it’s so.

As for Aldrich, I’ll be mighty surprised if he doesn’t bag at least one more triple-double before he’s through. Thank heaven his next such feat(s) also will be official.


mojayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Bring it on Cole!

P.S. Where is Clyde Lovellette these days?

NH_JHawk 10 years, 5 months ago


Great read. Thanks for the historical perspective on just how awesome Kansas's storied program really is. I would've loved to watch B.H. Born, Dean, and Clyde Lovellette play. It's hard for those of us who've followed KU in the "modern era" to imagine just how big an impact players like this had on the game of basketball.

mojayhawk -

from wiki so take it for what it's worth:

He currently resides in the small town of Munising in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He has served as the Varsity Basketball Assistant Coach and is currently serving on the city council. He is also featured in the '50s All-Star roster on NBA Live 2007.

RockChalkGuy 10 years, 5 months ago

ain't = contraction for 'am not'

It's a terrible word to use in written or spoken format, but if it must be used please do so correctly.

David Leathers 10 years, 5 months ago


Sorry to say, but I don't like your articles. I feel like I'm wrinkled and automatically squint when I read your stuff... I ain't doin' it again.

bayareajhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

My mom grew up in Born's hometown of Medicine Lodge, KS, and I grew up in Lovellette's hometown of Terre Haute, IN. The folks in ML are still very proud of B.H. and rightfully so. Poor Clyde doesn't get the recognition he deserves from his hometown, probably because he didn't go down the road to Bloomington. I've seen highlights of Clyde and he was a player. I've heard many stories about Born but never seen him play. Thanks for the article, Bill. I enjoyed it.

sdku 10 years, 5 months ago

drgnslayr - Cole cant' stay I think his father lost his job awhile ago. Cole must go this year.

okiedave 10 years, 5 months ago

RockChalkCaliHawk - yep, sounds like you are wringled -- a regular prune at that. I like the history. Glad K.U. has a basketball history to be proud of. It's part of our continuing legacy to each succeeding successful decade.

UncleMiltyN 10 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, it would be nice if Cole stayed. If he finishes this season playing really well, it really is silly not to go. He can come back and finish his degree during the summer. Some project him to go as high as 5th.

The rookie scale salary for a draft pick that high makes it idiotic to turn down. Nobody in your immediate family has to worry about money anymore...and in the words of Forrest Gump "....and that's good. One less thing." Two years guaranteed and 5th would get you about 3.1 million the first year with a little more the second.

I want him to stay too for selfish reasons. He has to do what's right for his family. If he drops down for some reason, he can think about staying. We should thank him for what he gave while here.

exiledhawkfan 10 years, 5 months ago

RockChalkCaliHawk, It's not always the cool thing to bash the when they write a good article. The face you have nothing good to say in response to this article shows you have very little depth as a Jayhawk fan, as the history of this article is a HUGE part of what makes our program so special (the best in college basketball in fact). Try reading with some objectivity, and only be a hater when the article warrants it my friend...


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