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Monday, June 21, 2010

KU’s Aldrich ponders Green Room attire

Kansas junior Cole Aldrich, left, is congratulated by coach Bill Self after Aldrich and Sherron Collins were named co-winners of the Danny Manning/Mr. Jayhawk award at the KU men’s basketball banquet. Aldrich is trying to decide what he'll wear for the cameras during the NBA draft Thursday.

Kansas junior Cole Aldrich, left, is congratulated by coach Bill Self after Aldrich and Sherron Collins were named co-winners of the Danny Manning/Mr. Jayhawk award at the KU men’s basketball banquet. Aldrich is trying to decide what he'll wear for the cameras during the NBA draft Thursday.

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Cole Aldrich — who has been allotted six tickets — will be sitting in the 2010 NBA Draft Green Room with his mom, dad, girlfriend, brother and agent, waiting for his name to be called, he hopes in the 14-team lottery, on Thursday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

What the 6-foot-11 former Kansas University center will be wearing is anybody’s guess.

“I like my suit right here. This is kind of a nice suit,” Aldrich said recently, referring to a light brown coat and slacks. “I don’t know. It all kind of depends on what I feel like.”

Cole’s dad, Walt, on Sunday night said he was convinced his son would make a fine fashion statement for his official picture with NBA commissioner David Stern and interview in front of ESPN’s cameras.

“I don’t know, (but) I think he bought a new one,” said Walt, who will fly with his wife, Kathleen, to the Big Apple on Wednesday in time for a breakfast for prospective top draft picks and their families.

A meeting with the commish for players and their families is slated for late Wednesday afternoon.

Walt, a former U.S. Marine, plans on a sightseeing tour that will include a stop at the Statue of Liberty sometime before the start of the draft Thursday (6:30 p.m., ESPN).

“I’ve been to New York once, not too long after 9-11, and Ellis Island was closed,” Walt said.

Walt said he has no inside information on where Cole will be selected. Generally regarded as a lottery lock, Aldrich has been projected to go as high as No. 7 (Detroit) and as low as No. 21 (Oklahoma City).

“We’re expecting the kid to make a lot of money. We’re expecting to be pretty excited,” Walt said with a laugh, asked for the exact slot. “It’s like what you guys wrote — Detroit may be in the mix and Toronto in the mix and the (Utah) Jazz,” Walt added, noting Cole was in Detroit on Sunday and off to Toronto for a second interview with the Raptors today. Toronto has the No. 13 selection and Utah No. 9.

“You really don’t know because (teams) 1-2-3 might pick 4-5 (projected players) instead of 1-2-3. That changes the whole scenario. Most teams probably have four or five different backup plans.”

Walt, who lives in Bloomington, Minn., realizes the hometown Timberwolves have three first-round picks — at Nos. 4, 16 and 23.

Would he like the Wolves to pick Cole?

“Yes, for my own selfish reasons, so I can watch every home game,” Walt said. “Having your son a hometown hero would be cool.”

Walt — he hasn’t seen much of Cole of late with his son working out for Toronto, Golden State, Sacramento, Utah, Houston, New Orleans and Detroit — believes Cole is ready for Thursday to arrive.

“He is getting excited. Anxious might be the right word,” Walt said. “He’s been working his butt off in all the practices. He’s not had a whole lot of time to contemplate what is going on, which is a good thing.

“He’s different than Sherron (Collins) and maybe Xavier (Henry) in that he’s been predicted to be in the top 10 or close to it pretty much from Day One. That takes a lot of the pressure off you a bit. You don’t have to worry about it as much.”

Walt is unsure of what the family reaction will be when Cole’s name is announced Thursday night.

“His mom will go nuts,” said Walt, who shed tears the day Cole recorded the first official triple-double in KU history, against Dayton in the 2009 NCAAs in Minneapolis.

“I was a wuss,’’ Walt noted. “I started puddling up. It caught me off guard completely. It was pretty phenomenal with all the great big guys who have played at KU.”

He won’t cry Thursday.

“There could be some beers and a big, fat cigar someplace,” Walt said with a laugh.

Xavier soft?: Former KU guard Xavier Henry, who is expected to be taken anywhere between Nos. 8 (Los Angeles Clippers) and No. 19 (Boston), heard about some doubters.

“Xavier, everybody thinks is a little bit soft,” ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb was quoted as saying in Sunday’s editions of the Daily Oklahoman. “But he is skilled and can shoot. He’ll be lucky to be a starter in the NBA, I’m not huge on Xavier.”

Noted Henry: “That was the first time (in my life) they started (questioning my ability). My confidence wasn’t shaken, I just had to go out (in NBA workouts) and prove them wrong.”

Comments

dynamitehawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Interesting.... Let's put this Doug Gottlieb thing in perspective. Doug Gottlieb's voice never changed, and often wears his sisters chearleading outfit. In fact, I have it on good authority that he often conducts his radio show from his hotel room, frequently doing the Silence of the Lambs "Tuck", while on commercial break.

Kevin Studer 9 years, 3 months ago

Wow. God forbid anyone in the media say that a KU player isn't the greatest in the world. Take it back, Gottlieb. Say Henry is the next Jordan, or face the irrational attacks of the overly-biased sports fan.

Newsflash: Henry did play soft at times this year. How many people complained at the manner in which he disappeared for long stretches and settled for too many jumpers? Aldrich will have a nice long career as a defensive center, but will never be a star. Ever. Collins may never stick with an NBA team due to a number of reasons, including his height and his weight battles. That's why he is a second-rounder.

In fact, Marcus Morris has a better chance than any of the three to be a legitimate NBA star due to his multiple-tool skill set.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Sorry. Was. Being. Silly. My bad. Newsflash: Its just a game. Yes, I love the Jayhawks. Yes, I like Gotleib. And of course, I am an irrational, overly-biased sports fan who is starting to thing that you are Gotleib's sister :)

Scott Smetana 9 years, 2 months ago

Great post cusack..I agree with everything u said. Too bad X's Dad can't work on developing his skills at KU next year instead of the NBA bench. Oops.. did I say 'dad'?

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 3 months ago

Whatever you do, Cole, don't forget your front "tooth"!

No matter what color suit you wear, or which hat you'll end up putting on, if you don't have the "tooth" in that gap, your family wont forgive you, your new team will give you hell and the media would have a field-day!

Hey ,a nice touch would be a Big 12 tie!

Tim Bingaman 9 years, 3 months ago

Call Jalen Rose, I hear he knows a good tailor. Good luck Cole!!!!

crazyhawksfan 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree, go back to yo moma azalum. I hope xavier follows sherrons example and uses dougs crap as motivation!

lee3022 9 years, 2 months ago

My own impressions are based upon years of observing the draft process and the stereotypes that teams place on players. I am certainly no expert. Given those parameters here are my predictions:

Cole is most suited to be drafted by a contender as he is NBA ready to contribute as a big man, the only big man in the draft lottery projections to be ready. Utah will covet him (9th pick) as he is perfect for their system and culture and another contender might find a way to move ahead of Utah (unlikely) to snag him. Cole may play in the Rookie Challenge at the 2010 All-Star game.

Xavier will find an early home in the draft. His combination of size, shooting ability and basketball savvy with potential to grow will intrigue several lottery teams. His wingspan (6'11.25") is outstanding and his no-step vertical (28.5") and his max vertical (36.5") are good to very good and his sprint (3.18) and lane agility (11.10) are very good. These measurements may be enough to indicate the physical tools needed to be a starter in the NBA. In addition the interviews Xavier has given are mature and focused. I predict Xavier to go in the lottery (1-14).

I see Sherron as the sleeper in the group. This is an unusually inexperienced point guard draft with little depth. Sherron has toned his body and conditioning this spring and improved his outside shot (even though he shot 37% from 3-point range last year). But Sherron's leadership skills and his ability to get his own shot has good potential to provide back-up point guard capabilities to a contender right away. This may open up an opportunity for Sherron in the lower half of the 1st round or very early in the 2nd round. A team choosing Sherron will not be disappointed and he could very well play an important role in a play-off series within the 1st two years.

As a Portland Trail Blazer fan (since 1970) I would be happy to see that team draft any of these three but especially Sherron in the 2nd round as the need for point guard depth and outside shooting makes him a natural fit. Cole will likely be priced too high for the Trail Blazers and Xavier may be as well.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 2 months ago

good analysis. Who do you think will pick up X? Could the Jazz need a skilled and athletic wing player more than a bulky postman with limited mobility?

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

} Cole; Cole's future depends largely on whether or not he was hurt and sick this past season, and if he were hurt and sick this past season, can he recover.

Cole's sophmore season he seemed as active and durable as any big man in college basketball.

His final season at KU, he seemed barely able to play 20 hard minutes the entire season, even when he played more. Many games he could not even play 20 hard minutes.

If Cole can regain his stamina in the pros, he is going to be very, very good in the pros. If not, he will be a reserve enforcer.

Xavier: X man is hard to judge, because he's so young. My only doubt about X is his springs. He just didn't seem able to get up and over anyone near his size. Without springs in the NBA, you better be a fabulous ball handler, or you're shortly gone. But if he can improve his vertical the way Marcus and Kieff did, then sky is the limit for X and we may well be calling him one of the greats of the game in 4-6 years.That trey touch of his is for real, even though I doubted it early on.

Collins: Contrary to popular belief, the NBA coaches don't give a flip, if he's fat. They only care if he's injury prone.If he was nicked up during NBA workouts he'll be luck to get drafted. He was injured 2 of his four seasons, and it was apparent his senior season that he had lost explosiveness in his legs. But if his explosiveness has returned, and his nicks were not severe enough to limit his performance, some smart GM is going to have been sand bagging and will pick him early in the second round. If his explosiveness has returned, some NBA team is going to get a god send when they draft him. He's a great one.

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