Cole Aldrich comes to play (and more from Tuesday preseason games)


There's no sophomore slump in sight for Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City Thunder). Aldrich scored six points with eight rebounds, three steals and four blocks in 20 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night (full stats here).

The stats may not blow you away, but they’re very solid numbers compared to his averages from last year.’s Royce Young raved about Aldrich after the game:

Cole Aldrich might beat out Nazr Mohammed at some point in the rotation. He looks 100 percent better. He doesn’t have near the offensive game Mohammed has, but defensively Aldrich is active everywhere. He never stops challenging shots and tries to rebound everything. And he even showed off a legit sky hook (and made it!) late in the fourth.

In a tweet, the Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry also said he thought Aldrich might have earned himself more minutes this season.

And the Thunder’s official site cited Aldrich for two plays “the boxscore won’t show”:

Cole Aldrich catches a bounce pass deep in the key from Eric Maynor, uses a hard dribble to get Dirk Nowitzki to commit defensively and goes past the Mavs' big man and under the hoop for a reverse basket


Cole Aldrich, arms up, jumps in a passing lane to create a Mavs turnover and send the Thunder racing down court.

The Oklahoman had two nice shots of Aldrich from Tuesday night: (1) Two KU boys and the reigning Finals MVP and (2) Cole doing what Cole does best.

And if you’re more of a video person, the aforementioned “Where did that come from?” hook shot (fast-forward to 2:15):

Jayhawks in NBA preseason games

Wednesday, Dec. 21

  • 6 p.m., NBATV, Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Orlando Magic

  • 7 p.m., Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the New Orleans Hornets

  • 7 p.m., Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves

  • 7:30 p.m., Marcus Morris and the Houston Rockets vs. the San Antonio Spurs

NOTE: Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) will not be on the court for the Celtics’ final preseason game against the Toronto Raptors. Pierce is nursing a sore right heel and might even miss the Celtics’ season opener.


FarSideHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Love this column! Please keep this going. Saves me a lot of time looking through all the box scores on ESPN to follow the Jayhawks in NBA.

Hope Mario turns it on and keeps his starting job.

Alec White 6 years, 4 months ago

Agreed on both counts. I also frequent ESPN to get Hawks' stats in the NBA game-by-game.

Is it weird for me to say Mario is super cluth (obviously,) but also makes his share of boneheaded plays? He makes those Tyshawn turnovers (I love TT though) where they're not even forced; they're just silly plays. At the NCAA and NBA levels, it takes absolute 100% focus every second of every play. Mario playing in his zone is no doubt a better option than Norris Cole, but Cole might take better care of the ball (which is the #1 duty for a team like the Heat).

Micah Mandy Haase 6 years, 4 months ago

Man I watched the Thunder game last night (Go Thunder) Cole was playing like a beast... Last year when he came out he looked lost... but if he keeps this up man look out NBA The Thunder are ready for another run!!!

FreddyinLA 6 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Nick. Don't listen to Keegs suggestion to write a Phillip Fullmer feature.

jgkojak 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes, this is the best addition to KUSports in ages, please keep it up- love the video clips too-- since we don't have an NBA franchise, we don't get games on all the time, so we miss opportunities to see our guys play.

BainDread 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree. I'm not a big NBA fan but I enjoy following the Jayhawks in their pro careers. This is much better than just seeing stats in the box scores. Please LJW, keep this column going.

Steve Reigle 6 years, 4 months ago

I absolutely agree - this is a great column. I have several of the links opening as I write this. Thanks.

phi4life940 6 years, 4 months ago

Still bummed about 00 in Memphis getting hurt, but with Cole and Markieff playing like that I'm sure I'll feel better soon enough. Wow! Great games! I'm glad to see Cole have a great game like that. Looks like that year in the D-League helped a LOT! Or maybe it's the faux-hawk...hmm......

Rock Chalk

railer20 6 years, 4 months ago

I wish Collison would have bullrushed Odom...what a db.

I hope Chalmers gets traded, I can't stand the Heat (except Chalmers and Wade)...he could be very valuable to someone else.

AaronHawk19 6 years, 4 months ago

Was at the nuggets game last night and while Markieff played ok, he got absolutely dominated by Kenneth Farried in the third and fourth quarter. Farried is a freak.

AndOne 6 years, 4 months ago

Love the column, Nick!

I normally don't follow the NBA this time of year, but this is great stuff, especially for a KU hoops fix on a slow KU news day!

AsadZ 6 years, 4 months ago

Plenty of time this past summer in Lawrence with Manning and company is making the difference for Cole. Great.

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