Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Aldrich on championships: ‘It never gets old’

Jayhawks feather cap with another Big 12 title

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.


Audio clips

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.

For the third-straight year, Kansas junior center Cole Aldrich found himself in the middle of a Big 12 trophy celebration with teammates.

The KU men’s basketball team clinched at least a share of the conference championship with its 81-68 victory over Oklahoma on Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

It’s the sixth-straight season the Jayhawks have claimed at least a share of the league’s regular-season title.

“It never gets old. It doesn’t,” Aldrich said. “It’s just one of those things that you work so hard for five, six, seven months over the course of the summer and then practice starts and you really work hard.

“And it all pays off.”

The Jayhawks’ secured at least a share of their 53rd league title, which is the most in Division I basketball history.

Meanwhile, KU’s 27-1 record is the school’s best mark since the 1996-97 squad started 34-1. KU’s 13-0 start to the conference season has been matched only once in Big 12 history — and that was by the 2001-02 Jayhawks, who finished that season a perfect 16-0.

KU coach Bill Self has now won at least a share of the conference championship in six of his seven seasons with the Jayhawks.


Rick Arnoldy 12 years, 9 months ago

What was up with those gawd awful headbands last night? Please tell me it was some charity thing and will never be worn again.

John Brown 12 years, 9 months ago

Congrats to Cole for winning the Acad All American honor and B-12 Champ. You've had a great year. However, nothing will top the NCAA Champ year when you put the master flopper Tyler Hansbrough to the floor repeatedly in the final four vs. UNC. You deteated him and beat him down like a step child. TH has always played with bad sportsmanship and he deserved the punishment and some extra time on the floor.

Dyrk Dugan 12 years, 9 months ago

Congrats to Sherron for winning four straight...and the all time KU wins leader. and kudos to the current set of Jayhawks on this hard earned championship. This team can still get better.....that's the scary part....and Okie st. will be laying for us on Saturday.

let's just focus on them before we begin our anticipated, emotional week with our two big rivals to end the year.

didjabuti 12 years, 9 months ago

I believe the headbands were probably a nod to Tyshawn. Remember there was talk of him wanting to wear a headband this year like he did while leading the U19 team to a Gold this summer.

86finalfour 12 years, 9 months ago

I heard on KC sports radio that the last coach to win 6 in a row in their conference was John Wooden with UCLA. Wow! now that is good company! I'm just surprised that no one is mentioning it here with Lawrence Journal. Perhaps 810 AM show was incorrect. They also said Kentucky did it from 2000-2005 but it was their division and not whole conference.

86finalfour 12 years, 9 months ago

NOTE: this record applies to MAJOR conferences only.

Steve Brown 12 years, 9 months ago

Conf Championships are like Thaii food- patchwork of tangy flavors.

trophy recipe:

a. fine recruits b. hard work c. dedication to excellence d. awesome coach + staff e. passion for 'every possession' performance f. trust each other, trust the system, and trust (believe in) themselves

  1. play as a team
  2. have fun
  3. do your best

Sally Presson 12 years, 9 months ago

I believe the headbands were for cancer awareness. You bet Okie State is gunning for us. they're still really ticked off they didn't get our coach. You guys can do it, jump on them right away and watch out for the three point shooters, that's all they've got. These last three games are killers, but you guys can do it!!! thanks for the wonderful year!!

Chris Shaw 12 years, 9 months ago

I don't know about the rest of you, but I was very bored with this game. This has never happened to me, but I actually fell asleep in two different spots of this game in two different 3 minute stretches. Good Grief! Good thing I have a DVR because when I caught myself not once, but twice I couldn't believe I had fallen asleep during a KU game? This was either directly related to how bored I was with this game or it could be that my in-laws have completely worn me out after only 2 days into an 8 day trip? Which do you all think it was?

Anyway, I'm going to keep this short and sweet because a lot of good things happened is the game as I will note below, but there was one glaring negative in this game and we will focus on that first.

1) Focus and Concentration-I would say that KU lacked full concentration for an entire 40 minutes and I believe it's a concern. Obviously, ESPN even had sideline analysis on how upset Self was with different spurts of this game that favored an inferior OU team. KU played really well at times and then when they got the "Cool Man Syndrome"..............they kicked it into cruise control. The only problem with cruise control is that OU wasn't going to follow at KU's speed.

Credit OU, but KU lost focus and it's on them to kick that habit. That is not a path you want to go down. That is the only thing that scares me about this team clinching a share of the title with 3 games to go. I think because KU plays on the road 2 of their last 3 games in hostile environments, that could be the saving grace for KU and good thing the schedule falls the way it does (At Pokes, vs Wildcats, At Tigers). It very well could keep KU fresh and not actually get the team in "Relax" mode.

2) X and Taylor-Anybody else notice the renewed vigor of these two in just the last two games? THANK YOU LORD! I love it and it's about time. It also couldn't have really happened at a better time for KU overall as a team. We know how the two anchors are for KU, but X and Taylor are going to dictate the overall success of the Jayhawks down the road in March. I couldn't be more pleased with X and Taylor in this game and the game before. Intensity, determination, and just an overall attitude on offense we haven't seen from either one all season is refreshing and a must. It's pretty to watch and I'm happy for both of them, but most of all I'm happy for Taylor because it's finally clicking for him.

86finalfour 12 years, 9 months ago

My mistake. I found the stat. In this morning's article, "A league of their own."

"The Jayhawks became the first team from a BCS conference to win as many as six straight titles since UCLA (1967-79). Kentucky won three SEC East Division titles 2000 to ’05. "

This simply amazes me.

Chris Shaw 12 years, 9 months ago

3) Marcus-For the 12th time in 13 contests in Big 12 play Marcus got at least 8 FG attempts. He was 4-10 for 10 points and his half-post game is continuing to improve. Just when i thought it couldn't get any better Marcus has now incorporated a fake reverse pivot to his left and then back to his right for a fade away 5 to 7 footer. It's very fundamentally sound and it's amazing how good Marcus' footwork has become. It is scary good!

4) Aldrich and Collins-I don't need to say anything but their last names......"Alllllllllldrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiii iiiiccccccchhhhhhhhhh and Cooooooolllllliiiiiinnnnnnnnssssss".

5) Reed and Morningstar-Kansas finally looks like a team ready to make a Championship run and it looks like this team has finally figured out all of their roles. With X and Taylor finally clicking on all cylinders in the starting lineup the next most important duo IMO is going to be the little things that both Morningstar and Reed bring to every game. How many little things will these two be able to do in all the games here on out that add up to a Big Impact Plays during a full 40 minutes. We shall see, but I have faith they will keep proving people wrong by doing all the little things that don't get noticed.

6) Kieff and Robinson-Both played well, but I want to see Kieff just kick up his intensity a notch. I would like to see him go about 3 of 5 from the field every game and pick up 6-8 boards a game. I think he's better than 5 points a game, but I'm nitpicking. Kieff is turning into a nice post player. His Danny Manning moves are increasing with every game.

Robinson gave some really good minutes without any turnovers. I think if he can keep doing that he'll continue to get his 7-9 minutes a game. I think that is an added bonus for KU as long as he provides hustle without getting KU in the minus department while he's on the floor.

7) Turnovers-Kansas is really playing great basketball as they only had 6 turnovers for the game. Their last 4 games have been insanely good in the turnover/assist ratio department. I can only hope KU takes care of their focus and concentration for an entire game. That is my only concern.

Conclusion: It's amazing to think that KU just picked up their 1997th overall win, their 58th consecutive home win in a row, clinched a share of the Big 12 title for the sixth straight season, and Sherron Collins has one home game left in his career. I just hope this team is excited as I am to get to post-season started and show their true tenacity as the #1 team in the land. Focus Gentleman!

hammerhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

Ah. Life in the fast lane is so good. Congratulations to another basketball championship to the school that invented the game! Go Hawks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve Brown 12 years, 9 months ago

shaw: "but X and Taylor are going to dictate the overall success" true.

when X + TT bring it, we are unbeatable.

"the little things that both Morningstar and Reed bring to every game." true

when the dance starts and every possession counts big time these two efforts will be critical and no longer ""little"".

Can KU be beat, not sure how unless Cole in foul trouble. Since he continues to get periodic spells of rest from Keif TRob JW then I don't see how he gets in foul trouble.

Chris Shaw 12 years, 9 months ago

It's funny, but this season is shaping up very similar to the 96-97 season. All the comments I read are borderline "Cocky" thinking that KU can't lose. I'm not saying KU is going to have the end result that the 96-97 32-1 regular season KU team had (For my Blood Pressure, I hope not), but fans seem to be pretty confident that KU shouldn't lose any more games.

Let's just remember that anybody can beat anybody on a given night.

hawk_of_ages 12 years, 9 months ago

Barring injuries (like Jerod Haase playing with a broken wrist), I like this team's chances to avoid a repeat of the '97 early exit. Of course, anything can happen... that's why they call it March Madness.

Phoggin_Loud 12 years, 9 months ago

“It never gets old. It doesn’t,” Aldrich said.

Amen, brother.

NebraskaJayhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

"kushaw-Roy is not our coach. Relax"

That's a rediculous comment, vmwskywalk. Sorry, but KUShaw is exactly right.

vmwskywalk 12 years, 9 months ago

How so Nebraska? Their record may be similar, but that is it. The players are different, and there is no doubt that Self coached teams are tougher mentally than Roy's. The only thing rediculous is your comment. You feel differently, back it up.

kuclay 12 years, 9 months ago

Thats right, Roy's NOT our coach. OUR coach has won 6 out 7 conference championships since coming to Kansas. THAT is what's "ridiculous."

kuclay 12 years, 9 months ago

And with three totally different teams!

JayhawkBigXII 12 years, 9 months ago

I just looked into my crystal balls... next year....Thomas Robinson... scoring beast... 7th Conference Championship.

Kye Clark 12 years, 9 months ago

vmwskywalk - I'll back up the comment by Nebraska. I too feel that any team can rise up and bite you in the rear on any given night. If you want proof, look at Self's second and third season's here. We might not have been as dominant and rolling like we are now, but would anyone debate that those were huge, disappointing upsets to lose to Bucknell & Bradley? And those teams were Big 12 conference champs too. Just for the record, I am in no way bashing on HCBS (CS brought this up himself and is quoted as such in another article on this site) or disagreeing with statements that his team's are mentally tougher than Roy's teams. Just saying, having the best coach in the land and even the deepest, finest collection of talent doesn't guarantee you win every game, and in the "win or go home" NCAA tournament upsets happen.

Kye Clark 12 years, 9 months ago

JayhawkBigXII - I was thinking that last night that it's hard to envision us NOT winning another Conference Championship next season. Even losing Sherron and in all probability Cole and X, we are still loaded top to bottom. The Twins dominating up front with help from TRob & Withey, Tyshawn and Elijah pairing up to form the fastest backcourt in all of basketball. Key role players like Brady & Tyrel coming back. And don't forget we have two guys in Mario Little and Travis Releford that will have two years in this system under their belts coming off redshirts. And we're still in the running to land either Knight, Selby, or Lamb. Losing Sherron & Cole will definitely be tough. When we lost RussRob at the point CS had already been grooming Sherron for 2 years to run this team. I don't know if Tyshawn or Elijah will run the point next year, but regardless neither has the game experience of captaining this squad like Sherron did. And while I love everything the Twins bring to the table, it's will be near impossible to replace having Cole on the defensive end. At any rate, even given these substantial losses next year's team will have it's own unique flavor and will once again be in a great position to bring home conference title #7.

Steve Brown 12 years, 9 months ago

Realize COle has to go as a top ten draft pick..yet if candy and nuts were ifs and butts. Next year senior night would have 6 speeches:

Cole, Chase, Mario, Brady, Reed, Conner:

316 correct, Cole is best true center at Kansas since Wilt, so indeed he is irreplaceable.

Looking forward to Sherron's senior night...he has earned all the tributes & gratitude we can bestow

vmwskywalk 12 years, 9 months ago

icthawk - I agree that anyone can win on any given night. That certainly was not what I was referring to in my first post. My point was that it doesn't matter what happened in 96-97. The coach isn't the same, the team isn't the same. It doesn't matter. Not one bit. It also doesn't matter if KU fans are too cocky or confident. I think you could form an opinion either way depending on which threads you want to read on KU basketball. It's the player's minds that matter. One final point, most of us here consider themselves hard core fans, myself included. Thinking back in 2008 I found myself worrying more about wins/losses, point margins, and how we played against certain teams etc. After we won the national championship I realized that I never truly enjoyed the journey. I think that there are a lot of people here in the same boat. Well...I'm not worrying this year. I think we have the best guys at the positions, and the best coach in basketball. If we don't make it all the way, it wasn't meant to be. That doesn't mean a loss won't kill me, because it will. I just think that this team is so special that it's not fair to them to consider anything short of a national championship a failure. I'm enjoying every opportunity to watch them play.

JayhawkBigXII 12 years, 9 months ago

Cole Aldrich - NCAA Basketball Academic All-American of the Year.
That is such a great honor. This makes the 14th time Kansas has had the honor dating back to 1971.

That are some things money can't buy, Lebron.

JayhawkBigXII 12 years, 9 months ago

I think I could learn to cope with Kansas not earning the National Championship... but I don't think I could cope with sleazy Kentucky "taking it". That would be so wrong on so many levels. Good MUST triumph over EVIL. As long as someone OTHER than Kentucky wins it.

FairgroveJayhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

Cole - While residing on campus and playing basketball you will never get old either. It's a little known physiological fact.

Great accomplishment

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