Thursday, January 21, 2010

Aldrich weighed down

Center mourning grandmother

Kansas center Cole Aldrich defends Baylor guard LaceDarius Dunn's floater during the first half, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich defends Baylor guard LaceDarius Dunn's floater during the first half, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Reader poll

How would you grade KU's performance against Baylor's zone defense in the Jayhawks' victory Wednesday?

  • A 11% 376 votes
  • B 53% 1766 votes
  • C 27% 900 votes
  • D 5% 180 votes
  • F 1% 46 votes
  • Undecided 0% 20 votes

3288 total votes.

KU survives Baylor, 81-75

Baylor gave the Jayhawks a run for their money Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

Audio clips

2010 KU-Baylor

Kansas University center Cole Aldrich couldn’t help but think about his late grandmother, Ann, following his team’s 81-75 victory over Baylor on Wednesday.

“I wish that it was one of those things where she was still around to be able to watch,” Aldrich said, “but I think it was a good win for her.”

Ann Aldrich, mother of Cole’s father, passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 78.

Cole said he played the Texas Tech game without knowing his grandmother had died.

“She passed away in her sleep and all that, which I think was good,” Aldrich said. “It was good that I didn’t know (before the Texas Tech game), because I think it really would have weighed on me hard.”

Instead, Aldrich played Wednesday with a heavy heart, scoring 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting in 27 minutes.

“It’s been a tough few weeks, man,” a choked-up Aldrich said, his eyes watering. “But, you know, it’s life.”

When a reporter told him he didn’t have to continue, Aldrich reassured him, saying it was fine. The center took a second to compose himself before continuing.

“It’s just one of those things that was kind of holding on to me,” Aldrich said. “We were all just waiting for that time to come, and all that. I just kind of had that burden lifted off of me, and I think I played real well in spurts, but there’s a lot of things I could have done better.”

Walt Aldrich, Cole’s father, said after the game that Cole would not be attending Ann’s funeral Friday in Northfield, Minn.

The center said he received plenty of support from teammates in the last few days.

“It’s just a big family,” Cole Aldrich said. “When I found out after the Texas Tech game on Saturday that she passed, everybody was coming up and just asking how I was and all that. It’s just continued.

“That’s the thing, whether it’s me or anybody on the team, that’s how we are. We’re just a family, and we look out for each other.”

Aldrich said having his family in town also helped him through the tough time.

“I’m just trying to stay as positive as I can,” Aldrich said. “Just find something that comes out positive about it.”


bdku 12 years, 10 months ago

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

RockChalk1225 12 years, 10 months ago

Give me a break, what a joke. Here are a couple more excuses.....we dont feed the post well, Cole is double and triple teamed constantly. And for you to post that ridiculous opinion here, in the wake of this family loss, makes you look even worse. Wpw is all I can say, wow.

KEITHMILES05 12 years, 10 months ago

Show some respect. I have a feeling this may be why Cole has been in a slump due to the emotional stress. I predict he'll come out very strong now. Bless him.

Robert Brock 12 years, 10 months ago

There are some things more important than basketball.

Jeff Schartz 12 years, 10 months ago

I am feeling along the same lines as bdku. When are you guys going to admit that this year has been a disappointment for Cole. I had HUGE expectations that he would simply dominate, but, to this date, he has looked ordinary versus the competition thrown at him. Even defensively at times, allowing other centers to look good against him. .............Now......Marcus is THE MAN, picking up the slack..........

phogthedog 12 years, 10 months ago

bdku-give the kid a break. Were you 21 when your grandmother died? Were you grieving in front of 16,300 fans (not to mention everyone that reads and talks about you)? Get a life.

Mike Kendall 12 years, 10 months ago

I am going to respect Cole on this one. Cole using his grandmother dying for his poor performance of late? Ridiculous! My thoughts are with you Cole. Hang in there--you'll come out of the slump. Family is way more important than basketball. Take Care!

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 10 months ago

Obviously, some bloggers from rival teams have made it on here..again. Which one of you is KY_Cats??? Probably both!!!

bradynsdad 12 years, 10 months ago

everyone knows that the guys sayin it is just another excuse for coal obviously are from the national title team and not just idiots with a keyboard. thank you for your insight. we know you guys probably deal with much more pressure than a preseason all american trying to be an academic all american while helping his team to a national title.

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 10 months ago

Was wondering that too, jhwkfan162515. Wouldn't think it would be too much of a logistical issue for Cole to meet up with the team in Ames. Must just be personal preference on Cole's part.

gojbirds 12 years, 10 months ago

bdku-you may not have sucked at your job, but you suck at life

Chris Shaw 12 years, 10 months ago

This was a very very good test for the Hawks! I was shocked to see so many KU fans "Pre-Game" saying how much they didn't think Baylor was a legitimate foe. I thought people would have learned from the Cornell game, but I guess i was naive to think otherwise. For those that hadn't seen Baylor, what do you think now? I've seen Baylor play 5 times now this being the sixth and they are tough as nails and have a really good chance of doing some damage in the Big 12. Their front line is the real deal and I thought KU did a pretty good job against a more athletic front line.

Here are some things and plays that stuck out for me during the game.

~ Tyshawn Taylor didn't start and hardly played in the first half-Wake up Call? Yes, I do think so as I thought he played well in his 15 minutes.

~Overall-7 turnovers for KU-I would expect nothing less against a zone.

~ Baylor's Zone: Baylor incorporated this zone against the Jayhawks last year during the Big 12 tournament and have been riding this defense very effectively ever since. I noticed some were shocked that Baylor was playing a zone, but if you knew anything about Baylor, it's that they have been playing that defense for almost a year now.

~ KU had zero blocks and got out-rebounded. Baylor had 7 blocks and 8 more rebounds. However, KU picked up 3 huge offensive rebounds in the final 2:30 of the game by X and 2 by Marcus. Those were definitely key in this victory.

~ KU's 91 game streak ended of holding their opponent under .50 percent for the game. Baylor played great and you have to give them a lot credit. They Slipped screens, set hard screens and ran out of bounds plays very effectively. That is what good teams do and Baylor is a good team.

~ Hubert Davis said it, "X needs to give a pump fake when you have a 6'10" inch guy flying at you"! That is what all of us have been saying all season.

~ Scott Drew is one heck of a coach. Anytime he thought KU was going to go on a run, he called a full timeout. His execution and decision making was excellent and his game management was spectacular as he completely had the atmosphere in Allen Fieldhouse completely dead tonight. Kudos to Scott Drew for an excellent game plan and almost pulled off the victory on the road.

Chris Shaw 12 years, 10 months ago

Offense: I thought for the most part KU ran their zone offense pretty effectively. KU got the "I'm Cool Syndrome" with just over 5 minutes to play when they just pushed the lead to 10 points. They jacked three 3 pointers in a row that lead Baylor to go on a 10-0 run in the final 5 minutes. Good thing for Marcus as he came up with 4 offensive boards for the game, but 2 huge OB's in the final 2:30. Baylor's zone did what it was suppose to do and I thought KU did a pretty good job of zone offense tonight. Need to take advantage of those "Seems" though a little more. Again, this falls with X, but I think we've all come to grips that we have to accept that he is not going to take advantage of that this year.

Defense: I thought the intensity was great at the start, but then died down towards the end of the game. Would like to see a full 40 minute intense effort, but it was better than it has been. The atmosphere was dead tonight at Allen Fieldhouse. I blame the crowd and I give the crowd's effort a solid "D" for lack of energy. We as fans want to get all over team for energy yet KU's fans displayed no energy or enthusiasm during great lengths of the game tonight. It's a shame!

The Twins: Wow! Marcus is playing out of his mind and playing well. He really is in a groove at the moment. I've said very early on in the season that I thought Marcus should get 8-11 FG attempts a game and in his last 3 games since the Tennessee loss (He shot 2 of 5 that game) He has shot 7/8 against Nebraska, 7/10 against Tech, and 8/11 tonight against Baylor. That is a good rememdy for success IMO. Kieff is also playing very well and picked up some very big rebounds and put-backs tonight. I love Kieff and Marcus out there together. They seem a little too comfortable at times, but I love their instincts together when they both are in tune. Great job Twins!

Sherron: What else can you say? It's repetitive at this point every game about Collins! Let's all hope that Collins can stay healthy the rest of the season. Seeing him on the floor in pain multiple times tonight has me a little bit nervous about his body holding up. I know he will be fine, but let's hope he stays injury free because where Collins goes is where Kansas goes!

Chris Shaw 12 years, 10 months ago

Tyshawn: Didn't get the start and did not see him most of the first half. Wake up Call as I sated above? Yes, I do believe it was! I want to give Taylor a lot of props because despite all the flack he has gotten he did not hang his head tonight at all. When Self called his number he was ready to go. I thought he played really good "D"! He did take the easy way out by going underneath a screen when he should have fought his way over the top on one of many Dunn's "3's" at the top of the key. It's okay though because I thought Taylor showed a lot of maturity tonight. I didn't think I would ever say that, but in his 15 minutes he had 5 assists and zero turnovers. Pretty productive night IMO for Taylor. Good job TT!

X: Hubert Davis even said he wants to see X "Pump and Go". I did like his aggressiveness he showed in transition by going to the rack. That was encouraging to see, but the end result made me cringe. He wasn't close on a couple of those lay-ups, but he did try to take it strong so I have to give him credit for that. I was encouraged at what X did tonight even though he's not really shooting the ball well at the moment. Not much you can do against a zone so I have to give him benefit of the doubt tonight. He hit the boards especially on the offensive end a little more so I was pleased to see that type of aggressiveness.

Morningstar: I thought Brady played great! He sure was getting his hand in there on Dunn's shots. I also thought Morningstar set a better "Tone" for the start of the game than what we have seen from the Hawks lately. That intensity was what jump started the Jayhawks tonight and that was all because of Brady. Good job Brady!

Cole: I thought he played with more of a purpose tonight and understandably so considering what he has gone through. I thought he did a great job in the middle of the zone on offense. He's got that 8-12 foot shoot working now so I that is fantastic to see. He didn't have any blocks tonight, but I saw for the first time in a while better intentsity. He was taking his moves at guys rather than fading so that was also good to see.

Robinson: I love Robinson, but he cost KU some momentum with turnovers and bad decision making. He'll get it eventually. He just needs to slow down. and he'll be fine.

Johnson: I thought he played really well. He moved the ball effectively and also had a really nice entry pass off a low bounce pass. Johnson is going to be good one day.

CJ: He was in and then he was on the bench. I don't remember anything he did while on the court. I o nly saw him one other time

Chris Shaw 12 years, 10 months ago

I accidentially put this in the wrong thread! This wasn't the best place to put post game observations. Sorry about that and I meant no disrespect to Cole and his current situation.

NebraskaJayhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

Our condolences Cole.

As far as his play is concerned... Cole's play is right where most people expect him to be except those that think he is some kind of an offensive powerhouse. Cole is a defensive player people... Give the guy some slack. He does what Self wants him to do and he does take on a lot of double teams.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 10 months ago

kushaw..thanks for the follow-up. You've always shown class on your posts and I thought maybe this was a mistake.

Cole's performance this year needs to be looked at as a whole....he was averaging a double double and blocking a ton of shots at the beginning, then I think his grandmother's condition started to weigh him down.

Another thought on my part, however, and I haven't seen this expressed before....last year Cole HAD to produce because he and Sherron were are only true offensive options. This season, despite the unfullfilled expectations, we have more options with the Twins, X, Brady/Reed, etc. I am wondering if Condor needs to remotivate himself into "monster' mode by Tourney time.

Come on folks..with the loss of their best player, ISU looks beatable and 18-1 and #2 in the land seems to be a definite possibility by Monday. That really isn't too shabby, is it???

Please show some patience and give Cole a break.

bdku 12 years, 10 months ago

Look... I meant no disrespect at all to Cole or his family. And I am truly sorry if I offended anyone with my comments, especially the Aldrich family. I simply wanted to share my thoughts about how I feel he's not lived up to most people's expectations thus far. I mean, a preseason All-American that was supposed to contend for national player of the year honors... the man does have a tough job (especially against all those double teams), but does he look like an All-American right now, let alone the national player of the year? Not 100% sure why my first post was removed other than it was maybe a little harsh on the guy... I want to see this kid start to play like we've seen him play in the past. He's got the ability, he just needs to elevate his offensive game another couple of steps. And like I said in my original post: My sincerest blessings are with the Aldrich family during this difficult time for them.


vmwskywalk 12 years, 10 months ago

I believe that we will see a transformation of Cole over the coming weeks. As time passes and the weight of his grandmother's passing is lifted, he will play better. Free the mind and the body will follow. Trust me.

We are with you Cole!

Marcia Parsons 12 years, 10 months ago

As for speculation as to why Cole isn't attending the funeral, I'd guess it's money. I think his dad drives to the games, and there wouldn't be time for that if he wants to be back for the Iowa State game. Besides, he got to see her at Christmas when she was still alive. That's more important.

Dirk Medema 12 years, 10 months ago

bdku - Glad that your first omment was removed, and that you apparently thought better than you wrote. What you and some others apparently are forgetting is that Cole also played thru a week of the flu and another week of some other illness. Add to that his focus on becoming an academic AA (finals), and now his gma, he's had a lot more than double teams to worry about so far this year.

My guess is that his play will come along nicely as the year progresses and the others on the team (McM, X, ?) provide quality, quantifiable contributions. If he is the only 2nd scoring option opponents need to worry about, it is easy for them to focus on him and take him out of the game. If they have to worry about 1 or 2 wings, Cole's game will open up in a hurry. His real contribution tho will continue to be controlling the paint.

Dirk Medema 12 years, 10 months ago

ps Funerals are for the living not the dead. As long as the living and Cole's gma know his love for her, they'll also appreciate his committment to his team/other family. My guess is that it was encouraged by his dad/her son.

FairgroveJayhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

Cole! We've got nothing but love for ya. Keep doing what you do best.

The only way we could love you any more is if you stayed.... one more year!!!:)

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