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Originally published March 5, 2010 at 11:50a.m., updated March 6, 2010 at 12:00a.m.

Aldrich says NBA not a done deal yet

KU junior still pondering future

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.

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— Yes, Cole Aldrich heard the fans’ chants of “One More Year” at the end of Wednesday’s Senior Day victory over Kansas State.

“It’s cool,” Aldrich, Kansas University’s 6-foot-11 junior center, said of the fans wanting him to return to KU instead of heading to the NBA.

“I still don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m still just trying to play ball. Whether it is my last year or not, I’m just trying to make it the most fun I could ever have.”

So he’s not totally sure he’s headed to the NBA?

“Not really,” Aldrich said. “I’m just going and having fun. I’m going to do the same thing that Sherron (Collins) and I did at the end of the year (last year in assessing options), see where things are and kind of assess it.”

Coach Bill Self on Wednesday told the fans not to hold their breath about Aldrich coming back.

“I don’t know,” Aldrich said. “It could be a possibility (heading to NBA), but you never know.”

Aldrich is considered a lottery pick in the 2010 Draft. It’s been assumed ever since last year’s KU basketball banquet this is the big man’s last year in college.

Antlers strike?

Missouri’s student cheering section, the Antlers, may have pulled off one of the best pranks of all-time.

“You know what somebody did to me? Somebody made a flier and said I was selling a dog and put my name and my number on it. So, I’ve been getting phone calls about giving away a dog that I don’t even have for the last two days,” KU sophomore Tyshawn Taylor said with a grin.

“I haven’t seen the flier yet. My teammates told me about it. “They pulled it out of the elevator. It was in all kinds of dorms and classrooms. I’m like, ‘I don’t have a dog. Stop calling me,’” Taylor added.

KU coach Bill Self said he still gets phone calls “periodically” from the Antlers.

“If it’s a 573 (area code) I usually don’t pick up or 314 I don’t pick up this time of year,” Self said.

Of the calls, junior Brady Morningstar said: “It does get kind of annoying seeing numbers pop up you don’t know. It’s, ‘Dang, man, what’s up with that?’”

Aldrich hadn’t heard from the Antlers as of Friday. “It is very nice and relieving,” he said with a smile.

No distractions

Taylor grinned when asked why he’s played so well of late.

“No Facebook, man. No Facebook,” he said of the controversy several weeks ago in which he posted on Facebook that he didn’t know his role on the team. He’s since taken his page down. “Before, a lot of stuff happened off the court that was limiting my play on the court. All the off-the-court stuff is gone. I can just play now.”

Collins a finalist

KU senior Sherron Collins is one of six finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which goes to college basketball’s top point guard as awarded by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. Other remaining candidates: Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), Jon Scheyer (Duke), Evan Turner (Ohio State), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland) and John Wall (Kentucky).

Comments

David Leathers 12 years, 9 months ago

Cole, either way you decide, we love you! Would we love to have you back next year for a possible 2-peat? Hell yea! But like Katt Williams says: "If you need to make your paper boo-boo, by all means, make yo paper!"

David Leathers 12 years, 9 months ago

Cole, either way you decide, we love you! Would we love to have you back next year for a possible 2-peat? Hell yea! But like Katt Williams says: "If you need to make your paper boo-boo, by all means, make yo paper!"

James122 12 years, 9 months ago

Cole you need another year to work your offense. If you have to go because of the $$$ then everyone understands. Another year would be great, but do what is best for u!

Studogg 12 years, 9 months ago

Wow...can you IMAGINE how good we would be next year if Cole and Xavier stick around...goosebumps, folks, goosebumps...

master16 12 years, 9 months ago

i would love more than anything to have CA come back, but that would be 2x that he's pass up the lottery. i just hope that if he comes back it will only help and not hurt him.

KUbsee69 12 years, 9 months ago

Cole, Marc & Mark, X, Tyshawn, Jeff, Thomas, Elizah, Travis, Mario, Tyrell, Brady, CJ, Royce, Josh, Conner, et al.

Wow ... one can only dream ... but, what a dream!

jayhawkjoe98 12 years, 9 months ago

Shouldn't it be a requirement for the Academic All-American of the year to actually graduate?

number1jayhawker 12 years, 9 months ago

Joe98, Cole is on schedule to graduate in this spring.

jayhawkjoe98 12 years, 9 months ago

Aw, good news!

Then he definitely should head to the NBA. Set yourself up for the rest of your life.

100 12 years, 9 months ago

He'll be back.

3 NC's in 4 years...

Taking Wilt's starting spot off the all time KU's team.

Back to back hoops scholar of the year!!!

And a degree!!!!!

Rock Chalk Cole Train!!!!!

Benjamin Clay Jones 12 years, 9 months ago

Maybe Tyshawn should advertise that dog on Facebook.

tennesseest 12 years, 9 months ago

Tyshawn doesn't even like dogs, they're always "muggin" him. But you know that he's always muggin back.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 9 months ago

I'm guessing Cole has watched some NBA games on the tube and notices how little fun the centers actually have. Set a pick and clear out for the teams top scorer to take it to the hoop and on defense be stuck out at the three point line guarding his man whose job will be to take him out of the center area.......BORING.

Of course, if several million dollars come with the gig then maybe it's not as bad as it sounds!!

All things considered, he may be the third best pure center in the history of Kansas, behind Wilt and Clyde, after only three seasons!!! {I consider Danny one of the greatest power forwards in the history of college basketball].

My heart says please stay but my head says, Cole, youi've done enough...take care of your family and the rest of your life.

Thanks for everyrthing, you big goofy toothless wonderful giant!!!

Bryan Mayes 12 years, 9 months ago

As much as I would love to have Cole back for one more, by no means will I be upset if he leaves. I feel like leaving is a great scenario for Cole. Coming back however could be great, it could be okay, or it could be tragic. CA could come back, repeat, and walk away a 4-year legend. He could come back, have a bad year (either personally, or as a team) and lose stock in the draft, therefore big money. Worst case, he comes back, gets hurt, and plummets out of the lottery. Whatever you decide Cole, know this University and its fans are behind you. Rock Chalk!

MDHawk 12 years, 9 months ago

I can't get that image of Cole dressed up as the Jolly Green Giant out of my head...absolutely hilarious. He's so easy to laugh at, so fun to watch, and undoubtedly hard to play against...I'd love to see him in a KU jersey and dominating once again next year. With him, X, and co. next year, we'd be scary-good.

Like Coach advised, I won't hold my breath...but it sure doesn't hurt to dream. Good luck with your decision, Cole (and X)! Difficult choice, but a good problem to have!

KUbsee69 12 years, 9 months ago

Number1 ... Cole does not get a degree this spring.

He is somewhat short of the hours required. Past articles have indicated that he's close enough that he could complete his degree with on-line study, or similar.

Jonathan Allison 12 years, 9 months ago

I remember the same article. It said that Cole could take correspondance courses and finish his degree by next December.

crmsnblu 12 years, 9 months ago

the way i see it -

you enter early to have a longer pro career, make a few more mil.

you stay and with medical technology there really is not career ending injury, so...you get to play for the one and only place where fun is #1, where its not a job, its a luxury, where your the man and will be for life, where you only have one chance left or its gone forever.

so you lose a few mil. - how important is a few million dollars to someone who will have tens of millions later? does it out weigh that last fun year of basketball?

Trey Hohman 12 years, 9 months ago

(From a previous post) X should absolutely stay at KU for another season if only because he could potentially be the #1 player taken in the 2011 NBA Draft + there's almost a 99% certainty that there is going to be an NBA lockout for all/90% of next NBA season -- which also more-than likely also means that there will be no more guaranteed, multi-year player contracts anymore -- but instead simply a much higher, guaranteed signing bonus attached when a player signs his NBA contract -- patterned after the NFL financial system….So if X got drafted #3 in 2011 instead of say, #12 in 2010, he will hypothetically be looking at a difference of at least $10 Million in guaranteed signing bonus money additions if he stays at KU for just one more year. Also, because of the eventual NBA lockout next season, nobody will make any money. No players, no coaches, no trainers, no waterboys will draw a salary from their respective NBA team. You only get paid when you play, so if there isn’t a season next year, etc, etc.

The “Cole staying at KU” argument is equally as good: As I stated earlier, the NBA next year is going to be a complete wash because of the lockout. When Jordan is able to recently buy the Charlotte Bobcats for $175 Million & just 4 years ago that same franchise was valued at well over $450 Million, you know the NBA is in deep trouble, financially. Someone like Sherron, who has no choice but to go pro after the season, is hypothetically going to get drafted in the later-half of the first round, and that same NBA team that drafted him will obtain his rights for the following 2011-2012 season, and in the meantime he's going to have to play in Spain next year to make some scratch. Same situation with X and Cole if they also leave KU -- same with John Wall and a lot of mid-level NBA players hoping to make some cabbage -- so the market is going to be flooded with far too many American NBA players wanting to play overseas because of the eventual NBA lockout -- so the money won't be very great Overseas either. Someone like Cole, might make $500,000 next year playing in say, Barcelona & risk injury playing in ex ballrooms and dance halls/converted basketball courts that hold maybe 3000 fans on a good night. Or, he can stay at KU with the best coach in the world, refine his skills, get drafted #2 behind or right before X in 2011, & make more money eventually because of the draft value bonus system which will be in place by 2011. No NBA next year. Don’t bet against it.

Studogg 12 years, 9 months ago

I think he's for sure gone if we win the NC, but if we don't it may make him think harder about one more year.

Oakville--"big goofy toothless wonderful giant!" I absolutely love it.

Sally Presson 12 years, 9 months ago

I know Cole will be making a boat load of money, BUT he will never have people love him like Hawk fans do. You have plenty of time to be all grown up and earn the big $$. Whatever you decide to do Cole, we're behind you 100%. I know you wish your buddy would still be here and so do we, but you have plenty of teammates left to carry on the Jayhawk tradition. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. the biggie right now is the MU game and a National Championship!!! Go Get-UM Cole!!

chicagoeddie 12 years, 9 months ago

just come back Cole!!! you will be #1 draft pick next year with so much guaranteed money!!! and a degree and more success at KU! =)

jayhawkjoe98 12 years, 9 months ago

Some of you are being selfish. Cole needs to look out for himself and his family. If the NBA is the right choice, then he needs to head to the NBA.

BeakofLight 12 years, 9 months ago

as of the past few weeks, i have a gut feeling he's coming back

however

if he thrives as he did last year in the dance, my gut feeling will change as he may go top 5

another year would do the big man wonders as he desperately needs to polish the fluidity of his offensive block work and reactionary identification skills

time will tell...sooner than later

trueblue9 12 years, 9 months ago

"so you lose a few mil. - how important is a few million dollars to someone who will have tens of millions later? does it out weigh that last fun year of basketball?"

um, absolutely? he'll be making 3mil next year (or the first year he enters the NBA), but its effectively the last year of his career that he is sacrificing by staying in college an extra year. maybe that year is worth 10mil. if someone had offered you a job after your junior year of college at 3mil, would've thought, "well, thats a pretty good offer, but i'll take my chances that you still want me in a year for the same salary because i just love college SO MUCH"? thought so.

Marcia Parsons 12 years, 9 months ago

Maybe he'll talk to Brandon and Mario to get their take on the wisdom of leaving early.

Robert Brock 12 years, 9 months ago

Message to KU players: turn off your cell-phones until 4:30 PM Saturday.

SoCalAlum 12 years, 9 months ago

The guy Cole REALLY needs to talk to is Paul Pierce - he left early...and went right into the abyss and no-paycheck of the NBA lockout. My son and I saw him at the Anaheim Pond when KU played in the Wooden event and dude looked sad (figuring, too bad he couldn't be playing for KU given what went down with the NBA).

Dyrk Dugan 12 years, 9 months ago

And now Paul Pierce makes $14 million a year. He was a top 10 pick....i always want guys to stay, but good grief, Paul made the right decision.

Cole should go if a number of people are talking about making him a lottery pick....or for sure, he know he's going 1st round. otherwise, you stay. it's really that simple.

Blake Post 12 years, 9 months ago

Hawknhutch, yes, I agree. Enjoy the journey.... with tiger soup, a tasty tidbit.

Blake Post 12 years, 9 months ago

Hawknhutch, yes, I agree. Enjoy the journey.... with tiger soup, a tasty tidbit.

Blake Post 12 years, 9 months ago

Hawknhutch, yes, I agree. Enjoy the journey.... with tiger soup, a tasty tidbit.

jayhawk47 12 years, 9 months ago

Since Cole is close to his family, I think if his Dad can get a full-time job to support the family, Cole would probably stay. If not he probably leaves to help the family.

100 12 years, 9 months ago

If he wins 3 NC in 4 & back to back National Hoops Scholar of the year, the marketing of that will far surpass anything that he gains from leaving a year early.

Plus he grabs his degree & grabs a few "on the house" extra hours towards a masters degree.

Oh did I forget "the best year of his life"?

He's staying.

100 12 years, 9 months ago

Paging Greg Oden....

After leaving for the NBA early, is there anything special about your life?

Is the NBA food any better?

Are your friends better?

Do you have a place to sleep?

Do you have a place to eat?

Trey Hohman 12 years, 9 months ago

The big question mark remains that if X & Cole go pro, will they play next season at all and get paid instantly -- instead of getting drafted and then having to wait-out an NBA lock-out season. I enjoy watching ex-KU players in the NBA more than almost anything else on TV, but the NBA is in such a terrible financial state right now, and from everything I have read about this impending lock-out/lock-down, it might take an entire year to fix it before anyone in the league plays a single game next year. That is the risk. Yes, I'm sure X & Cole and Self and Manning and Pritchard and Newton and Paul Pierce and Collison and Gooden and Hinrich and probably even Coach Larry Brown have all been in phone discussions with one another about this pending issue and have a much better time-line c/o this Lock-out than myself -- but it's always enjoyable to speculate.

trueblue9 12 years, 9 months ago

you all forget one other important fact. going to the nba isn't just a job or the money, it is literally a lifetime dream for these guys. every day since he can probably remember he's been practicing in his backyard with the hopes of making the league, why begrudge him that? he's given ku his best for the entire time he's been here both as an athlete and as a student, that's all you can ask. wish him the best, life will go on.

Mike Kendall 12 years, 9 months ago

Studogg--- I'm with you---if we win the NC, the decision becomes very easy---Cole goes. If we lose out on the NC, I think he probably stays. Hey, Jayhawk Nation, the way I see it, it's a WIN---WIN situation for KU, right?

Brock--- Second message to the KU players--- I agree with you! Turn off your cell phones until 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. This is the only time you have to do this---against the Tiggers!

KGphoto 12 years, 9 months ago

Cole's KU story isn't written yet.

He's got a lot of games left. I see at least one more monster outing before he's ready to take the step. Could be tomorrow. Could be in the Big 12 tourney. But if I had to guess, I'd say it will come during a big-time matchup at the dance. A la Hansbrough beat-down.

Hell, would it surprise anybody if he just took over and started pimp-slapping everything that ventured in the paint? He's wavering on the precipice now. I doubt he falls backwards.

Joseph Kuebel 12 years, 9 months ago

tennesseest (anonymous) says… Tyshawn doesn't even like dogs, they're always "muggin" him. But you know that he's always muggin back.

TennesseeST....It's from a Lil Wayne song.

yates33333 12 years, 9 months ago

Poor ole Taylor. He is a helluva an athlete and a great player, but he has trouble growing up. You realize he kept up with Clemente, who is an outstanding player.

Who has said that Aldrich is a lottery pick? He will need more stamina to be that. He has more skills than Ostertag, but is he as tall? Will he be the same shot blocker and rebounder that the Big O was?

dynamitehawk 12 years, 9 months ago

What ever happened to good rap songs like, "I left my wallet in El Sugundo"? Sheesh, they just can't write them like they used to.

paulhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

I own a remodeling company in olathe ks. I am starting to get busy again and i think i could offer coles dad full time employment. who do i contact?

Dr_Roach 12 years, 9 months ago

Yates

ESPN has him projected lottery pick. As of last week anyway....I doubt that has changed but I will check again.

bbeckum 12 years, 9 months ago

If Cole does leave early, there's a guy in Grand Junction, CO I hope the coaches recruit, named Rick Griggs. He can handle the ball, jump out of the gym and has a bball IQ of maybe 210. Seriously, this kid can play. I'm talkin PHENOM!

DoubleDD 12 years, 9 months ago

I don't think some of you get it. True basketball is played at the college level. Yes the NBA has it's millions but think of its lifestyle. Playing games bascially every night which means no time to really work on your game. On average an NBA player could play for 4 or 5 different teams in a career, which means alot of moving around. Your just another cog for the machine. Not to mention coming out of college you really only get that one big payday unless your good and prove yourself.

I would say to any college kid with talent that can play at the next level get your education and enjoy college as much as you can, because if your good the millions will be waiting for you when you're ready to make that jump. This talk of I have to go to the NBA now is crazy talk, I say go when your good and damn ready.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 9 months ago

paulhawk

Contact the Kansas Athletic Dept., explain your situation regarding Mr. Aldrich. Let them call him with your number and, if he is interested, he'll call you back. I am sure that player family phone numbers are held in confidence, just like the players.

If you truly mean it, Good luck and thanks!!

phogthedog 12 years, 9 months ago

No parent could be prouder of a son than M/Mrs. Aldrich. No matter his decision....he has represented Kansas with class. Given his drive to become an Academic All-American, I have every confidence that he will obtain his degree whether he leaves early or not. He will make the decision that is best for him and his family. Rock chalk Cole!

kvskubball 12 years, 9 months ago

Unless our guards do a better job of feeding Cole, no reason for him to come back! It's difficult to work on your offensive Post moves without the ball!

KURocksChalk 12 years, 9 months ago

After KU wins the NCAA, he will probably announce then. And of course, after another Title, why not go make some money. I am sure his family could use it. I love KU but there is a risk to coming back. Injuries in college have derailed many a dream.

dynamitehawk 12 years, 9 months ago

DoubleDD -

If you were staring at millions, would you really stay?

I'm not knocking on you, but you can't fault these guys for going for the $$. I know that if I got a chance to make millions (more... j/k :) I would. Period.

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