View Full Version : KU KU's win thrice as nice for Aldrich

03-22-2009, 08:41 PM

KU's win thrice as nice for Aldrich

Sunday, March 22, 2009 | Print Entry

Posted by Adam Rittenberg

MINNEAPOLIS -- On those rare occasions when Sherron Collins gets beat by his man, he listens for Kansas teammate Cole Aldrich.

When Aldrich gives the cue, Collins doesn't even worry about contesting the shot. He just heads to the weak side to rebound.

"He always hollers when he's coming," Collins said. "He makes a goofy sound. It's just like, 'Eahh!' I just know he's coming, and I get out of his way."

Good idea.

Dayton couldn't get out of Aldrich's way in Sunday's second-round matchup with No. 3 seed Kansas. Without any perimeter shooting game to speak of, Flyers ball-handlers repeatedly drove the lane.

Most of their shots hit the rim and ended up in Aldrich's meaty mitts. Ten of their shots against Aldrich didn't even reach the iron.

Aldrich delivered the most dominant defensive performance of the 2009 NCAA tournament, and made history in Kansas' 60-43 bottling of Dayton. The Bloomington, Minn., native returned to his hometown and produced a stat line that will never be forgotten by Kansas fans: 13-20-10.

Aldrich tallied 13 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocks against Dayton, the first triple-double in the program's rich history since the stat started being recorded. It marked the sixth triple-double in NCAA tournament history and the first since Marquette's Dwyane Wade went for 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against Kentucky in a 2003 regional final also played at the Metrodome.

"It's fun," Aldrich said. "I wouldn't have had it anywhere else than being at home. That's one thing that got me amped up a little more was just seeing the familiar faces in the crowd."

Dayton players are probably sick of seeing Aldrich's face after Sunday's loss.

Aldrich became the first player in tournament history to record a triple-double with 20 rebounds, and the first to reach the milestone in blocks since LSU's Shaquille O'Neal against BYU in the first round of the 1992 tournament. Perhaps most important, he picked up only two fouls in 31 minutes.

After being "a second off" from recording major blocks totals for much of the season, Aldrich's timing was perfect Sunday.

"I know every time they came in, I had a height advantage and a length advantage," Aldrich said. "I just try to block everything. I was able to stay out of foul trouble that way. I was able to just alter shots even when I wasn't able to block the shots."

Aldrich was asked afterward about his physical development from Jefferson High School to college basketball's greatest stage. Weight was a problem, but not like it is for most college big men.

"Junior year of high school, the most I weighed was 263," he said. "I came in as a freshman weighing 254, 55-ish, and I had 14.9 percent body fat. Now I'm down to about 235, 240 with about six and a half percent body fat."

Jayhawks coach Bill Self smirked and glanced at his blossoming big man.

"Is there anything else you want to say? The size of your biceps?" Self asked.

Aldrich looked superhuman against Dayton, and sharing a stat line with Shaq made an impression on the big man. Though he grew up a Kevin Garnett fan in Minnesota, Aldrich always admired O'Neal.

"I love Shaq," Aldrich said. "Shaq, he's a funny guy. I'm a little too serious for him."

What would Shaq say about Sunday's performance?

"I wish I could have Shaq's number to ask him about it," Aldrich said.

If he did, he'd probably hear something like this: Nice job, young fella.

03-22-2009, 08:43 PM
Can you dig it!!!!!???

That is what Shaq would say.

And Shaqtastic.

03-22-2009, 08:43 PM

Another sweet 16... Man this has been an awesome Coaching year for Coach Self. By far the Coach of the year...

03-22-2009, 08:44 PM

03-22-2009, 08:50 PM

Aldrich's 13 points, 20 boards, 10 blocked shots lead KU to Sweet 16

MINNEAPOLIS -- Playing in his hometown, Cole Aldrich was pumped up.

Patrolling the post for Kansas with those long arms, the 6-foot-11 sophomore forced the Dayton Flyers into a whole bunch of bad shots and sent them down for a rough landing.

"I've been blocking shots since I was a little kid," said Aldrich, who grew up just a few miles away in the suburb of Bloomington. "I was 6 foot in fifth grade. I had a little height advantage, or what have you. That's the one thing I try to do if guys get beat. I just try to go up there and block 'em."

Shaquille O'Neal set the NCAA tournament record with 11 blocks in a game for LSU in 1992. Shawn Bradley had 10 in 1991 for BYU. Aldrich's feat was, officially, the sixth triple-double in the history of the tournament.

Sherron Collins had 25 points to pace the third-seeded Jayhawks (27-7), who moved on to play Michigan State in the Midwest Region semifinals next Friday in Indianapolis.

Chris Wright had 10 points on 4-for-16 shooting for Dayton, which went a woeful 22.2 percent for the game. Charles Little was 2-for-10, and Marcus Johnson went 1-for-11. Frequently settling for off-balance runners or floaters in the lane, Dayton barely had any chances for those fast-break tomahawk dunks Wright has made his signature this season.

"I guess their flight team, or whatever they call it, wasn't flying," Collins said, grinning.

This was Dayton's lowest scoring total of the season. The Flyers shot 9-for-40 in the first half, and the misses didn't stop there. Mickey Perry's layup cut the Kansas edge to 35-30 midway through the second half, but with Aldrich getting a brief break on the bench Tyrel Reed sank a 3-pointer and Collins followed with a layup to stretch the lead back to 10.

"A lot of guys on this team can shoot, but I think you want it so badly that you go out there and try to push it a little bit," Perry said.

During a 10-minute stretch, with Aldrich grabbing those wayward shots and swatting some of them away before they even got to the rim, the Flyers went 3-for-20. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks -- who weren't in rhythm offensively and sure needed Aldrich's altering presence underneath on defense -- ran away.

"Sometimes when you miss good looks, even the open looks become a little bit more difficult later on," Kansas coach Bill Self said.

The Flyers (27-8), one of four teams given at-large bids from conferences other than the big six, beat West Virginia in the first round for their first NCAA tourney win since 1990. Trying to rebuild the program into a perennial NCAA tournament team under coach Brian Gregory, though, they were after more than that.

UD was 1-for-12 from the floor at one point, going more than 6 minutes without a make, until freshman Luke Fabrizius swished the first of his two 3-pointers to cut the Kansas lead to 13-7. The TV microphone on Dayton's rim was cranked way up for a few possessions, exaggerating each brick with a fittingly amplified clang.

The Jayhawks didn't seize their opportunity to build a big advantage. Collins was in his usual get-to-the-lane high gear, scoring 14 points before halftime, but Kansas missed nine of 11 attempts from 3-point range and, worse, seven of 10 foul shots.

Aldrich was all over the boards, but after an early series of putback, tip-in and up-and-under layup on three straight possessions, he stopped attacking the basket with the same aggression and had two passes out of the post go for turnovers. He did, however, convert a three-point play after relentlessly staying with the rebound of his own miss and give the Jayhawks a 29-23 lead at the break.

"He's just so big down there," Perry said.

The official list of NCAA tournament triple-doubles dates to 1986, when steals and blocks were formally added as statistics. Assists were added in 1984. Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson had a handful of unofficial triple-doubles before the stats were streamlined. The last one was in this building, actually, by Dwyane Wade for Marquette in the 2003 regional final win over Kentucky.

This, also, was the first official triple-double in Kansas history. Wilt Chamberlain would have had dozens, of course, but he played before the statistical expansion. No matter how the numbers are laid out, though, this Collins-Aldrich duo is quickly rising in prominence and impact on the storied Kansas program.

"I think we can make a run," Collins said. "We started one already."

03-22-2009, 08:51 PM
I dont care what anyone says, I still feel this team has a legitimate shot at repeating, that would be so sweet !!!

03-22-2009, 08:58 PM
I dont care what anyone says, I still feel this team has a legitimate shot at repeating, that would be so sweet !!!

Any team that is left in the field has a chance at winning it. But I'd say KU's chances are less than 2%

03-22-2009, 09:03 PM
I dont care what anyone says, I still feel this team has a legitimate shot at repeating, that would be so sweet !!!

I'm actually happy that Michigan State won today. I think we stand a good chance against them. Something tells me that it will all just click on Friday night.

Now, if we have to play Louisville, I'm not as certain. Something about Michigan State though. I think Coach Self will work his magic with game against them in the can already. Plus, we kind of had a JV version of Michigan State today. Nice little prelude.

Skip Towne
03-22-2009, 09:14 PM
Any team that is left in the field has a chance at winning it. But I'd say KU's chances are less than 2%

I'll bet Vegas gives us a better chance than that. We're KANSAS

03-22-2009, 09:18 PM
Well I believe in this team and I trust and feel that they can win it all again this year .... they have the capability of achieving that. So with that said, ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK GO KU !!!

Al Bundy
03-22-2009, 09:21 PM
Aldrich will look great in a Timberwolves jersey next year.

03-22-2009, 11:24 PM
Aldrich will look great in a Timberwolves jersey next year.That is one WHITE team :eek:

03-22-2009, 11:27 PM
I'll bet Vegas gives us a better chance than that. We're KANSAS

They really should just give you guys a bye straight into the Final Four.

Kyle DeLexus
03-22-2009, 11:35 PM
They really should just give you guys a bye straight into the Final Four.

That would be pretty nice, wouldn't have to worry about those pesky upsets and can focus on the real deal.

03-22-2009, 11:37 PM
He should send Shaq a twitter if he really wants to talk to him.

03-23-2009, 02:13 AM
I'll bet Vegas gives us a better chance than that. We're KANSAS

We were at +3500 betting odds as oppposed to +300 for UNC. They give us the same odds as MU, UCLA, and Purdue. Although now I would give us a slightly better chance than UCLA right now.