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Archive for Monday, April 13, 2009

Collins, Aldrich announce plans to return to KU next season

Kansas guard Sherron Collins (in red) gets a hug from Representative Barbara Ballard as center Cole Aldrich (in white) talks with media members after the KU basketball awards banquet. Collins and Aldrich announced at the banquet Monday at the Holidome that they would return to KU next season and not jump to the NBA.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins (in red) gets a hug from Representative Barbara Ballard as center Cole Aldrich (in white) talks with media members after the KU basketball awards banquet. Collins and Aldrich announced at the banquet Monday at the Holidome that they would return to KU next season and not jump to the NBA.

April 13, 2009, 9:13 p.m. Updated April 13, 2009, 10:08 p.m.

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Aldrich and Collins plan to return to KU

The top two scorers on the 2008-2009 Kansas men's basketball team are returning for another year in the Phog. Enlarge video

Kansas coach Bill Self cracks a joke as he recognizes members of his staff for their contributions in this 2009 file photo. Bill Self took time during his Elite camp for blue-chip high school prospects to meet with the Journal-World in support of Perkins.

Kansas coach Bill Self cracks a joke as he recognizes members of his staff for their contributions in this 2009 file photo. Bill Self took time during his Elite camp for blue-chip high school prospects to meet with the Journal-World in support of Perkins.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich, left, entertains the crowd at the basketball awards banquet April 13 at the Holidome, next to Sherron Collins, center, and coach Bill Self. Aldrich and Collins recently expressed no regrets in electing to stay in school for another year. The NBA Draft is tonight in New York.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich, left, entertains the crowd at the basketball awards banquet April 13 at the Holidome, next to Sherron Collins, center, and coach Bill Self. Aldrich and Collins recently expressed no regrets in electing to stay in school for another year. The NBA Draft is tonight in New York.

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Collins, Aldrich staying at KU

Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins — who were named co-winners of the Danny Manning/Mr. Jayhawk Award — received thunderous ovations after delivering their acceptance speeches at Kansas University’s men’s basketball awards banquet Monday night at the Holidome.

Three hundred or so fans stood and roared their approval after the two first-team All-Big 12 picks revealed they’d put their NBA dreams on hold and would be back for the 2009-10 season.

“That’s two good recruits we just signed for next year,” KU coach Bill Self said, moments after sophomore center Aldrich, then junior guard Collins, confirmed they were staying at KU one more year.

“I can’t wait till next year when we try to go for one more (national championship),” Aldrich said.

Once the applause died down, Self asked Aldrich if that meant he was definitely returning to KU.

“As long as you don’t throw me under the bus next year,” Aldrich cracked.

Next, it was Collins’ turn at the microphone.

“It was a great year. Like Cole said, I will be back next year,’’ Collins declared in ending the 21⁄2-hour banquet on a high note.

Aldrich, Collins and Self met with the media after the banquet to explain the decision-making process.

Turns out it was a slam dunk for both players.

“The thing that was most unique was, neither one wanted any information. I didn’t get any information for either one of them. They said they didn’t need it,” Self said of information from NBA executives about where they might be selected if they entered the 2009 Draft.

“Cole said, ‘If I’m here one more year, I can come so close to getting my degree, which will guarantee me graduating from Kansas, and I’m having the time of my life.’

“Sherron will graduate because he only needs 20 hours after this year. They will have a chance to be All-American and do what they both want to do: be part of a legacy that brings home two national championships,” Self added.

Collins — likely a second-round draft pick in the June draft — informed Self of his decision at the State Farm All-America Awards banquet, which honored 10 players, at the Final Four in Detroit.

“Sherron walked up to me after the banquet and said, ‘I’ve made up my mind.’ I said, ‘Oh, geez,’’’ Self recalled with a gasp. “He said, ‘I’m staying.’ I said, ‘I thought you wanted information.’ He said, ‘I don’t need information. I know what’s best for me.’’’

Collins said he figured he could increase his NBA Draft stock by staying another year. More importantly, he knew a decision to stay would please his mother, Stacey Harris.

“My mom had bugged me about having a Senior Day the whole year. She gets her Senior Night. I get my degree, and hopefully we’ll get another national championship,” Collins said.

Harris, who attended the banquet, admitted she was in favor of her son putting off the NBA another year.

“Ever since his freshman year, I said, ‘I need my Senior Day,’’’ Harris said. “It’s not about basketball to me. You need an education regardless, and the people here are great. He made a good choice.”

Collins also conferred with fellow Chicago Crane High graduate/NBA player Will Bynum, who told him it would be a good idea to return to school.

“Will Bynum told Sherron in his home, ‘There are only two places for you to play — the NBA or Kansas — and if you are not 100-percent sure the NBA is right for you this year, then make sure you stay at Kansas,’’’ Self said. “That’s a guy he grew up idolizing. I think he (Collins) made a good percentage play based on where he is and where he could be at the end of next year. He could help himself a lot (by staying).”

Meanwhile, Aldrich decided he’d be back for his junior year while sitting in his Jayhawker Tower apartment shortly after the conclusion of the season.

“I wanted to take some time to take in everything,” Aldrich said. “I was watching the highlights of the season back in my room on my computer. I was getting goosebumps. I was like, ‘I’ve got to come back.’’’

He spoke with Collins about the matter.

“We talked a little bit. I said, ‘I am having way too much fun. I want us to do a lot of things very few people have done,’’’ Aldrich said. “Sherron and I talked about this ... we could be those special names in Kansas history that all the little kids look up to.”

Aldrich’s family members agreed.

They didn’t encourage him to go pro despite the fact many experts said he’d be a lottery pick, guaranteed millions of dollars.

“My mom was the one like, ‘Hey, you’ve got to go back. College is the time where you have most of your memories,’’’ Aldrich said.

“Nobody has graduated in my immediate family from a university. That’s huge for me,” he added.

Aldrich won’t earn enough hours to graduate after his junior year, but said he’d complete work on his degree in Lawrence or in an NBA city the following year.

Self said fans should not expect Aldrich to be back for Year No.4.

“There will not be any questions about, ‘Is Cole staying another year after this one,’’’ Self said.

“He is coming back for his junior year. I can’t see it being anything past that if he has a good junior year. ... With Sherron being a senior, these guys know the safety net is not there any more. They will be more in line than they ever have been making sure next year is special.”

KU assuredly will be ranked in the top five next preseason, maybe even No. 1. Collins’ mom is confident KU’s collection of players could claim the second national title in three years.

“I want the old ring (from ’08). He gets the new ring,” Harris joked of a possible deal with Collins.

“I would think they would do everything possible to make sure they go out in style,” Self said.

Awards: There was just one award presented at the banquet for the second straight year. Self decided last year that it was too difficult to single out individual players and scrapped various awards handed out in the past.

Personnel: KU returns all five starters from last season: Collins, Aldrich, Tyshawn Taylor, Marcus Morris and Brady Morningstar.

Returnees who played significant minutes include Tyrel Reed, Markieff Morris, Mario Little and Travis Releford.

Also in the mix next season will be newcomers Elijah Johnson, Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey (after first semester).

Currently at 12 scholarship players (one under the limit), KU is still in the running for four players: Xavier Henry, 6-foot-6 from Oklahoma City; Lance Stephenson, 6-6 from Brooklyn, N.Y.; John Wall, 6-3 from Raleigh, N.C.; and Daniel Orton, 6-10 from Oklahoma City, who may ask out of his letter of intent at Kentucky.

“We can always get better. We have a scholarship to do so. We are recruiting guys,” Self said. “Even if this team returns status quo, I think we have a chance to have a really good team. If we add anything through the spring process, it would solidify our chances for making a deep run next year.”

Comments

Brian Conrad 5 years ago

reason for high outlook... needs being filled , EJ coming...true point with high assist to turnover ratio to deliver ball to Sherron and other great guards. Withey 7 footer to help Cole and Robinson great driver and rebounder.... and who knows maybe a wing man coming rated higher than Rush? this is first time in KU history roster will be all 5 and 4 star rated players! maybe a 4 star walk on to boot.

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Brian Conrad 5 years ago

irishlad34... 34 year old ksu fan living in his folks trailer who realizes even if they pay Walley Judge , Beasley , Walker and others they will still be the ugly stepchild. or can you be a stepchild if your mom and dad are brother and sister?

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Brian Conrad 5 years ago

irishlad34 very sad you are so unhappy , must be a picked on nerd with dead end life.... lighten up... if you can not have fun with sports in Lawrence I feel bad for you. Great day for couple great kids.. glad they do not have irishlad's wonderful outlook

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shadowbox66044 5 years ago

I'm very glad that they are staying. However, we still have gaps that need to be filled for the upcoming year.

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labmonkey 5 years ago

YEA!!!! And now my wife and I can make Ivan Drago jokes for another year!

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logicsound04 5 years ago

Why is trollishlad34 even here?

He created a username just to make those 2 funny comments.

Perhaps a KSU or MU fan who is upset because their hopes of staying even with KU next year just vanished...

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Armen Kurdian 5 years ago

Sherron needed one more year to develop...it's a good investment, he'll make more in the NBA overall w/another year of experience, same for Aldrich. Let's all remember that there are over 340 Division I schools...a national title in college hoops means more than so many other college & professional sports because it is so dang hard to get there. I'm ready for a fight!

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simplykristib 5 years ago

I am so glad to see that Collins and Aldrich are returning next year! :) KU is going to have an awesome team next year. :)

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couranna1 5 years ago

irishlad34 you are a complete moron and it is not derogatory if it is true you cannot be Irish as Irish people are not that stupid. you are dismissed

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Brent Cagle 5 years ago

jspawk- We went into the off-season with 2 scholarships to give, but with 3 guys coming in (Johnson, Robinson, Withey), we were actually one over our limit. Once Appleton and Thomas announced they were leaving, we went from being one over to one under. So as it stands now, we can bring one more guy in and be at our limit of 13 scholarships. If we bring a second one in, someone will have to give their scholarship up for the year, or transfer.

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jonas_opines 5 years ago

Obvious troll is obvious.

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irishlad34 5 years ago

Sounds like KU should get Stephenson then....if he has attitude problems and is an idiot...... he would fit in well on a Burrito Billy Self(ish) team!!!!!!!

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PapaB 5 years ago

I hope KU gets Henry or Wall. Daniel Orton is a big body, but not great. Lance Stephenson is an idiot (anyone who watched the All-American game could tell - severe attitude problem).

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irishlad34 5 years ago

I wonder if Representative Barbara Ballard is going to give all of the Hallmark employees who are going to get laid off a hug. Seems like they need it and deserve it more than some silver spoon college jerk, who gets a full ride scholarship and whatever else he wants. Wonder how much money the boosters gave him to come back. I guess we will know when we see Collins driving around in his new Escalade and all of his new bling. Way to go Representative Barbara Ballard I am glad you were hob-nobbing with all of the self-important KU jerks. Maybe now you can focus on your job....like the important issues the State of Kansas are facing. I have an idea...why don't we lay off all of the Senators and Represenatives and replace them with the ranks of the recent layoffs and let's get some work done...

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jspawk 5 years ago

So we only have one scholarship to give to one of the recruits listed in the article? I'm just so confused because someone told me that because Sherron and Cole are staying now we have to give up two more scholarships....which doesn't seem correct....

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coolmarv 5 years ago

I'm sure that if Collins was a high first round lottery pick he would not be doing it 'for his mother and it's been awhile since college athletics was about getting a degree, for most players. At least football and basketball anyway. I'm glad there staying but I do get tired of all that 'will he stay or go crap'. I just wait for the beggining of the next year and go from there with who we have.

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Gootsie 5 years ago

I'm truly happy that all of our guys will be here next year. They all played such an important role - just because they didn't take over the games doesn't mean they weren't awesome too.

Once everyone becomes part of the offense again, we will beat everyone thrown our way!

WOO HOO!

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logicsound04 5 years ago

As a jayhawk fan, I am just beaming right now. I admit, I am nervous about next year due to all the expectations (it was rather nice this year to be able to take an "everything they accomplish is a bonus" attitude in a rebuilding year) because when you are the odds-on favorite to win the title, there is nowhere to go but down.

However, a couple things Collins and Aldrich each said make me proud to be a Jayhawk--both guys talked about their degrees in the decision to come back (which is a stand-up character trait AND a sign that the two aren't coming back just for a title, which could result in additional collar-tightening pressure) and neither guy needed to hear anything about the NBA and their prospects to make their decision. That leads me to believe there won't be any change of heart.

Sherron and Cole, you are two high-character individuals who will achieve much in life, regardless of how your professional basketball careers turn out.

Rock chalk JAYhawk K-U!!

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jhawk4life51 5 years ago

09-10 could be another great year for KU sports!! hopefully we can get that north division title and another BCS bowl and follow it up with another ship in april!!!

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bearlybrewed 5 years ago

Hawks, woooo, way to go.....sports....I have no other life.....get a life. More wasted academic dollars for those who come to college to play...

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girlyoudontknow 5 years ago

ROCK CHALK! Good to hear you both are coming back! Have a great year next year! :)

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couranna1 5 years ago

rooster they do that anyway don't they

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jayhawkjg 5 years ago

Thanks guys for giving us something to look forward to next season. Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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FHarrison 5 years ago

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

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rooster 5 years ago

tigers fans just Cr@pped their pants.

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couranna1 5 years ago

Amen we will be preseason #1 and the clear favorite to win it all Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU

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esteshawk 5 years ago

My respect for Collins just went up. He wants to get a degree for his mom, and that says volumes about the kids character. Oh yeah - and it will help the team, but really that's secondary to getting his degree, which is what college athletics is all about. Aldrich still needs time to develop physically, so I could see his decision based on that. Rock Chalk.

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Stebbins 5 years ago

Can the season start already? Is the summer off-season really necessary?

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Rickyonealku 5 years ago

Great just Great...now all summer long we Kansas Fans can talk about football football football and basketball basketball basketball and another Best Year EVER....

Rock Chalk Jayhawks.....

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doc1 5 years ago

Good for KU but even greater for them. Smart decision guys. Good luck and thank you.

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persevering_gal 5 years ago

I already have my sports package purchased and my camping gear is all ready to go!!!

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dweezil222 5 years ago

I smell a championship.

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jonas_opines 5 years ago

"Cole Aldrich not going shocks me. He was a lower end lottery pick."

And next year he'll be the higher end lottery pick. Nothing shocking in that.

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irishlad33 5 years ago

Not to bright the both of them…..Aldrich is a guaranteed lottery pick….instant millionaire…..Collins.... the 2nd round is as high as he is going to go…..even after next year….2 questions??? wonder if Collins will get fat and lazy again?? Will Collins sexually assault anybody during his senior year?? Make that 3 questions...Will the Morris idiot shoot anybody else on campus?? Whatever advice Aldrich is listening to….lets just say he needs to get some new advisers….Collins might benifit coming back but….why…his stock is not going up…..Collins played the best he ever will and 2nd round is the highest he will ever go. They are both national champions so what is there to prove….Oh I could have gotten drafted last year but damn I hurt myself and now I am screwed….Oh well…at least I could tell my kids…hey I could have gotten drafted but I pissed it away…

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Steve Jacob 5 years ago

Cole Aldrich not going shocks me. He was a lower end lottery pick.

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mightyquin 5 years ago

I can feel another national championship coming!!!!!!!

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slappedyomomma 5 years ago

Cole will have some great relief in Withey at semester. Collins should have great support and relief from Taylor and Johnson. Lets hope that we land John Wall or Xavier Henry with our remaining scholarship.

We look absolutely NASTY on paper. lets hope it translates to dominance on the court.

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Jeff Kilgore 5 years ago

We are instantly the Beasts of the Midwest! Sherron, Cole, you won't regret it!

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yankeelady 5 years ago

I can't wait---it will be a great run. Thanks indeed.

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grammaddy 5 years ago

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!! Thanks guys!!!

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