Archive for Thursday, October 8, 2009

Aldrich, Collins honored together

Top players together in everything, class included

Kansas center Cole Aldrich puts his arm around guard Sherron Collins as the two make their way from the floor late in the second half against  Iowa State Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich puts his arm around guard Sherron Collins as the two make their way from the floor late in the second half against Iowa State Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich were both named preseason Big 12 players of the year. The Jayhawks are preseason favorites to cut down the nets in March.

October 8, 2009, 10:11 a.m. Updated October 9, 2009, 1:14 a.m.


The Big 12’s Preseason Co-Players of the Year happen to be bosom buddies.

“We’re like two peas in a pod. You can’t have one without the other. I’m the pod. He’s the peas,” Kansas University junior center Cole Aldrich said of senior guard Sherron Collins.

The two, who received Big 12 basketball’s highest preseason hoops honor Thursday, also were named first-team all conference with Craig Brackins (Iowa State), Willie Warren (Oklahoma), James Anderson (Oklahoma State) and Damion James (Texas).

“Last year, I don’t think there was one time where our names weren’t mentioned together,” Collins stated. “We’re pretty used to it now.

“The crazy thing is, we have one class together and always walk on campus together, and it’s a long walk from Smith Hall (site of class) to the (Jayhawker) Towers or the workout facility. Everybody’s like, ‘Whoa, Cole and Sherron are together. They’re together.’

“You see everybody staring like, ‘Whoa.’ Tapping each other saying, ‘The two best players. They’re right there.’ It’s normal for me and Cole. It’s just walking.”

The two present sort of an Odd Couple look to fellow KU students.

“I think the other thing they say is how big Cole is over me. Because, I mean, I’m literally walking on the side of him, and I’ve got to look up to him all the time,” said Collins, who stands 5-foot-11 compared to Aldrich’s 6-11.

“I hope they aren’t talking about how short I am. But, it’s great, though. We hang together all the time. It’s something different.”

The two have become even closer than they were last year ... thanks to the class they take at Smith Hall.

Let Collins explain:

“We’re taking this one Women’s Studies class, and it’s like probably 17 women in there, and me and Cole are the only two boys in the class,” Collins said.

“It’s funny. Miss Ballard ... she’s our teacher. She’s great. Class is so interesting and fun. We discuss all types of issues. The women … they gang up on us. They beat up on us a lot. We find a subject to debate, and me and Cole try to stick up, but we always get overpowered. There’s just two of us. We learn to keep our mouths shut now.”

Not always.

“From being in that class, we’ve learned to stick together at all times — on the court and off the court. We have to have each other’s back,” Collins said with a smile.

The two are pleased to share the preseason award.

“I’m glad we’re both a part of it,” Collins said. “The help Cole gave me last year was tremendous. He had a double-double every night. Cole’s the biggest goofball I know. I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He’s like a brother to me.”

Aldrich returned the compliment: “Oh man, I wouldn’t trade Sherron for anybody. He’s so fun to be around. He’s an unselfish player, always upbeat. He leads a team to great heights like we saw last year.”

Coach Bill Self — who reported that the 205-pound Collins was in the best shape of his career at this stage of a preseason — noted that Collins has a chance to become the winningest player in NCAA basketball history.

The Chicagoan currently has been part of 97 victories. KU would need 40 victories this season for him to catch the Memphis trio of Antonio Anderson, Robert Dozier and Chance McGrady, who were part of 137 victories. However, those three stand to see 38 wins erased as part of an NCAA decree forcing the Tigers to forfeit wins from two seasons ago because of violations.

If a Memphis appeal fails, Collins needs 36 victories to tie Shane Battier’s Duke class of players from 1998 to 2001, who claimed 133 wins.

“That’s a pretty remarkable feat,” Self said of what could be ahead for Collins, who needs 26 victories to tie Matt Kleinmann (123) as winningest player (four-year record) in KU history.

“Cole to me has a chance to go down as the best true big man to play here maybe — this sounds farfetched — since Wilt (Chamberlain). You are talking about a true big man, not a tall four man like Danny (Manning), Raef (LaFrentz) — a true big man. I know we’ve had some good ones. He has a chance to be there. Both have a chance to etch their name in the annals of Kansas basketball in a big way.”

They plan to have fun trying to lead KU to its second national title in three years.

“The season is a week away,” Aldrich said of Late Night in the Phog. “I’m excited because we’ve been in the gym for eight months now since our last game. We’re ready to get back at it.”

“I’m excited. My mom is set to move up to Lawrence (for the entire season). She’s soaking it all in. That’s what makes me proud. My mom gets to see it all,” Collins said of Stacey Harris. “The hard work … it hasn’t paid off yet, but it is paying off.”

Notes: Iowa State forward Marquis Gilstrap, a transfer from Gulf Coast CC, was voted newcomer of the year. ... Texas guard Avery Bradley was named freshman of the year ... Collins and Brackins were the only two who were unanimous picks for all league. ... Honorable mention all-league picks were Denis Clemente, Kansas State; Bradley and Dexter Pittman, Texas.

The Journal-World’s Jesse Newell contributed to this story.


OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

That's gotta strike fear in our opponents.

Steve Miller 8 years, 5 months ago

What ever happened with the rucus the teams experienced last week? SHOVED UNDER THE RUG I ASSUME..

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 5 months ago

Aldridge is a beast. He seems to stay out trouble unlike some of the other players.

KansasVoter 8 years, 5 months ago

Just make sure that you're not alone in an elevator with Sherron!

cntrygrl 8 years, 5 months ago

I have met both of these boys and I must say that they are both very kind young men. I highly doubt that being alone in an elevator with Sherron would be a risk. Now, I wouldn't recommend shoving him down a flight of stairs, but that's beside the point!!!

Situations arise when people do idiotic things. But, we can't assume that our Jayhawks are raging maniacs that are always out for blood! Yes, they should have been punished more, but the football team hasn't been punished at all.

We really need to let this go!!


Take_a_letter_Maria 8 years, 5 months ago

countrygirl, while I agree it's like beating a dead horse, has it ever occurred to you that the football players may be getting the same or more punishment and we just don't hear about it? Or maybe, the football team isn't being punished because they aren't the instigators in the situations that took place a couple of weeks ago?

Either is quite possible.

Graczyk 8 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations to them both, but giving out awards before a single dribble of basketball is played seems silly.

dukers 8 years, 5 months ago

Ricky_V/ dudegod/ Marion/ You guys r all losers... Why do you come on here reading sports articles then talking crap about athletes... Get a life and stay off the sports blogs, go talk about chemistry and the color of suspenders you wear... Nobody gives a sh#@ about you morons and what you think......

jhawk2424 8 years, 5 months ago


I couldn’t agree more… Stay off the sports site, nobody wants or cares about the people that get on here everyday to belittle athletes… BTW, they will make more money in one year than you losers will make in your whole life times… That’s a productive member of society Ricky_Vaughn……..

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

jhawk: While you might have properly diagnosed the underlying issue, I don't know if you can truly measure social productivity solely by salary. By that standard, one of the abandon-ship execs at Enron was one of the most productive men of the nineties.

Jerry Collins 8 years, 5 months ago

I hope they can also get this award at the end of the season, after a national championship. Lets hope. I also hope the university appreciates the fans.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

"Stay off the sports site,"

I'm reading this on the JW discussion on stories, which is all news, not just sports.

KansasVoter 8 years, 5 months ago

cntrygrl (Anonymous) says… "I highly doubt that being alone in an elevator with Sherron would be a risk."

You must not read the news very often:

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