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Live from Madison Square Garden: Aldrich taken 11th, Henry 12th

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10:16 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Which player is a better fit with their new team, Cole Aldrich with Oklahoma City or Xavier Henry with Memphis?

Make sure to vote in our poll online.

9:54 p.m. Update:

Knicks fans at the Draft. Best. Thing. Ever. ESPECIALLY when the team picks a Syracuse guy. Wow!!!

Nowww..... About Andy Rautins going AHEAD OF Sherron Collins and Scottie Reynolds... Hmmmm.

We're now through 40 picks — Lance Stephenson to Indy — and still no Sherron. 20 picks left.

9:18 p.m. Update

Aldrich and Henry are finishing up their media commitments now and have not been able to stop smiling since being drafted.

Both said they started to get nervous around the ninth or 10th pick but obviously, those nerves didn't last long.

To help calm the nerves Aldrich said he sent jokes to his friends via text message and tried to keep his family loose around him.

Henry, whose family members had looks of surprise on their faces after a couple of picks that came before him, said he, too, was nervous but that he never doubted that he would be picked.

Aldrich, in being traded to OKC, joins former Jayhawk Nick Collison and should have a chance to become the defensive stopper in the paint that the Thunder desperately need. The excitement of joining another former Jayhawk was not lost on Aldrich.

"He comes back some times and when we go play at Oklahoma or Oklahoma State he tries to come out to those games," Aldrich said of Collison. "With him being (there) it's going to be a fun next few years."

Henry also has a sense of familiarity with his new city, perhaps more so than Aldrich. After nearly attending Memphis for college, Henry returns to the spot he almost played and a city he visited "six or seven" times during his recruitment.

"Going to Memphis, it feels like I should be there and I'm going to be happy there," he said. "I went to Kansas and I don't regret going to Kansas but I'm going to give it all as soon as I step in the city."

That includes self control. Henry said he was aware of Memphis' deep history, he hasn't been to Graceland — yet — and that he plans to stay away from the barbecue and ribs because he has to "keep my body right."

We're completely through the first round now and all that's left is to find out where Sherron Collins winds up. With Collins pegged as a likely second-rounder, he literally could go with any of the next 30 selections.

Stay tuned for more.

9:05 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Be sure to keep checking our NBA Draft photo gallery, as we are updating with photos of both Aldrich and Henry following their selections in tonight's draft.

8:22 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

There's still hope for those of you who entered the KUsports.com NBA Draft contest even if your picks haven't been perfect so far.

In fact, out of the 316 entries we received, no one predicted that Cole Aldrich would be picked 11th and Xavier Henry would be taken 12th.

We had guesses all over the map for Sherron Collins, so his draft position could end up going a long way into determining our winner.

8:17 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant sounded pleased with the Oklahoma City Thunder's decision to trade for Cole Aldrich.

In a TV interview with ESPN, the former Texas Longhorn Durant said strong interior defense was something that the Thunder lacked last year.

"I think (Cole's) gong to be a game-changer for us," Durant said. "I've very excited to add him to our team."

7:57 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Tom Keegan's take on Xavier Henry going No. 12 to the Memphis Grizzlies:

"Memphis is a great landing spot for Xavier because he is a far better long-range shooter than both Ronnie Brewer and Sam Young. It's time for him to develop a right hand."

7:52 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Tom Keegan's take on Cole Aldrich going No. 11 and being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder:

"Cole will be playing for a great guy in Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks. I covered him as a player at UC-Irvine. Super-intense, great sense of humor, quality person. Their personalities match up well. He's also lucky to have Nick Collison looking out after him."

Interesting Note No. 4

The positioning of the ESPN cameras seems to be a tell. They set up shop right in front of the table of the person that's about to be selected. I'm sure they don't think they're being secretive but it kind of ruins the moment.

Should help my chances at getting a decent photo, though.

7:32 p.m. Update:

Paul George of Fresno State goes No. 10 to Indiana. There are some anxious looking faces at the Henry table.

I'm sure they know he'll be selected, but it appears as if they're starting to worry about the positioning.

Both he and Aldrich could go with any one of the next four or five picks. I'm guessing they'll both be gone by 15.

Interesting Note No. 3

There's a man on a cell phone crouched down behind Henry's table. Hmmmm....

7:27 p.m. Update:

Utah ducks the Jayhawks and goes with Butler star Gordon Hayward. There's been talk that it was between Hayward and Henry here. According to the shake of his head after the pick was announced, KU guard C.J. Henry doesn't agree with Utah passing on his little brother.

Indiana is up. Another team that has been rumored to like both Henry and Aldrich.

7:19 p.m Update:

Al-Farouq Aminu, of Wake Forest, throws a wrench into David Stern's plans and goes 8th to the Clippers.

Stern struggled with the pronunciation — can't blame him — and then smiled as he stood next to the guy with the crazy glasses.

Utah's up. This, according to the guy from the Jazz who I spoke to earlier, could easily be Xavier. One of their scouts really loved X's game and they were either going to go big or with a wing.

With that in mind and Udoh and Monroe off the board, this could be Cole if they decide to go big. Could be a big pick for the Jayhawks.

7:14 p.m. Update:

Monroe, in fact, does go to Detroit. Seems like a good fit.

The Clippers are on the clock. Oh boy...

7:10 p.m. Update:

First Big 12 guy is gone. Ekpe Udoh, of Baylor, goes No. 6 to Golden State. He'll be perfect on their team... he'll bring a defensive presence that they desperately need and in that wide-open offense, he'll get some big-time numbers, even if he's just average.

He's gotta be thrilled. Baylor coach Scott Drew, who sat behind Udoh's table near the Green Room, went nuts after the pick was made. He looked genuinely thrilled.

Detroit's up.

A lot of people are expecting Greg Monroe here, but Cole plays center too. Hmmm.

7:03 p.m. Update:

DeMarcus Cousins goes to the Kings at No. 5 and becomes the second Kentucky player drafted already in this year's draft... Calipari was at Cousin's table and called it "a huge day, the biggest day, for the University of Kentucky."

Recruit much?

Golden State is on the clock. The Warriors are on record for liking Henry A LOT so now would be a good time to start really paying attention.

Note of Interest No. 2:

By the way, that "guy" from Slam Magazine who Michael Wilbon and Stephen A. Smith were talking to before the draft started... It's guard Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks. He's sitting one seat away from me and blogging the draft for Slam.

If any of the Jayhawks go to Milwaukee, I'll be sure to get Jennings' thoughts...

Incredible.

6:53 p.m. Update:

Wesley Johnson, the local guy from Syracuse, goes to the T'Wolves. Surprisingly, he doesn't play PG. But he looks great and he got one heck of an ovation.

Heard from the peanut gallery - "I think (Johnson's pants) have feet on them."

Sacramento is up.

6:49 p.m. Update:

Three picks in and Derrick Favors — Derrick Favors — gets the loudest ovation. Of course, he was picked by the Nets, who play nearby but that seemed surprising, kind of like the pick.

Think Favors will be solid but I'm not sure he's the guy you reach for at No. 3.

Minnesota is up. Probably too high to take Cole ... but you never know. The Aldrich family table looks a lot more attentive at the moment. I'm sure if they hear his name after the words "Minnesota Timberwolves" that would be the ultimate dream come true.

6:44 p.m. Update:

Evan Turner, Ohio State, goes No. 2 to Philly. A lot of people had a lot of different players at this spot, but Turner was the most common pick among mock drafters.

Seems like a good pick to me. He's got incredible skills and has the potential to evolve into an NBA PG. With that kind of size running the show, you're talking about Magic Johnson comparisons if he pans out.

Solid pick.

The Nets are up... If that's what they're still calling themselves.

Note of interest:

Moments before the draft began, former Memphis coach and current Kentucky coach John Calipari made his way over to Henry's table and delivered hugs to Xavier and his family.

A classy move, especially considering Cal can no longer recruit the kid.

6:38 p.m. Update:

A huge roar and the official word. John Wall to Washington. As he hugged his family, Wall appeared to be very emotional. Remember, he's still a teenager and, all-world or not, this type of experience has to be overwhelming.

Phily is on the clock.

6:34 p.m. Update:

"The Washington Wizards are on the clock." - David Stern

And the fans at the Garden are giving it to them... Chanting, "Kwame Brown," in reference to the former overall No. 1 pick who was a major flop.

The consensus here and around the world is that Wall goes to Washington. It will qualify as a shock if that's not the pick.

6:24 p.m. Update:

While we wait, check out the photo gallery from Draft Headquarters.

6:20 p.m. Update:

This really is a first-class event. It's unbelievable how many bells and whistles there are. Sitting to me left are the guys from Slam Magazine - one of them is talking to Michael Wilbon and Stephen A. Smith right now - to my right is a free-lancer covering Kentucky's horde of potential draft picks.

Not only are there all kinds of players here, there are all kinds of people. Media outlets from around the world, cameras of every shape and size — mine being one of the smallest — and a whole lot of excitement.

Just checked out the interview room where they'll take the players after appearances on ESPN and whatever necessary radio shows there are.... It's like a mile away from my seat so bear with me and this blog during the time shortly after the Jayhawks are picked.

I'll bust it back to my seat but it may take a couple of picks to catch up.

For now, we're just waiting for Stern. Stay tuned throughout the night and feel free to chime in on the comments section below. Hopefully, that's where we'll have some chatter with you guys during the draft.

6:00 p.m. Update:

We're 30 minutes from the first pick and the players are in the Green Room, which, as it turns out is not really much of a room, more like an area. Still, Green Room sounds way cooler than Green Area.

Xavier and his family are 20 feet from my spot — Media Floor, Row 4, Seat 12 — and Cole is on the other side of the Green Room with his family. It's the farthest these two former Jayhawks have been from each other in the past two days.

Prior to the start of the draft they posed for photos and were side by side in those. And throughout the past couple of days they've toured around NYC like a couple of best buds.

Both seem cool and calm tonight and their families just look excited.

The Henrys have elected to go with a green theme in their wardrobe. I asked them if that was because of the Green Room and X said green is his favorite color. After that, his mom, leaned over and told me that she took charge. Good move. They all look sharp.

Cole's suit is definitely navy blue and it looks pretty standard compared to that much-talked-about vest that he wore on Wednesday. I think he may have a purple shirt on underneath the suit but for the sake of the Jayhawk Nation we'll call it lavender. I'll try to get his take on the actual color.

The place is full, the room is buzzing and all that's left is to hear NBA commissioner David Stern make the announcements.

Stay tuned for more throughout the night.

5:17 p.m. Update:

Just arrived at the Garden and walking into the draft room was like walking into Wrigley Field for the first time. Incredible.

Lot of walk-through stuff going on right now. Cole and Xavier are actually on the stage right now, posing for photos with sponsors and commissioner David Stern.

Trying to get some of those photos uploaded now....

3:17 p.m. Update:

The sun is still shining, New York City is still roasting but the draft-night craziness has hit us already.

ESPN is reporting that the Chicago Bulls have agreed to trade former Jayhawk Kirk Hinrich and the 17th pick in this year's draft to the Washington Wizards. Since the trade cannot become official until July 8, it's not yet known what the Wizards are giving up.

What the Bulls are getting, however, is cap room, which is as good as gold as they position themselves to go after top free agent LeBron James.

There you have it. The Jayhawks are already making themselves known at this year's draft. Much more to come.

Washington now has the 1st and 17th picks in this year's first round. That can help a team get better in a hurry, particularly when one of those picks is used on John Wall, as nearly everyone is expecting.

Stay tuned in to KUsports.com for now throughout the night, including the latest rumors and moves and a Live Draft Blog from Madison Square Garden, site of the 64th annual NBA Draft.

2:45 p.m. Update:

Hey all, heading out the door to the Westin but thought I'd give you something to keep you busy while I'm en route.

Here, in no particular order, are a few predictions on where the Jayhawks will be drafted from some of the KUsports.com staff:

Matt Tait
Aldrich — 7th (Detroit Pistons)
Henry — 12th (Memphis Grizzlies)
Collins — 52nd (Boston Celtics)

Gary Bedore
Aldrich — 9th (Utah Jazz)
Henry — 15th (Milwaukee Bucks)
Collins — 37th (Milwaukee Bucks)

Tom Keegan
Aldrich — 14th (Houston Rockets)
Henry — 18th (Miami Heat)
Collins — 46th (Phoenix Suns)

Jesse Newell
Aldrich — 13th (Minnesota Timberwolves will trade up to get this pick)
Henry — 15th (Milwaukee Bucks)
Collins — 56th (Minnesota Timberwolves)

1:40 p.m. Update:

Sorry for the delay between updates. Pizza was great! But I'm back to the apartment I'm staying at now and am getting ready to look a little more like I belong at the Westin.

Should be up there around 2:30 and I'll hook you up with the latest info and sights and sounds from there. I checked in again after lunch and the place was hoppin'... Definitely a buzz in the air. I can't imagine what it's going to be like tonight at the Garden.

Stayed in touch with some Tweets while I was there. For those of you who aren't following me on Twitter — and I can't imagine why you wouldn't be — here's a quick look at what you missed:

  • More business-like at the Westin today. Players seem a little more nervous than Wednesday. Don't blame 'em. Getting close now.

  • Cole's family in the lobby now.... lookin' anxious. Girlfriend has his suit and she looks calm and very happy. No sign of Cole yet, though.

  • More coaches at the Westin today. Just bumped into Georgetown's JT3...

  • X, CJ and Carl Henry just rolled through. Looked relaxed and ready. I have a feeling that X may crack the Top 10 tonight.

  • Syracuse's Wesley Johnson looks like the captain of a yacht. Stylin!

All right, more to come as soon as I can get back up there. Be sure to check back with KUsports.com often and stick with us for the rest of the night.

11:45 a.m. Update: —DEADLINE REMINDER!!!—

The entries continue to pour in fast and furious but we wanted to remind all of you that the deadline for getting your entries to us is noon today, central time.

Any entries received after that time will not be accepted, regardless of whether they come from the site or via email. We're working on making the entry page unavailable after noon to avoid any confusion.

If you want to enter but have yet to do so, please get it done in the next 15 minutes or you'll be left out in the cold. Thanks to all of you who have entered so far and good luck to everyone.

Stay in touch with KUsports.com throughout the afternoon for more from New York!

11:17 a.m. Update:

About to head in for some lunch — most likely some classic, NY-style pizza — but I thought I'd add a couple of things before I do.

First, and this thought occurred to me late last night, hanging out at the Westin in Times Square made me realize just how real that scene from Jerry Maguire was.

The Westin has been home base for the Draft and its prospects and because of that, the lobby has been crawling with agents. Most were easy to spot and even easier to hear and a few of them actually shouted out things such as, "I'm lovin' ya, baby," and "Lookin' good, big time," as the players walked through the lobby. Hilarious.

Mostly, they've seemed like good people and they're definitely just doing their jobs. But I couldn't help but laugh.

In addition, here's a quick look at the latest updates from a dozen or so mock drafts.

ESPNthemagazine: Aldrich, No. 7, Detroit; Henry, No. 12, Memphis; Collins, No. 28, Memphis.

Draftexpress.com: Henry, No. 11, New Orleans; Aldrich, No. 14, Houston; Collins, No. 54, Los Angeles Clippers.

NBAdraft.net: Aldrich, No. 13, Toronto; Henry No. 15, Milwaukee; Collins, No. 54, Clippers.

ESPN.com’s Chad Ford: Aldrich, No. 14, Houston; Henry, No. 15, Milwaukee; Collins No. 54, Clippers.

Sports Xchange (yahoo!sports.com): Henry, No. 9, Utah; Aldrich, No. 13, Toronto; Collins, undrafted.

Foxsports.com’s Jeff Goodman: Aldrich, No. 9, Utah; Henry, No. 15, Milwaukee; Collins, No. 27, New Jersey.

Mynbadraft.com: Aldrich, No. 14, Houston; Henry, No. 16, Minnesota; Collins, No. 50, Dallas.

Insidehoops.com: Henry, No. 10, Indiana; Aldrich, No. 12, Memphis; second-round picks not revealed yet.

Draftsite.com: Aldrich, No. 11, New Orleans; Henry, No. 19, Boston; Collins, No. 39, New York.

Dimemag.com: Aldrich, No. 9, Utah; Henry, No. 16, Minnesota; second round not revealed yet.

RealGM.com: Aldrich, No. 7, Detroit; Henry, No. 12, Memphis; Collins, No. 54, Clippers.

Collegehoops.net: Henry, No. 10, Indiana; Aldrich, No. 11, New Orleans; Collins, No. 55, Utah.

thehoopdoctors.com: Aldrich, No. 9, Utah; Henry, No. 15, Milwaukee; second-round picks not revealed yet.

CBSsportsline.com: Brian Levenson: Aldrich, No. 7, Detroit; Henry, No. 8, Los Angeles Clippers; second-round picks not revealed yet. Dave DelGrande: Aldrich, No. 9, Utah; Henry, No. 10, Indiana; no second-round picks revealed yet. Jonathan Feigen: Henry, No. 10, Indiana; Aldrich, No. 13, Toronto.

SI.com: Henry, No. 11, New Orleans; Aldrich, No. 14, Houston. Second-round picks not revealed yet.

10:33 a.m. Update:

Draft Day has arrived and now the fun can begin.

For me, that involves hanging around New York City and waiting for the main event. Right now I'm at one of my favorite spots in the city, Strawberry Fields in Central Park. They don't make much better blogging than that.

After months of speculating about where former Jayhawks Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry and Sherron Collins will be drafted, we'll soon find out, as the draft is set to begin in about eight hours.

For much of the past several weeks it has looked as if Aldrich would go in the Top 10 and that Henry would follow somewhere in the early teens. A quick look around the various mock drafts in cyber space, along with dozens of conversations with other media members on hand to cover the event, has led me to believe, however, that the former Jayhawks might go closer together in the 12-16 range.

The reason? Other prospects have worked their way up in the draft while Aldrich and Henry have remained steady. Players like Fresno's Paul George, Nevada's Luke Babbitt and Butler's Gordon Hayward have shot up the board and now look like Top 10 prospects. Interesting side note about all three of those guys — they're a lot taller than you'd think, especially when you consider that they're guards. Incredible.

Aldrich and Henry still appear to be solid options for the Lottery but, at this point, it wouldn't surprise me if one or both of them slipped past No. 14 a couple of spots.

Sorry to all of you who already have entered your picks in our Draft Contest. I know this information might have helped a few days ago. But that's the latest and things change fast when it comes to the draft.

For those of you who haven't entered yet, take that info and run with it. Scroll down for a link to the entry form. And stay tuned in to KUsports.com throughout the day for more updates from the Big Apple.

Tonight, I'll be live blogging the draft from Madison Square Garden.

Original Post

Happy Draft Day, everyone!

The time has arrived for us to find out not only where the three former Jayhawks eligible in this year’s draft will be taken, but also, which one of the nearly 300 people who have entered will win the first ever KUsports.com NBA Draft Contest.

We’ll be taking entries until noon today so if you haven’t entered yet and you’d still like to, there’s time.

Just follow this link to the entry form and you’ll be eligible to win a Paul Pierce Boston Celtics jersey and a Pioneer Blu-ray disc player, courtesy of Kief’s Audio-Video, 2429 Iowa St.

If you’re submitting an entry from the website, you’ll need to be a registered user. If you’d rather just email in your selections, send them to nbadraftcontest@kusports.com.

That’s it for now. Stay in touch with KUsports.com throughout the day today and into the evening as we’ll bring you some top notch draft coverage from the heart of it all — New York City.

I’ve got a few ideas in mind to help pass the time while we wait for the action to begin at 6:30 tonight, so check back often. Then, during the draft, I’ll be live blogging from Madison Square Garden, while Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan and KUsports.com online editor Jesse Newell chime in from back in Lawrence.

One last time, here’s a look at the contest rules:

NBA Draft Contest Official Rules

• Those entering the contest will select their prediction for the overall pick in the NBA Draft of former Jayhawks Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry and Sherron Collins. The contest will be scored only on when these players are drafted, even if they’re traded.

• Contest begins Monday, June 14.

• Deadline to enter is noon CDT on Thursday, June 24.

• The winner will be determined based on a points structure. For each pick that an entrant is off on his/her predictions, the entrant will receive one point. Then, the entrant's point totals from his/her three picks will be added up. The person with the lowest point total of all entrants wins the grand prize. (Example: Entrant picks Aldrich to be taken 10th, Henry to be taken 20th and Collins to be taken 30th. If Aldrich is picked 11th, Henry is picked 22nd and Collins is picked 33rd, the entrant would receive one point for Aldrich, two points for Henry and three points for Collins, for a total of six points.)

• Entrants can select “undrafted” for a player if they feel he will not be taken in the NBA Draft. If a player is undrafted, his pick position will be listed as 61st for scoring purposes.

• In case of a tie in points, the first tiebreaker will be the entrant that has the most picks exactly right. In case of a tie of three or more entrants, the entrants that tie for the most correct picks will move to the next tiebreaker.

• The second tiebreaker will be the entrant who is closest to Sherron Collins' draft position.

• If there is still a tie, a random drawing will take place to determine the grand-prize winner.

• Grand-prize winner will be announced on or after June 30.

• Entrants: Only one entry per person. Entrants must submit name, address and email address to be eligible for grand prize. Subsequent submissions disqualify all submissions. Employees of The World Company and their immediate family members may participate but are not eligible to win prizes. By submitting an entry, entrants guarantee they are at least 14 years of age. The winner also agrees to allow his or her image to be used in marketing and promotions relating to this contest.

• Prizes: KUsports.com reserves the right to make adjustments to the prizes given out in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Comments

News_to_me 5 years ago

Hey Tait, you going to get a vest like Cole's? Talk about stylin.' Nice job blogging but I'm not following you on Twitter because: I'm not tuned in, turned on, connected, or hooked up and I'd rather mow the lawn, take a nap, watch the World Cup, clean some fumunda, or lay in the hammock next to the plastic kiddie pool. If you can tweet it, you can blog it. "Do your job and we'll win this game!" Have fun and Happy Birthday on Sunday. BYE MATT!

CreatureComforts 5 years ago

Deng is better than Hinrich in my book. I'm no Bulls fan, but I do have a sentimental connection to them with Hinrich...however, if they need to clear room for a big player, Hinrich is one of the better ones to clear. The rumors of his trade have been around for years, it's just finally happening. Bulls fans should be happy - this means they at least WANT to be in the running for a good, expensive player. That hasn't happened since 1998...

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years ago

Welcome to the pine, Hinrich. Every realizes that they're going to draft John Wall right?

Steve Jacob 5 years ago

It's got to feel low when a team has to give up a first round pick just to take you off their hands (and payroll). And when players like him get 9M a year, that's why the NBA lost 400M this year.

BruceWayne 5 years ago

does anyone care what C J thinks about the pics?

tubs_of_love 5 years ago

Sweet!! But really, what does anyone of you have to do with anything? Time to get a life? Yeah, thats what I would do. I mean, if you are not directly involved with this, move on with yer life, mkay?

tubs_of_love 5 years ago

Haha, yeah I should not comment drunk. I had to look at my comment history just to find this.

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