Kansas' Aldrich and Collins Named to Preseason Wooden Award
Aug. 19, 2009
Kansas senior Sherron Collins and junior Cole Aldrich were each named 2009-10 preseason candidates for the men's basketball John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy announced Wednesday by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder.
Of the 50 candidates listed, Collins was one of four who have appeared on the Wooden Award ballot at season's end. The other three include Luke Harangody of Notre Dame, Duke's Kyle Singler, Michigan State's Kalin Lucas and Purdue's Robbie Hummel. Hummel was on the 2008 ballot while the others were on the 2009 ballot.
"There are a lot of great guys on that list and this says a lot for me and Cole," Collins said. "They break the list down as the season goes along and hopefully we can play to our potential and stay on the list."
Collins, who was on the same list last year, was an All-Big 12 First Team selection last season where he was third in the Big 12 with an 18.9 scoring average. The 5-11, 205 pound, Chicago guard posted 14 games of 20-plus points in 2008-09, including a career-high 32 points against North Dakota State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Entering his senior season, KU is 91-16 (85 percent) in games Collins has played, including three Big 12 regular-season championships, two Big 12 postseason championships, two NCAA Elite Eights, three Sweet 16s and one national championship.
Aldrich was also a 2009 All-Big 12 First Team selection where he averaged a double-double with 14.9 points and 11.1 rebounds. The 6-11, 245 pound, Bloomington, Minn., center led the Big 12 in blocked shots with 2.7 per game. Aldrich recorded the first official triple-double in school history with 13 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocked shots against Dayton in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament before his hometown crowd at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. Additionally, Aldrich's 94 blocked shots in 2008-09 are second on the KU single-season list.
"This is an honor for me and Sherron to be mentioned with those great players," Aldrich said. "Preseason honors are nice and normally a reflection of our team's potential. Right now we're in the weight room just trying to get ready for the upcoming season."
Preseason No. 1 by many entities, Kansas is coming off a 27-8 season in which it won its fifth straight and ninth overall Big 12 Conference regular-season championship. The Jayhawks return their top nine scorers from last season's NCAA Sweet 16 team, including all five starters.
With Collins and Aldrich named, Kansas was one of nine schools to have two chosen to the Wooden Award preseason Top 50. Additionally, the KU duo was two of six players from the Big 12 on the list.
2009-10 John R. Wooden Award