[Note by Cornrows, 04/09/09 8:26 AM EDT psvirsky shines a light on Kansas big man, Cole Aldrich in his in his continuing series of draft prospects. Great job, PS! Keep 'em coming.]
Okay maybe I shouldn't use puns in titles. Speaking of the name Aldrich, I just read about Aldrich Ames for class - a guy who spied for the Soviets against us. Total alcohlic. Went undetected for almost a decade. Crazy that this sort of thing can still happen, definitely worth reading the wikipedia page for an interesting story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldrich_Ames
Anyways, someone mentioned Aldrich in the Steph Curry discussion so I figured we'd move on to him. The guy has legitimate Center size at 6'11 and 250. He didn't play too much last year on the championship winning team but has become the main guy down low this year for another solid team. Honestly, my main concern is just that he's a definite center and not a PF so it would be tough to get him and Dr. Hibbert on the floor at once. Also, he hasn't declared and it seems like things are up in the air about it (his draft stock is really high but he could probably use some more experience).
On to his play.
He averaged 15 and 11 this year shooting nearly 60% from the field and almost 3 blocks a game. He had the first ever triple double in Kansas history (with 10 blocks). He's not super athletic but he can move around more than well enough. Definitely a smart player who can bang down low (although he doesn't do enough banging). He's got a nice jumper with pretty good range (15 feet or so) and some nice moves in the post. His best attribute is probably rebounding - one of the top guys in college this year. He shoots over 80% from the line which is great for a big man.
I actually haven't seen a whole ton of his play outside of the tournament and random big games. ThirtyOne mentioned a certain expertise on Kansas players so I would pay more attention to what he says over me. I'll leave you with a few quotes from draftexpress (their write-up is from December and he's only improved since then): http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Cole-Aldrich-1250/
- It looks as though he added a good amount of muscle in the offseason, an improvement that speaks to one of our most significant concerns coming into this season.
- possessing neither elite leaping ability nor lateral quickness, but for his size he is certainly a mobile player who clearly has ample physical tools to play in the NBA.
- he made strides this year to diversify his offensive repertoire, showing range out to 18-feet and a variety of moves in the post, including a trusty turnaround jumpshot and a baby hook off of the dribble. In addition, Aldrich is doing a much better job of getting open in the post, using his body and his soft hands to establish position under the basket. Once he receives the ball in the deep post, he tends to either score, get his own rebound should he miss, or get to the line.
- Aldrich’s potential as a jump-shooter also signals his biggest problem at this stage: his propensity to avoid contact, choosing to fall away from the basket or take a spot-up jump-shot rather than bang in the post. A player with Aldrich’s body should attack the basket at a much greater rate than he currently does.
- he most significant area of concern in Aldrich’s defensive game is his lack of elite lateral quickness.
Take it away!