Aldrich Shines at NBPA Camp

Richmond, VA--When you are talking about the best big men in the class of 2007, Cole Aldrich is a name that you have to mention. The 6-foot-11 240 pounder is putting in work and showing off his game the National Basketball Players Association camp this week in Richmond, VA.

After putting on quite a performance on day one, Cole Aldrich came back on day two and quite possibly played better. He's strong in the paint, loves to dunk the ball, and knows he's a post player.

The NBA camp showcases the best talent that's for sure, and Aldrich definitely loves the chance to compete with high school's best.

"I think it's definitely great. You can't really get a better camp than this," Aldrich claimed. "You got the best guys from all around the country. It 's a great place to come play. We are having a lot of fun."

Aldrich is on a very talented team, and possibly the most talented team at the camp. Gerald Henderson, Paul Harris, and Willie Kemp are just a few of the gifted players on his team. As you would imagine his team is winning, and they are winning big. His final game on Friday his team won by nearly 50 points.

While stats weren't released for his last game on Thursday, through the first two he averaged 11.5 points per game, and pretty much owned the paint when he was in the game. The games are broken down into 20 minute halves with players splitting each half, at 10 minutes per five man unit.

Winning isn't always guaranteed no matter how good of a player you are, and Aldrich has learned that lesson. His high school season didn't turn out as well as he wanted and he's learning from the whole process.

"It was a struggle. We didn't have the guards to distribute the ball," Aldrich said. "It's hard because we went 7 and 15. It's hard going from having a really below average team, to going to AAU where we have a really good team. It's really fun in the summer."

The 2007 prospect still put up impressive numbers this past high school season as he averaged 14 points, 12 boards, and 6 blocks per game.

"It's definitely a life long lesson, because it's reality that you're not all going to have winning seasons," Aldrich stated. "You can learn a lot from a struggling season. I just learned not to take winning for granted."

Whether he's winning or not, Aldrich is still one of the best big man in his class and it's no surprise that he is hearing from a number of big time schools. With the contact period just beginning, he's just trying to get the most out of the recruiting process.

"It's definitely a great experience, this recruiting process. I'm learning a lot of things, and it just started right now," Aldrich explained. " Basically two maybe three weeks ago that it started. I called my dad at lunch time today, and he said I had 50 things of letters."

Have you ever wondered if high major recruits actually open all of the mail that they receive? I'd imagine not everyone does, but Aldrich opens and at least glances at every piece of mail that he gets.

"I usually open probably all of them. I'll open them. If I don't read it, I'll at least take a glance at it. It's definitely great to receive it. You look at some kids and they will never receive a letter from Duke or Kansas or any other school."

A player of Aldrich's caliber can go to just about any school he wants, which means a number of schools are chasing him. And with the contact period just beginning, he has been contacted by a number of schools.

"I'm getting a lot of mail lately from Illinois. It was definitely exciting when I opened my email the first morning you can start getting emails. It said "Hey Cole, as you can see by the time it's 12:01 AM, this is how much we want you." And I'm like you guys are crazy. It's definitely exciting to see the enthusiasm they have on recruiting and stuff.

While Illinois is showing a lot of interest, they aren't in Aldrich's top four. The schools that make up his top four are Kansas, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Michigan State.

"I'd say Kansas and North Carolina are my two favorites right now," Aldrich said.

The Bloomington Jefferson HS product has been to Kansas four times already, and is currently rooming with Kansas commit, Dwight Lewis at NBA camp. Lewis said on Thursday that he believed Aldrich was a Kansas lean, but that Aldrich wouldn't admit it. So I went straight to the source.

"Yeah, I'd probably say that," Aldrich responded to his NBA camp roommate, Dwight Lewis' comment. "It's definitely fun. He's just talking on the phone all the time at night. I try to go to bed, but we talk about Kansas once in a while. It's definitely a fun time, rooming with somebody that is going to a place that I'm getting recruited by."

What's so special about the Kansas Jayhawks? According to Aldrich it's their fans.

"I like their fan base. I went down there, and they just have a crazy fan base," Aldrich said. "That's all they do is scream, eat, drink, sleep, Kansas basketball."

Aldrich also touched on the Tar Heels and why they are among his favorites.

"I just like their style of play," Aldrich said. "Roy Williams can definitely get national champions."

A visit is in the works to North Carolina and possibly Duke in early August. Of his top four schools all have offered except for Michigan State.


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