Over time, Bloomington, Minnesota star Cole Aldrich’s reputation has evolved as fast as his 6-11 frame. Cole is known as a tough big man who’s not afraid to stake out his territory inside the lane. He’s a prospect loaded with potential and is a pillar of strength down low. As a result, he’s become one of the most sought after recruits from the class of 2007. You can’t blame fans for trying to beat down the door and find out when Aldrich might pull the trigger on his college decision.
“It’s hard to say. I want to say maybe after this next summer. Maybe in a year or so,” Aldrich speculated. “But it may not happen. I mean tomorrow I may just feel like I want to end it (my recruitment) and I may commit tomorrow! I couldn’t tell you a specific time I guess.”
The recruiting process can be overwhelming, but the Jefferson High standout has kept a level head throughout the process. Cole will make a decision when it feels right and no one, including Aldrich, is sure when that might be.
As you can imagine, the gifted junior was flooded with calls from coaches around the country. But Aldrich has done enough “homework” to whittle down a large list of schools to a lucky trio; Kansas, Minnesota and North Carolina. Though he’s visited Minnesota and Kansas on multiple occasions, he has yet to see the campus at Chapel Hill. Cole expects to finalize a date for a fall visit to Carolina in the near future. In the meantime, he plans to attend his 2nd straight Late Night at KU on October 14th.
So what factors into the decision-making process for a player of Cole’s caliber? Aldrich is undoubtedly weighing who will have the most playing time available, who will develop his skills and get him ready for the next level, and who has the best chance of winning a national title? Those are just a few of the many viable questions the intelligent high school star will ask from a basketball standpoint.
Folks are usually quick to dismiss the role academics play in decisions such as these. Cole is clearly focused on his hoops AND his schoolwork. For the record, when we first attempted to contact Cole for an article we were asked to call back because he was entrenched in some homework. There’s no doubt the 6-11 junior has his priorities in order and is determined to research all the options available.
“Right now I’m just looking at different academic programs. I was thinking about going into psychology maybe,” Aldrich stated.
When Phog.net finally reached Cole he wasn’t researching Self’s high-low motion offense or Roy Williams’ secondary break -- he was researching which school boasted the strongest psychology program.
“I was looking at different psychology programs within the three schools and how they rank against the other top schools in the nation,” Aldrich told Phog.net.
Despite his research, according to Aldrich it will be tough to choose one program over another.
“North Carolina’s a really good school. They’ll definitely be hard to beat because they’ve got academics and basketball,” Aldrich continued. “It’s going to be a really hard school to beat but Kansas also has good academics, great tradition, and just a good basketball team, too.”
Oh, by the way, according to our research, Minnesota boasts the top psychology program of the three.
Remember that the Golden Gophers were the first school “in” on Cole’s recruitment, though Kansas was not far behind. The account of Aldrich’s early interaction with Head Coach Bill Self is now a popular story in recruiting circles.
“It was weird how we started to get to know each other. It was my freshman year, and it was Coach Self’s first year there. Our assistant coach for AAU has an assistant that lives down in Lawrence so we just kind of said, ‘let’s go down there and watch a game,’ said Aldrich. “I wasn’t really thinking too much of anything. We called him up and asked him if we could have tickets and they gave us tickets and led us around the campus and showed us different facilities and all that. I mean they had no idea who we really were. It was really nice how they came and let us in and gave us tickets to the game, and showed us around even though they didn’t really know who we were.”
They sure know who Cole Aldrich is now.