ALDRICH SHAKES OFF FOUL TROUBLE TO LEAD JEFFERSON
Heading into Friday night’s tilt with Rosemount (MN) High, future Kansas Jayhawk Cole Aldrich had been putting up big numbers. The numbers weren’t quite as big on Friday, but he led the way to another W and still looked impressive after shaking off early foul trouble to finish with 14 points (7-12 FG, 0-2 FT) and 11 rebounds (four offensive) in Jefferson’s 64-52 victory.
Early on, it looked like Aldrich was well on his way to a big night. He stepped up to the foul line to swish a 17 footer just 21 seconds into the game. After altering a shot a possession later, the strong 6-10 big man slid down the line to catch a ball high off the backside of the rim for a powerful two handed jam.
Then the first whistle came on a questionable over the back call about three minutes into the game. Shortly after that, Aldrich saw Rosemount’s 6-8 junior Andrew Brommer reject one of his shots. Compounding things himself, Aldrich then got called for a reach in foul trying to get the ball back.
Four points, three rebounds and just three and half minutes into the game, Aldrich was done for the first half.
He was the first to admit it was a rough start.
“Brutal, it was hard. Picking up two quick fouls I think I played like four minutes in the first half,” said Aldrich. “They were not the best fouls, they were dumb fouls on my part. I just gotta stay away from them and not even get in a situation to get a dumb call like that.”
While sitting for the final 14 and a half minutes of an unusual 18 minute half, Aldrich saw his team fall behind 32-29 at the intermission.
Wasting little time and showing no rust from his extended stay on the bench, the senior got it going quickly. He spun quickly off his man from eight feet away to get to the rim and catch a quick lob for a jam, exploded off the ground for a particularly violent jam and helped his get right with a 10-0 run that seized control of the game.
Before the game’s end he’d added a nifty lefty tip, harassed more shots -- although he only recorded one actual blocked shot -- and picked up a cheap layup.
He ended up scoring 10 of his 14 points and grabbing eight of his 11 rebounds after the intermission and only a foul would dismiss his second half’s effort and the importance of it to his team. Jefferson outscored their opponents by 15 in the second half and the difference was talent level, it was simply Aldrich being on the floor and changing things.
As he reaches the mid-point of his summer year, Aldrich said he’s just happy to be back out and doing his thing. Everybody knows that there were some rough moments for him in the summer, but that was then and this is now and he’s focused on staying healthy and playing ball.
“I didn’t play very well in the summer,” said Aldrich. “End of the summer I started playing a little better. It just came down to getting healthy and playing ball.”
MORE ALDRICH NOTES FROM FRIDAY NIGHT
From a purely physical standpoint, Aldrich looks about as good as he ever has. He’s every bit of 6-10 and maybe even a little taller. On top of his height, he’s got high shoulders and really long arms that allow him to play even bigger. He’s weighing in at around 245-250 pounds, looks stronger up top, and ran pretty well. … According to the 6-10 big man, the thing that Bill Self wants him to work on the most for next season is conditioning. … Go ahead and pencil Cole in for the Reebok affiliated Roundball Classic All-Star game in Chicago following his senior year. With a ticket already punched for the Roundball, he’s hoping to make the McDonald’s All-American team. He’s got a good chance of playing in the Mickey D’s game, but if he doesn’t happen to make the team there will be other options available. Sources indicate that Nike’s Brand Jordan Classic would be a high level game that he could play in. Remember, graduating seniors are only allowed two all-star games. … Look for more from Cole on Monday.
- Total teams seen- 148
- Total games watched- 88
- Total miles traveled- 9,199