In a vote by its writers and editors, Blue Ribbon has selected Aldrich as the preseason player of the year, while Collins joins him on the preseason All-America team. Aldrich averaged a double-double last season with 14.9 points and 11.1 rebounds and led the Big 12, 12th nationally, in blocked shots with 2.7 per game. His 11.1 rebounds per game were 10th in NCAA Division I. A 6-11 center from Bloomington, Minn., Aldrich recorded 21 double-doubles on the season, including KU's first official triple double (13 points, 20 rebounds, 10 blocked shots) against Dayton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
"We're happy to announce that Cole Aldrich is Blue Ribbon's choice as
national preseason player of the year," Blue Ribbon editor Chris Dortch
said. "We've watched with great interest his development from high
school through now, and we've always thought he had the potential for
greatness. He's hard-working and active, sticks to what he does best
and is a winner. What more do you need in a big man?"
Collins led Kansas in scoring with 18.9 points per game and had 14
games of 20-plus points in 2008-09, including eight of the Jayhawks'
final 10 games of the season. The 5-11 Chicago guard has a KU career
record of 91-16 with three Big 12 regular-season championships, two Big
12 Championship titles, two NCAA Elite Eight appearances and three NCAA
Dortch indicated Aldrich received all but one vote for preseason player
of the year and that vote went to Collins. Joining the KU duo on the
All-American first team were Duke's Kyle Singler, Notre Dame's Luke Harangody and Ohio State's Evan Turner.
Kansas is one of four Big 12 schools ranked in the Blue Ribbon
preseason Top 25. The tree other Big 12 teams were also ranked were
Texas at No. 3, Oklahoma at No. 17 and Oklahoma State at No. 21.
"Blue Ribbon has always admired the job coach (Bill) Self has done,
wherever he's been," Dortch said. "We think Bill and his staff have put
together a team that more than justifies the lofty preseason
consideration it's been receiving. It'll be interesting to see how the
season plays out, but we strongly believe Kansas starts off as the team
to beat for the national championship."
KU returns its top nine scorers, including all five starters, and more
than 94 percent in every statistical category form last season's 27-8
team which won its fifth straight, ninth Big 12 and NCAA-leading 52nd
conference regular-season title with a 14-2 record. The 2008-09
Jayhawks advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 and return 12 letterwinners.
Other starters back alongside Aldrich and Collins include sophomore
guard Tyshawn Taylor (9.7 ppg, 3.0 apg), sophomore forward Marcus Morris (7.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and junior guard Brady Morningstar (6.5 ppg,
42 percent from three-point range).
Last year, Blue Ribbon selected eventual NCAA champion North Carolina
as its preseason favorite.
BLUE RIBBON COLLEGE
PRESEASON TOP 25
PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS
2. Michigan State
5. North Carolina
12. West Virginia
13. Georgia Tech
16. Ohio State
21. Oklahoma State
25. (tie) Siena
BLUE RIBBON COLLEGE
Player of the Year - COLE ALDRICH, 6-11, JR, Kansas
Newcomer of the Year - DERRICK FAVORS, 6-10, FR, Georgia Tech
2008-09 Blue Ribbon
COLE ALDRICH, Kansas, 6-11 JR
KYLE SINGLER, Duke, 6-8 JR
LUKE HARANGODY, Notre Dame, 6-8 SR
SHERRON COLLINS, Kansas, 5-11 SR
EVAN TURNER, Ohio State, 6-7 JR
PATRICK PATTERSON, Kentucky, 6-8 JR
DAMION JAMES, Texas, 6-7 SR
GREG MONROE, Georgetown, 6-11 SO
WILLIE WARREN, Oklahoma, 6-4 SO
SCOTTIE REYNOLDS, Villanova, 6-2 SR
TALOR BATTLE, Penn State, 5-11 JR
TYLER SMITH, Tennessee, 6-7 SR
TREVOR BOOKER, Clemson, 6-7 SR
ROBBIE HUMMEL, Purdue, 6-8 JR
CRAIG BRACKINS, Iowa State, 6-10 JR
GREIVIS VASQUEZ, Maryland, 6-6 SR
JARVIS VARNADO, Mississippi State, 6-9 SR
RAYMAR MORGAN, Michigan State, 6-8 SR
JAMES ANDERSON, Oklahoma State, 6-6 JR
ED DAVIS, North Carolina, 6-9 SO
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