Stars In Our Eyes

Kansas junior Cole Aldrich and senior Sherron Collins headline the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook preseason accolades, while the KU team has been unanimously selected preseason No. 1 by the publication for 2009-10.

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 Sweet 16s.

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 BASKETBALL YEARBOOK

PRESEASON TOP 25 PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS

1. KANSAS

2. Michigan State

3. Texas

4. Villanova

5. North Carolina

6. Purdue

7. Kentucky

8. California

9. Duke

10. Tennessee

11. Butler

12. West Virginia

13. Georgia Tech

14. Minnesota

15. Syracuse

16. Ohio State

17. Oklahoma

18. Connecticut

19. Dayton

20. Maryland

21. Oklahoma State

22. Michigan

23. Washington

24. Georgetown

25. (tie) Siena

25. Illinois

BLUE RIBBON COLLEGE BASKETBALL YEARBOOK

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAMS

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 All-America Teams


FIRST TEAM

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

SECOND TEAM

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

THIRD TEAM

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

FOURTH TEAM

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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