Cole Aldrich led Minnesota Magic Gold to its fourth straight state AAU championship last spring and was named first-team All-State by the AAU Boys Basketball Committee.
Aldrich averaged more than 20 points per game in the state tournament and scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds against the New York Lightning in the AAU nationals in Orlando.
Aldrich does not look like the typical freshman. He is already 225 pounds after gaining 20 pounds since last year.
GoldenSports.Net got a chance to catch up with Aldrich at the recent St. Thomas Academy scrimmage. Aldrich attracted nearly as much attention as did 6-8 Ryan Amoroso of Burnsville, 6-6 Everette Pedescleaux of Robbinsdale Armstrong and 6-11 Patrick O'Bryant of Blaine, who played in the scrimmage.
Aldrich caught the eye of three different AAU coaches, who are hoping to land Aldrich in the future and joked with Minnesota head coach Dan Monson. Aldrich wore a University of Arizona hat on backward. William Humphries, whose son Kris is a standout freshman at Minnesota, put his Gopher hat on Aldrich's head
Aldrich has heard from many of the top programs in the country like Minnesota, Kansas, Arizona and Baylor. He played at an AAU tournament at Valparaiso, where new Baylor head coach Scott Drew was the previous head man. Aldrich said that has recently received letters from powers Duke and Kentucky.
Aldrich has a 7-4 wingspan and has a frame that can put on weight.
Jefferson opens the season against St. Paul Harding Tuesday night and will face talented big man Pedescleaux next Monday. Marquette head coach Tom Crean is expected to catch Aldrich in action along with watching Amoroso play against Hill-Murray.
Minnesota Magic Gold AAU coach Bob Kaitz recently praised Aldrich in the Bloomington Sun.
"I've never seen a big guy so coordinated at a young age. He dominates games."
"Cole has become very committed to the game. His skills are improving all the time. A good example is his dunking. When he first started trying to dunk, the ball didn't always go in. Now he's finishing the play every time."
"What Cole is working on now is his three-point shooting and his ballhandling. He wants to become an all-around player, not just someone who's good around the basket."
"Cole is a natural shot blocker with his long arms and the good timing he has developed. His shot-blocking is instinctive."
"Cole is a good player to coach. There is never a disagreement or an excuse. He comes to practice ready to learn and he plays hard in the game. Cole has great intensity and he runs the floor very well."
Aldrich is believed to be the Jaguars' first freshman starter.