Aldrich's Love For Game Turns into Motivation For Improvement

Jan. 25, 2010


Playing border rival Missouri sparked junior center Cole Aldrich’s memory and reminded him of one thing: how much he loves playing basketball. Aldrich’s near triple-double did not disappoint a raucous sold-out Allen Fieldhouse crowd on Big Monday.

“It feels really good. I’m starting to get my confidence back and play the game I love,” Aldrich said.

Aldrich’s seven blocks, marking the most by a player this season and fifth-most by a player in Kansas basketball history.

“That’s what I try to do every game,” said Aldrich. “Ever since I was six feet in the sixth grade, I have tried to block shots. That’s just the player I am. I love blocking shots.”

In addition, Aldrich grabbed 16 rebounds, which made him the 15th player in school history to grab 700 rebounds or more.

“I knew coming into the second half that Markieff (Morris) and I had really hit the boards hard,” said Aldrich. “I guess I didn’t know it was that much. That’s one thing we have to do every game. I think it’s a big key.”

The beginning of the season wasn’t as easy for Aldrich. Despite grabbing 18 rebounds at Tennessee, he averaged below 10 rebounds a game, which was down from last year’s average of 11 rebounds per game. In the last six games, however, he has averaged 10.8 rebounds, blocked 20 shots and scored 68 points for the Jayhawks.

“I just really try to play hard,” said Aldrich. “Over the last few games I’ve really trying to get back in the groove of where I was playing last year and just having fun again. That’s the main thing. Having fun and playing the game I love.”