Collins and Aldrich Named Mr. Jayhawk at Kansas Men's Basketball Banquet

April 12, 2010

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Sherron Collins and junior Cole Aldrich highlighted the annual Kansas men’s basketball banquet before a capacity crowd of more than 600 at the Holiday Inn Lawrence Monday evening.

Following a welcome from Director of Athletics Lew Perkins, dinner and a highlight video, Kansas head coach Bill Self recognized his coaching and support staffs, talked about each of his players and the remarkable 2009-10 season. Kansas went 33-3 on the season, won its sixth straight and 10th Big 12 regular-season championship, its seventh Big 12 postseason title, was ranked No. 1 for 15 weeks and entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed.

“This to me was the most remarkable year that we have had at Kansas as we headed into the NCAA Tournament,” Self said. “We’ve never had a team play this good. We’ve never had a team play this consistent. And we’ve never had a team this tough.”

Self presented Aldrich with a trophy recognizing the Bloomington, Minn., native as the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year. Aldrich is the second Jayhawk to earn the distinction joining former KU great Jacque Vaughn in 1997. Aldrich is the first KU Academic All-American since Ryan Robertson in 1999.

Self then named Aldrich and Collins recipients of the Danny Manning “Mr. Jayhawk” Award as chosen by their teammates and basketball staff. The duo won the same honor at last year’s banquet.

Aldrich averaged 11.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game during 2009-10 with 15 double-doubles. He blocked 125 shots to record a KU single-season record. In addition to his Academic All-America honors, Aldrich was named All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season. He was a Consensus All-America Second Team selection and never lost in Allen Fieldhouse, posting a three-year record of 55-0. He finished his career second on the KU blocked shots list with 254.

“I want to thank everybody. I want to thank all the fans, all the parents of the guys on the team, all the coaching staff for making it such a humbling experience to be a part of such a rich tradition that is more than just myself and the team,” Aldrich said.

Collins, who was in Chicago signing with his agent during the banquet, led KU in scoring at 15.5 points per game, was a two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection as a junior and senior and the 2010 conference tourney most outstanding player. The Chicago guard received two postseason trophies in 2010 – the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the inaugural Lute Olson Player of the Year by A two-time Bob Cousy Award finalist, Collins is Kansas’ first Consensus All-America First Team selection since Wayne Simien in 2005. Collins is the winningest player in Kansas basketball history, amassing 130 victories throughout his career. The 130 wins ranks tied for fifth on the NCAA four-year record. Collins finished his career ranked fifth on the KU career scoring list with 1,888 points.

“There are eight chances to win hardware and seven trophies,” Self explained of the career of Collins as he pointed to the trophies displayed. “Even though he is not here, I think we should owe some recognition to maybe the toughest player I ever coached, Sherron Collins.”

Following the event, players and coaches signed autographs for the many patrons in attendance.

“It’s a feel good end to our season,” Self said. “The turnout was great and it was a great event for those who came and for our team.”