Catching Up with Cole Aldrich Prior to Thursday's NBA Draft

June 21, 2010

Travelling on his second trip to Toronto, Canada, for a workout with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors was Kansas big man Cole Aldrich. The 6-11 Bloomington, Minn., center took a few minutes from his schedule to visit with Monday afternoon.

–What has it been like the past few months in getting prepared for Thursday’s NBA Draft?

CA: It’s been crazy. It’s been a lot of fun, a lot of hard work but it’s all going to pay off on Thursday.

–How many teams have you worked out for?

CA: I’ll name them in order – Toronto, Golden State, Sacramento, Utah, Houston, New Orleans, Detroit and I’m going back to Toronto today.

–What is a typical workout for an NBA team like?

CA: Skill work. Most of the time you’ll do some shooting, some spot shooting, do post work. A lot of times you’ll just play. Sometimes you’ll end with different conditioning drills like Superman where there are two balls on each block and you get a minute to see how many you can dunk.

–What are your plans for Thursday night?

CA: I’ll be in New York. I’ll be in the (NBA’s) Green Room. I was invited last week. My parents, girlfriend, my brother and his girlfriend, grandparents and one of my best friends and his parents are coming.

–You completed 18 hours this past spring and were named the Academic All-America of the Year. You’ve told the media you only have 12 hours left to graduate from KU. What’s your plan on walking The Hill next May with Tyrel, Conner, Chase, Mario and the rest of the Class of 2011?

CA: I’m hoping to. I found out it will be difficult but I want to get it done as best I can. I think it would be really special to walk The Hill with those guys and I’m going to really work hard to do that.

–Can you give me a quick comment on the following accolades for Cole Aldrich:

–Kansas single-season blocked shots record (125 in 2009-10) – CA: I think it was really cool. I would have loved to have broken the all-time (258) but the season one was an exciting time for me.

–Being named Academic All-America of the Year – CA: It made me really proud. It made me, my parents, my family and everyone that supports the University really proud.

–Going undefeated in Allen Fieldhouse in your three-year career (55-0) – CA: I think that’s remarkable. Tyrel, Brady and those guys will obviously get a few more than I did. It just does not happen very much.

–Two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year – CA: That puts a lot of pride in me. I am a defensive player and for that award to come from the coaches was quite an accomplishment. It made me proud.

–Two-time All-Big 12 First Team – CA: There are a lot of great players in the Big 12 and a lot of great ones on our team. I’ll look back with pride on this one like the other accomplishments when I am old.

–Your triple-double against Dayton your sophomore season – CA: A dream come true, playing in Minneapolis and then playing well. I was just doing all I could to help our team win.

–Ending No. 2 on the KU career blocked shots list with 253, five behind Greg Ostertag’s 258 from 1992-95 – CA: That is really cool. I’m a guy who really likes to go out and block shots and doing that in three years is pretty good.

–How has Kansas and Bill Self prepared you for the NBA?

CA: In so many ways, not only on the court but maturing off the court. On the court working with not only coach Self but also with coach (Danny) Manning telling you so many things that he has learned in his years in the league. That has helped tremendously.

–What are you going to miss most about KU?

CA: The fans. The guys on the team and the town, the fan base that Kansas basketball is everybody’s sport.