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Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry and KU Basketball 2010 Milestones
Tradition second to none
The University of Kansas basketball team has a tradition to rival any college program in the country. The inventor of the game, James Naismith, was KU’s first coach. “Phog” Allen coached at KU for 39 seasons and won two Helms Championships and an NCAA Title. Allen was founder of the National Basketball Coaches Association, a driving force behind the inclusion of basketball as an Olympic sport, and pushed for creation of the NCAA Tournament. This is just a fraction of the influence KU has had on the college game.
The 2009-2010 basketball team has done much to augment Kansas’ sparkling tradition. Accolades for players and the outstanding coaching staff have been numerous and well deserved. KU spent fifteen weeks at the top of the national polls and was the top seed in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Northern Iowa and ending their season with a 33-3 record. KU has achieved much this season and despite their early exit from the NCAA Tournament, they have much to be proud of.
Beware of the Phog
1. Kansas recently recorded their 2000th victory, joining Kentucky and North Carolina in the 2000 win club. A deep run in March offers the Jayhawks a chance to supplant North Carolina for second place in all-time victories, since they are currently tied with UNC at 2000.
2. KU won their 53rd conference title and sixth straight—the most regular season championships in NCAA history.
3. KU won their third Big Twelve Tournament championship in the last four years, and their seventh since the inception of the Big Twelve.
4. KU’s 21 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament is the longest active streak in the nation since Arizona was not invited to participate in 2010. Arizona’s streak already had an asterisk, since its 1999 appearance was vacated.
5. KU is appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 38th time in 2010, trailing only Kentucky, UCLA and North Carolina in appearances.
6. KU entered the NCAA Tournament as a number one seed, the ninth time for the Hawks to be rated so high.
7. KU will has won at least 30 games in three of the last four seasons—the only time this has ever occurred.
8. KU has spent 15 weeks this season ranked #1 in the Associated Press poll and 57 weeks in the top spot all-time.
Allen Field House Records:
1. The Jayhawks’ 59-game home winning streak is currently the longest in the nation, and the 62 straight home victory record set between 1993 and 1998 is within reach next year if the Hawks can close out their home season without a loss.
2. Under Bill Self, the Jayhawks are 113-6 in Allen Field House.
3. The All-time record in Allen Field House is 651-106.
1. Coach Bill Self recently won his 400th game as a head coach. He also recorded his 200th victory at KU, and no Jayhawks coach made it to 200 wins faster.
2. Coach Self has the highest winning percentage of any Kansas Coach at 82.6%.
Individual Player Milestones
Sherron Collins individual records:
1. Sherron Collins became the second guard in KU history with at least 1800 points and 500 assists, joining Darnell Valentine as the only players to accomplish this feat.
2. Collins ended his KU career with 552 assists, good for seventh place on the career assist charts. Collins needed 17 more assists to pass Adonis Jordan for sixth place.
3. Collins ended his career with 1888 career points, good for fifth place on KU's all-time list, recently supplanting Darnell Valentine in the fifth spot. Comparisons between Collins and Valentine will be made, and rightfully so. Both were brilliant floor leaders, but Collins was a better offensive player. Valentine’s scoring and passing skills were sometimes obscured by a slower-paced offense with no shot clock or three-point line to speed up the game, but I still give the edge to Collins. (No modern KU guard compared to Valentine as a defender.)
4. Sherron Collins has 130 career victories, the most of any Jayhawk in the history of the program. (Brady Morningstar technically shares this distinction, but red-shirted during the 2008 season.) Memphis players Robert Dozier and Antonio Anderson claimed 136 wins for the most all-time victories in NCAA history. However, because Memphis vacated their 38 wins in the 2008 season for using an allegedly ineligible player, the official record for most wins belongs to Shane Battier and Duke's class of 2001, with 133 victories. That record could have been reached by advancing to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. KU needed to play for the National Championship to give Collins the most victories outright.
5. Collins was named an NCAA first-team Consensus All-American for 2010, the first KU player to be so named since Wayne Simien in 2005.
Cole Aldrich individual records:
1. KU’s other All-America candidate, Cole Aldrich, established a new KU single season record for blocked shots with 125. Greg Ostertag previously held the record for blocks in a season with 97.
2. Aldrich fell six blocks short of reaching KU’s record for career blocks by the end of his junior year—a truly remarkable feat given his limited minutes as a freshman. He ended the season with 253 blocks, needing 259 to surpass Greg Ostertag at the top of the career list.
3. Aldrich supplanted Greg Ostertag as the all-time leader in blocks per game in a season. Ostertag’s record is 2.94 blocks per contest, while Cole blocked approximately 3.5 shots per game this season.
4. Aldrich joined Sherron Collins as one of two Jayhawks on the roster to score 1000 points in his career. Aldrich ended his junior season in 46th place with 1037 points, seven points behind Carl Henry on the scoring charts.
5. Aldrich ended the season with 860 rebounds, good for 9th place on KU's all-time rebounding charts. He needed 18 more rebounds to supplant Wilt Chamberlain for 8th place.
6. Aldrich was named Academic All-American of the Year for 2010. The last KU player to achieve this honor was Jacque Vaughn.
7. Cole Aldrich was named an NCAA second-team All-American for 2010.
Individual Records for Xavier Henry:
1. Xavier Henry’s 13.4 point scoring average ranked 5th all-time among KU freshman behind Danny Manning, Kerry Boagni, Brandon Rush and Darnell Valentine. Henry ended his freshman season in second place among the top ten freshman scorers at KU, trailing only Manning.
2. Henry needed 14 more points to surpass Danny Manning as KU’s all-time freshman scorer. One more strong game would have gotten him there. For now, Manning's record remains intact.
3. Henry’s 54 steals ranked him 5th among first-year players, but this number is little more than half of the 89 thefts recorded by Mario Chalmers as a freshman. Henry was five steals away from 4th place, and would have supplanted both Danny Manning and Aaron Miles in the rankings with seven more thefts.
4. Xavier Henry elected to forego his remaining years of college and opt for the NBA draft, claiming the distinction of being the first KU freshman to bolt for the NBA after one year. Henry will not be the only first-year player to turn professional, however. Center Victor Mitchell came to KU from junior college and sought to turn pro after one season in 1981, but went undrafted.
KU's team is strong and deep
The current Jayhawks squad has been as fun to watch as any in recent history. Aldrich and Collins are legitimate All-America candidates and should receive consideration for Player of the Year honors, despite the hype surrounding John Wall. Aldrich, Collins, Xavier Henry and Marcus Morris will all likely receive pro paychecks, and while it’s too early to predict such success for Markieff Morris, Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson or Jeff Withey, it is not out of the question. This KU team is deeper than any Jayhawk squad in the last 30 years and could be one of the greatest teams ever.
Rock Chalk, Jayhawk KU!
2010 NBA Draft Update
On June 24th, 2010 Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry were selected with the 11th and 12th picks in the NBA draft by the New Orleans Hornets and the Memphis Grizzlies, respectively. Fellow Jayhawk Sherron Collins was not selected in the 60 player draft held in New York City. A trade rumor had Aldrich and Mo Peterson going to the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 18th and 21st picks in the draft, which were used to select Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe and Iowa State forward Craig Brackins.
It has been suggested that Collins was not drafted due to concerns he is unable to control his weight. He was rumored to weigh as much as 227 pounds since the conclusion of the 2010 college basketball season. If Collins can earn a spot on an NBA roster, he has the ability to help a team in much the same way Ty Lawson improved the Denver Nuggets.
Jayhawks in the professional ranks include Paul Pierce (Boston), Darrell Arthur and Xavier Henry (Memphis), Mario Chalmers (Miami), Drew Gooden (LA Clippers), Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City), Kirk Hinrich (Washington), Darnell Jackson (Milwaukee), Raef LaFrentz (Portland--expected to retire), Brandon Rush (Indiana) and Julian Wright (New Orleans).
A 2012 Update
Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry will always be remembered for what they accomplished during their stay on Mt. Oread. No one will forget Collins and his will to win, from his key steal and three-point basketball in the 2008 NCAA Championship game to his tough, determined play over the course of his four year career. Cole Aldrich gained our attention with outstanding play in the 2008 Final Four game against North Carolina. For the next two years, he anchored a strong Jayhawk defense with his interior presence and shot-blocking abilities. Xavier Henry only played for Kansas for a single season, but his freshman accomplishments were matched only by a guy named Manning.
Times do change, however. Aldrich's single season record for blocked shots lasted only two seasons--Jeff Withey broke the mark a mere two seasons later. Sherron Collins left Kansas as the Jayhawk with the most victories ever--until Tyrel Reed won even more games in his career. Someday a freshman will likely accomplish more than Xavier Henry did, and might even challenge the first year accomplishments of the great Danny Manning.
This is the nature and joy of athletic competition. Records are, indeed, meant to be broken. As fans we cheer for new players to come along and perform at even higher levels and accomplish even more. It is an added bonus if we are able to watch it happen. No one knows who the next great player will be, or what he will accomplish in his time at Kansas. We can only hope that we enjoy each moment for what it is and savor the memories after the moment is gone.
Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, KU!
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