Forgotten box score series: Cole Aldrich’s historic triple-double for Kansas basketball

In a 60-43 Kansas basketball victory, point guard Sherron Collins scored a game-high 25 points, but Aldrich was the true star, recording KU's first-ever triple-double.
NCAA First Round: North Dakota State Bison v Kansas Jayhawks
NCAA First Round: North Dakota State Bison v Kansas Jayhawks / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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With March Madness right around the corner, the 15-year anniversary of Cole Aldrich’s historic triple-double is also mere weeks away. To this day, Aldrich remains as one of the best shot-blockers in Kansas Jayhawks’ basketball history. Jeff Withey does lead KU in career blocks (311), most blocks in a season (146), and most blocks in a game (12), so it’s tough to give Aldrich the top spot all-time, but he does rank 3rd in all three categories.

Aldrich is the only KU player ranked in the top ten in career blocks who didn’t play for four years in Lawrence. The 6-foot-11 center’s junior year at Kansas also coincided with Withey’s freshman year, so it could be argued that Aldrich helped Withey out along the way to eventually surpass him. "Cole Play" also paved the way for Kansas basketball players, like Withey and Kevin McCullar Jr. to strive for triple-doubles, after he recorded the first one in KU’s prestigious history back in 2009.

To this day, there have only been nine triple-doubles recorded in the Men’s March Madness NCAA Tournament: Gary Grant (Michigan, 1987), Shaquille O’Neal (LSU, 1992), David Cain (St. Johns, 1993), Andre Miller (Utah, 1998), Dwayne Wade (Marquette, 2003), Cole Aldrich (Kansas, 2009), Draymond Green (Michigan State, 2011 and 2012), and Ja Morant (Murray State, 2019). Of those triple-doubles, only the legendary O’Neal and Aldrich recorded their triple-doubles with blocks rather than assists.