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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Paul WIlliams, Kurt Huelsman, Cole Aldrich
NCAA Second Round: Dayton Flyers v Kansas Jayhawks / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

Aldrich “had himself a day” against #11 Dayton

After #3 Kansas had a semi-scare in the 2009 March Madness round of 64 against #14 North Dakota State, winning by just 10 points, the round of 32 went much more swimmingly, in big thanks to Aldrich. Just days after #11 Dayton upset #6 West Virginia 68-60, KU’s big man and the Jayhawks defense limited them to a pitiful 43 points.

In the 60-43 Kansas victory, point guard Sheron Collins scored a game-high 25 points, but Aldrich was the true star, recording 13 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 blocks. He became an absolute swat-machine, limiting Dayton’s centers to a combined two points on 0-for-5 shooting. Additionally, Dayton as a team shot 16/72 (22.2%) from the field. It was a truly masterful defensive performance from the Jayhawks, anchored by Aldrich.

Kansas did end up falling short of their ultimate goal the following weekend when they lost in the Sweet Sixteen to Michigan State. Fortunately for Aldrich, this historic triple-double in March helped skyrocket his NBA draft stock and he ended up being selected 11th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Throughout his 8-year NBA career, Aldrich never blocked more than five shots in a game, but KU fans will always remember just how much of a defensive force he could be.

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