I'd kind of pigeon holed Cole for some reason, but I like his attitude. Plus, if you rearrange the letters of his name, you can spell "Rich Old Lace" or "Chalice Lord." Which of you could possibly argue with that? link
With the help of his 7-foot-5 wingspan, Aldrich has averaged almost four blocks a game over his four-year prep career.
"Playing strong defense, blocking shots and stopping possessions is a big part of who I am,'' Aldrich said.
Even if Aldrich isn't able to block a shot, his wingspan and athleticism often force opponents to alter shots. He has developed an ability to block the ball and take possession rather than swatting the ball into the stands. Knocking the ball out of bounds might draw raves, but it also allows the opponent to maintain possession of the ball.
"Blocking shots is like a lost art,'' Aldrich said. "As I've gotten older, I've gotten smarter. I used to commit a lot of fouls earlier in my career, but now I'd like to think that I stay out of (foul) trouble because I am wiser.''
In his one meeting against Oden, Aldrich figured he had nothing to lose.
"He was the stud of the camp; he was the top dog picking on all of those other players,'' Aldrich said.
"If he beats me, he is still the top guy. If I take his (rear) out, I've got everything to gain. I met him at the top of the three-point line and made him work hard to wear him out. I figured he might get 20 (points) on me, but he will earn it. He'd have to bust his (butt) to get it. I maybe gave up one or two dunks to him. I take that as a victory. He is a big, powerful kid.''
Aldrich, Bloomington Jefferson's all-time leading scorer, also is dominant on offense. He averages 22.5 points and 17 rebounds a game.
"Cole can change a game with his physical presence and athleticism,'' Jefferson coach Jeff Evens said. "Easy baskets out of half-court offense are not easy for our opponents because of his presence in the post. He has good timing for contesting shots.''