In an unsurprising move, Kansas Jayhawks center Cole Aldrich will declare for the NBA Draft, according to Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports. Aldrich's move begins what is an expected avalanche of early declarations from the loaded Kansas roster that shockingly lost in the second round to Northern Iowa, with freshman Xavier Henry and sophomore Marcus Morris likely to test the draft waters as well.
The 6'11'', 245-pound Aldrich averaged 11.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game for the Jayhawks this past season, slight dips from the numbers he posted as a sophomore, with the exception of the blocks. Aldrich probably would have been a top ten, possibly even a top five, pick had he left last season, but he chose to return to Kansas and has seen his draft stock stagnate, if not slip. ESPN's Chad Ford lists Aldrich as the eighth-best prospect in this coming draft, while Draft Express has him sixth, and NBADraft.net ranks him 14th.
Aldrich's size and massive frame make him more of a traditional center, which explains some of his appeal. His solid if unspectacular repertoire of post moves make him a decent offensive threat, though his hideous, jerky jump shot limits him to a range of 15-feet or so. Aldrich figures to make his biggest impact on the boards and blocking shots, which is why he's drawn the most comparisons to current Blazers big man Joel Pryzbilla, who's carved out a nice backup center role for himself.
Aldrich is expected to officially announce his decision later on Monday.