Cole Aldrich (Kansas)
6'11, 240 lbs., C
Aldrich came in as a unique, but raw big man to Kansas. As a freshman, Aldrich showed poise, solid athleticism, shot blocking, and rebounding. As a sophomore, he dominated the paint defensively with using his long wingspan to block shots. Also, while unorthodox in his motion, he showed a 10 foot jumper.
Aldrich's offensive game still needs refinement. While not a slow stiff, he lacks great speed to play in transition. He plays in an unorthodox fashion that shows in his strides, post moves, and fluidity. However, he shows great ability to set screens, a respectable jump hook from the right hand side, and the ability to shoot a short jumper.
Aldrich, while strong for his weight, needs to add more weight to post up NBA Centers. He also needs to develop more post moves and counter post-moves to score at the next level. He lacks a left hand post move, and NBA defenses rarely struggle with one handed players. However, he does pass well out of the post which should help his team's offense.
Aldrich should make his mark defensively. He blocks shots with the best of them showing excellent fundamentals and timing when playing defense. With his long arms and great lower leg base, he defend well in man coverage on the low block as well. Aldrich also shows great fundamentals in boxing out and rebounding.
On the down side, Aldridge lacks lateral quickness, his one defensive weakness. He will struggle in guarding pick-and-rolls if required to hedge guards and get back to the center. He'll also struggle against stretch centers who space the floor and shoot jumpers. However, these are areas many centers struggle with, and Aldridge compensates for a lack of physical quickness with strong decision making and fundamentals about how to manage these situations..
How does his game translate to the NBA?
At worst, he plays as a solid role player as the paint-controlling defensive player. He's unlikely to ever dominate offensively, but he can't be left alone due to lack of skill either. He reminds me of Joel Przybilla with a little better offensive game. Currently, Aldrich is projected as a mid to late lottery pick, but he could see him sliding based on potential.