Thu Mar 04 03:53pm EST
Everyone knows when a blue-chip underclassman is going to turn pro. The player knows it, the coach knows it, the announcers know it and the fans know it, but only the latter two groups say anything publicly on the topic. The players and coaches avoid discussion of early entrance into the NBA like it's a plagued, 800-pound gorilla. That's why the comments of Kansas coach Bill Self on Wednesday night were so refreshing.
During a post-game address to the fans at Allen Fieldhouse, Self brought up junior center Cole Aldrich, the seven-footer who is widely expected to forgo his senior season and enter the NBA draft. The crowd immediately began chanting "one more year, to which Self replied, "I'm all for that but don't hold your breath on that one."
Most coaches would either ignore the crowd, make some disingenuous remarks about how he expects him to return or deflected the discussion by saying something non-controversial like, "let's get through March and then we'll talk about next year." Self's reply was the exact opposite of that sort of coach-speak.
Cole Aldrich is going to go pro and he's likely going to be a lottery pick. Everyone knows it. And unlike most of his coaching brethren, Bill Self can admit it.