Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Aldrich, Collins Returning to KU; Thomas Accepts FIU Job

And it's official: Kansas will be my preseason No. 1 next season. Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins both announced last night that they will be returning to the Jayhawks next season instead of entering their names into the NBA Draft. "That’s two good recruits we just signed for next year," head coach Bill Self said. "They will have a chance to be All-American and do what they both want to do: be part of a legacy that brings home two national championships." Both players won the national championship in 2008, and are looking forward to the opportunity to win another one. "I want us to do a lot of things very few people have done," Aldrich said. "Sherron and I talked about this ... we could be those special names in Kansas history that all the little kids look up to." Collins, a 5-11 junior guard, averaged 18.9 points and 5.0 assists per game this past season, while Aldrich, a 6-11 senior center, put up 14.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per contest.

Thomas Officially Accepts FIU Offer

As rumored yesterday, Isiah Thomas has accepted the head coaching position at Florida International. "We are very excited to have such a legendary athlete and proven winner in Isiah Thomas to lead our men's basketball program," athletic director Pete Garcia said in a statement. "There is no doubt that Isiah will give FIU a tremendous opportunity to take the basketball program to the highest level." He will be replacing Sergio Ruoco, who had five consecutive losing seasons with the Golden Panthers. Thomas, a Hall of Famer, played 13 seasons with the Detroit Pistons before retiring. He then coached the Indiana Pistons for three seasons, reaching the playoffs in each season. Thomas joined the New York Knicks as president of basketball operations before taking over the head coach position in 2006. He went 56-108 in two tumultuous seasons, and was subsequently fired in 2008. "We are excited to have Isiah Thomas join the FIU family," university President Modesto A. Maidique said. "This is bigger than basketball and bigger than athletics. Having a nationally recognized coach like Isiah at FIU will have a positive impact on our university as a whole, helping us achieve additional national exposure."

Early-Entry News

- West Virginia's Devin Ebanks will return to the Mountaineers for his sophomore season. (Charleston Daily Mail)
- Iowa State's Craig Brackins might return to the Cyclones instead of entering the NBA Draft. (DraftExpress.com)
- Oklahoma State's James Anderson is returning to the Cowboys for his junior campaign. (Stillwater News-Press)
- Syracuse's Paul Harris had no knowledge that it was announced he would be entering the NBA Draft, but will now do it because "it's already out there, so I might as well." (Syracuse Post-Standard)


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