Former Kansas Jayhawks star Cole Aldrich has never been afraid of competition and that's a good thing as he prepares for the 2010 NBA Draft. As many as six centers could be taken in the first round of the draft compared to two last year (and those two aren't exactly premier players yet).
The No. 1 center prospect is considered DeMarcus Cousins.
Leading the way is Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins. In his freshman season, Cousins averaged 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds in just 23.5 minutes per game. With the fifth pick, the Sacramento Kings have taken a strong interest in Cousins.
He'll likely be picked ahead of Aldrich. In fact, the Rockets were reportedly considering jumping up to the fourth spot to snag him, according to Jordan Godwin of the Houston Chronicle.
Greg Monroe and Derrick Favors are players here, too.
Aldrich would fall in line as the next best center prospect. He's been predicted to go anywhere from 7th to 16th in the draft. Competition for Aldrich includes Hassan Whiteside, who has trained a bit with Hakeem Olajuwon.
But the player with the biggest potential risk and reward is Marshall's Hassan Whiteside. In his freshman season, Whiteside averaged 13.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and an otherworldly 5.4 blocks per game. He had three Hakeem Olajuwon-esque triple-doubles by collecting double-digit points, rebounds and blocks.
If I'm making predictions, then Aldrich is locked in as the second center taken. He's definitely one of the safest prospects in the draft.