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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Rush plans to return

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— Brandon Rush says there will be no suspense in coming weeks.

He's returning to Kansas University his sophomore season and not turning pro.

Case closed.

"Yes, I'm back next year. I can't go out like this," Rush said after scoring nine points off 4-of-14 shooting in the Jayhawks' 77-73 first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Bradley in The Palace of Auburn Hills. "I was still undecided at the time of the game. Now I'm sure I'm coming back next year."

Rush said he made the decision after looking at his teammates in the losing locker room.

"Just going out in the first round, not giving the seniors what they were trying to get : " Rush said, his voice trailing off. "Immediately after the game, I said it's best for the whole team to come back next year."

KU coach Bill Self said he still would meet with Rush to discuss his NBA options.

"I will not go on record with you guys and comment on something he and I have not talked about," Self said. "I'll let the dust settle a bit so emotion doesn't make the decision. He had a great freshman year, not played as well lately. We all get spoiled. He had a great year."

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Kansas guard Brandon Rush pressures Bradley guard J.J. Tauai in the first half.

Sophomore C.J. Giles, who said he definitely would be back while looking forward to "lifting weights and improving my game," said he was well aware Rush would be back.

"Yes, I know he'll be back. We'll all be back," Giles said. "We have to use this as motivation in the offseason, in the weight room. We have to remember this feeling every day."

Freshman Julian Wright, who had eight points off 4-of-5 shooting, said: "We want to remember this feeling and prepare twice as hard for next year. Hit weights, everything that helps the team. We've got to look at tape, do whatever it takes to get better."

The players were asked if there would be a stigma now of KU being a one-and-done team after falling to Bucknell last year and Bradley this season.

"There's nothing we can do about that," Giles said. "We lost to a team that played well. Bradley has a good team, and we all knew that coming in. They played better than we did.

"It's disappointing, but we'll mourn on this a little bit. We'll use it as motivation."

Comments

cobweb 13 years, 9 months ago

Relax, everybody. This team will be great next year. We lost by going cold while Bradley got hot. It happens. We still got close even with all the mistakes and bad breaks.

LAHAWK 13 years, 9 months ago

Thank you cobweb, I could not have said it better myself. Three freshmen and two sophs. The naysayers better speak now. I can't wait till next year. Late Night can't get here soon enough. This team (and I mean team) is going to be special and when it happens all of the naysayers will become front runners. Just remember who you all are as of right now. LA loves the HAWKS, if you don't believe me, see how many fans and alumni live here. ROCK CHALK young JAYHAWKS, we'll be looking forward to next year. You gave all of us out here something to be proud of (Co-Big 12 champs and tournament Champions). Great run guys.

Kyle Carter 13 years, 9 months ago

As agonizing as this defeat is, it could be a blessing in disguise. Had we made a respectable sweet 16 run this year, Rush may very well have been gone. With the entire team returning next year we will undoubtedly be legitimate contenders to make a final 4 appearance. I know that it doesn't mean much right now, but man, I can't wait for next year.

Nigel Dunham 13 years, 9 months ago

This is one of my favorite KU teams and I really like Coach Self. They all seem to be really cool guys. I have no doubt that they will be much improved next season. Look what happened after the UT game in Austin. They took it to them in the Big XII title game.

Next season will be great.

WrightStuff 13 years, 9 months ago

Rush could not have possibly left this year on anything more than potential (ex: Marvin Williams UNC last year),so to say at least we kept them all, I cant say I see THAT silver lining, but now these guys have learned maybe the hardest lesson, how to deal with a lose-lose situation. Everyone is picking you for a final four, you are suppose to win this game so no one is impressed if you do, and if you lose they'll question you ability and/or effort. Playing basically the last game of the 1st round does nothing but instill doubt and increase anxiety from the rest of the tourney. Self IS a great teacher, unfortunately some lessons have to be learned through experience.

suzifrye 13 years, 8 months ago

I think KU did a good job in proving allot of people wrong. Look at the begining of the year when there was so many people saying "KU is to young and I don't see them even making the NCAA or even having a run at the Big 12", well guess what they proved all those people wrong. So all I have to say is good job and great year, and watch out for next year because KU will be on fire!!!

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