Thursday, May 4, 2006

Rush didn’t agonize over NBA


Brandon Rush didn't lounge around his Jayhawker Towers apartment Saturday night watching the clock while debating whether to enter his name in the NBA Draft at the last minute.

"Nah : I was just chilling, watching TV," Rush, Kansas University's 6-foot-6 freshman guard from Kansas City, Mo., said Wednesday at Allen Fieldhouse.

He has no idea why rumors circulated that he might declare for the June 28 draft just prior to Saturday's 11:59 p.m. deadline.

"A couple of weeks after the loss to Bradley, I told the whole team I was going to come back, to try to go for it (national title in 2007)," Rush said of the moment he for sure decided to return for his sophomore season. "I don't know why people were thinking differently. I knew what I was thinking and what I told my team and coaches what I wanted to do."

Rush, who averaged a team-leading 13.5 points and 5.9 rebounds for 25-8 Kansas, said immediately after the March 17 loss to Bradley and again after an April 10 postseason awards celebration that he was committed to returning.

Why didn't he waver and join the 63 college underclassmen whose names were on the NBA early entry list released Wednesday by the league?

"There's too many guys in the draft right now," Rush said.

In all, 30 international athletes also have tossed their names in the draft hat.

"It'd be hard to be a draft pick. I wanted to come back and finish unfinished business. College is fun," Rush added. "I like college. I don't want to leave so early, I enjoy college so much."

He looked in the direction of the fieldhouse court where teammates Jeremy Case, Sasha Kaun, C.J. Giles, Darnell Jackson, Julian Wright and others had gathered for a mid-afternoon workout.

"They are people you can go out with, hang around with all day and just come out and play every day. It's a pretty good thing," Rush said of bonding with teammates.

He said he was not concerned any of his teammates would declare for the draft.

Some draft sites incorrectly reported that freshmen Mario Chalmers and Wright seriously were pondering entering the draft as late as last week.

"My teammates are honest. I'm sure they'd have told me if they were going to put their name in," Rush said.

Rush said Wright probably could have tested the draft waters successfully.

"Everybody is pretty high on Julian," Rush said. "He's been saying since the beginning he's going to stay three or four years. I'm pretty sure he will. He likes college so much, too."

Rush said it was not a certainty he'd leave after his sophomore season.

He said he wasn't surprised to see Iowa State's Will Blalock and Curtis Stinson and Colorado's Richard Roby on the early entry list.

"I think it's a good move for them," Rush said. "Blalock and Stinson's coach (Wayne Morgan) is leaving. That's probably the main reason they put their name in. Roby had a good season."

Rush, who had a strong rookie campaign, admits he struggled at season's end. He scored in double figures in three of KU's last seven games, including just 36 points in four postseason games (three Big 12 tourney, one NCAA).

"I guess after the Texas game I felt I was not confident in my shot any more," Rush said of KU's Feb. 25 loss at Texas, in which he scored three points off 1-of-8 shooting. "I played so bad on a big stage so I guess it carried over."

Rush has gone to work on his game since the loss to Bradley, constantly working on his suspect left hand.

"Every workout, they make me go left," Rush said of the coaches. "Every time we do different drills, they have me go left to dribble, to pull up, to go to the rack. I think I am getting better. I can use my left hand more now than I did the whole season."

KU coach Bill Self has been impressed with Rush's practice habits since season's end.

"He is improving at a rapid rate," Self said. "They all are. We've had a good spring."

Rush will attend first session of summer school. After that?

"I will go out to L.A. and be with my brother (Kareem), work out and chill, get out of Lawrence. I've got to get away a little bit," he added with a grin. "The weather here is crazy. It's going crazy right now, sunny one day, raining the next. I'll go to Cali, lay on the beach, look at the cute girls."

¢ KU officials angrily responded Wednesday to a Kansas City radio talk-show report alleging the KU athletic department expressed "concern" to Big 12 officials over Kansas State's recruitment of high school junior basketball player Michael Beasley.

"Ridiculous, ludicrous. That did not happen," KU associate AD Jim Marchiony said of KU registering a complaint about KSU.

Self also said Wednesday he had no complaints about KSU recruiting.


jayhawk4kife 15 years, 8 months ago

I am happy that Brandon is staying at KU for another. I do not think that with Bill as our head coach we will ever win a national championship. There are too many holes in his system.

Craig Lang 15 years, 8 months ago

I think the very fact that Self can convince his (own) players to stay despite their obvious NBA-level talent is a sign that he can -- and will -- win a national championship very soon. Next year all of the players will be Self's own recruits, and (knock on wood) I believe the post-season will end much differently than it has the last two years.

jayhawker77 15 years, 8 months ago

You should keep your opinion to yourself about HCBS.

ku_bringback_danny 15 years, 8 months ago

Final 4 bound! Next year. KU is lucky to have him as their coach.

Bruce Bedene 15 years, 8 months ago

phog......listen..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................thats the sound of silence

byron 15 years, 8 months ago

again as i said at the begining of last year dont be thinking final 4 bound--think one game at a time and the final four will come.

princess 15 years, 8 months ago

No way Phog. None of the self reported violations were bad enough to warrant anything even close to a ban. You are just being a blowhard as always.

coldsplice 15 years, 8 months ago

can someone tell me why everyone insists on harping on Rush and weather or not he's going pro. Everything looks like he's been insistant from the start about coming back. I live in Minnesota now-so is there some local buzz I'm missing?

ku_bringback_danny 15 years, 8 months ago

Phog dude listen, wake up your not in Kansas anymore!!!! Albuquerque is in New Mexico!!!!!

Jeremy Bolinger 15 years, 8 months ago

what holes are in self's system? 3 tourneys, 2 conference championships, tourney championship? all this guys has left to do at Ku is win a national title, and then everyone will love him.

BlueDevil 15 years, 8 months ago

KC radio shows are probably the worst in the country.

JBurtin 15 years, 8 months ago

Coach self's system is very similar to the system that UConn has used to win the national championship twice in the last ten years. That combined with the fact that Self (as opposed to Roy Williams) is recruiting talent on the same level as the other elite programs will pull us a national championship or two. That said, I am a little skeptical as to whether next year's team would be the one to do it. Self picked up several big men in his first class here, but by the time he got here he had a late start in recruiting, and missed out on some of the elite talent in that class. As a result, we currently lack the dominant big man present on most national championship rosters. It's my guess that we'll do well in the tournament next year, but we may have to wait a little while longer for the championship.

P.S. By the way bluedevil, you are correct, the radio shows are terrible. I've heard enough about why the royals suck already, they are a non-entity to me, so can the radio please talking about them until they at least do something worthy of talking about.

tomike 15 years, 8 months ago

phog everyone comes here for fun. if after so many people have blamed you and you are still having fun here.... Conclusion: you are severely mentally sick.....

ku_bringback_danny 15 years, 8 months ago

Everybody, Phog is JR and is just mad because Rush came in and replaced him and no body cared that he transfered!!!

Jeremy Bolinger 15 years, 8 months ago

thats true, jr sucked and didn't belong at Ku, as did Micah Downs, Alex Galindo, Omar Wilkes, and especailly David Padgett......are we noticing a trend here????

missKU 15 years, 8 months ago

I don't think Phog is JR. He is just saying that for attention.

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