Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rush announcement expected Friday


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, who has a bunch of friends and associates in the NBA, gathered a stack of information on sophomore standout Brandon Rush the past couple of weeks.

Wednesday afternoon, Self presented the results of his labor to Rush, who has until midnight Sunday to decide whether to enter his name in the NBA Draft.

"He took the information. He'll chew on it awhile and probably have an announcement ... well, there's no probably, (he) will have an announcement by the end of the week," Self said after meeting with KU's leading scorer for two-plus hours in Self's office.

The announcement probably will come Friday, said Self, who will hit the recruiting trail Friday afternoon or evening, "but if it drags to Saturday ... you've got to do it before Sunday," he indicated.

"This was not any deal where we said, 'This is what you should do.' We gave him information, and we said all along based on the information he received, he'd make a decision best for him and his family, and so hopefully he'll digest some things and we can go from there."

Rush - who could declare for the draft and not hire an agent and withdraw by June 18 - has said he definitely would leave college if assured top-20 status. There are 30 picks in Round One.

"We laid everything out to him, and he did not express what would determine his decision. He said, a long time ago, top 20," Self said. "Being very candid, it would be difficult for him to be top 20 from all the number of good underclassmen that's already come out (35). Still I'm not saying it couldn't happen."

So where would Rush be tapped?

"I'm not going to go into what people have told me, but it's definitely a loaded draft," Self said.

"Whenever the commissioner says this is probably going to be the strongest draft ever, it's definitely going to be strong. It's not just about where people see him. It's about doing something that would benefit him over time."

Rush, who did not speak to the media after the meeting, has admitted there's a risk - as far as limited playing time - if he's selected between 20 and 30. Philadelphia (picks 21 and 30) and New York (23) are the only teams between 20-30 that did not make the playoffs.

"To me that should be a big factor. What gives you the best chance to get to a second contract (after three years). Absolutely," Self said.

"That's the whole decision I think there is to be made. What gives you the best chance to make a career out of it. Weigh the positives and negatives because you can certainly make a case either way."

If Rush returns, he will be marketed as one of the top returning players in the country, and KU will be a certain preseason top-five team.

"We talked about all that stuff. He'd be right there," Self said.

Waiting on the first-team all Big 12 performer has put recruiting on hold.

The Jayhawks have one scholarship to give if Rush leaves; none if he stays.

"I'll be real honest. It hasn't been positive," Self said of the effect on recruiting. "We care enough about Brandon that he should have waited to gather information if he wasn't comfortable. It has not helped us recruiting because we certainly had opportunities to fill that scholarship. But now, those opportunities are very, very limited."

Self said if Rush declares without an agent - which Self said would be Rush's intention if he elects to leave - he would consider signing another player to replace Rush.

"I would do what's best for the program. What's best for the program is not demanding (Rush to decide quickly)," Self said. "I'd do what's best for Brandon. But on the flip side, you also have to look at your entire program. If there's nobody to recruit, then certainly we won't have to make that decision. If there's somebody to recruit, then you may have to make a decision. The pool of recruits has shrunk drastically in the last month. It will continue to shrink even more. There's not many guys out there that we're aware of."

¢Web report doesn't faze Self: Self and Rush did not discuss Tuesday's report that indicated Rush already had decided to enter his name in the draft minus an agent.

"That never came up. I hear false reports every day," Self said. "There are so many things that are reported on that are 1,000-percent inaccurate. And there's a lot of things that are reported that are accurate. I'm not too concerned with what an NBA Web site thinks. I could care less to be honest with you. The thing about the Web sites, nobody has to take ownership, and they can come back and say, 'I missed on that one, I made a mistake, my source was wrong.'"

A reporter mentioned to Self that "where there is smoke" as in the Rush report, there's often "fire."

"That's not true. There's no fire with 'Shady,'" Self said of rumors that Darrell Arthur is thinking about putting his name in the draft. "I talked to his mom. She said (jokingly), 'You all will be so sick of me (coming to games next year).' He's definitely coming back."

¢Early entrants expected nowadays: Self, who has already lost Julian Wright to the draft, says he's not frustrated by players bolting early.

"I hope we will have to deal with it (in future) because that means we'll probably win a lot of games" Self said. "When Brandon announced to come here, we thought we'd have him for a year, and it turns into two, and now he's contemplating whether to go or give us a third. Brandon Rush has done nothing wrong, except what he said he was going to do from the first day he arrived."


pjdeanwag 11 years, 1 month ago

Come on back, Brandon. Prove to everyone (including yourself) that you deserve to be a lottery pick! It's gonna take hard work, but you can rise above. Simple.

palewhale 11 years, 1 month ago

"I would do what's best for the program. What's best for the program is not demanding (Rush to decide quickly)," Self said. "I'd do what's best for Brandon. But on the flip side, you also have to look at your entire program. If there's nobody to recruit, then certainly we won't have to make that decision."

Okay...what polictical office do you think Self will run for once his coaching days are over? Hopefully that wont be for a long time.

It sure does take a lot of words for coach to get to the point.

John Strayer 11 years, 1 month ago

I agree palewhale...there can only be one thing that is best for the or the other: 1. Brandon leave quickly and we get another 2007 recruit, or 2. Brandon stays and we plan on filling his spot with a 2008 recruit.

From other things Coach as said, the option 1 ship may have already left the port an

That quote from Coach Self makes my head hurt trying to figure out what his true feelings are.

bmcmich1 11 years, 1 month ago

I do like what coach has to say about the rumors floating around the web about Rush. There are too many idiots out there who report rumors they hear to be the gospel truth, then merely cite 'bad information' when what they say turns out to be wrong--that is extremely irresponsible, and I wish everyone took just as much stock in those reports as coach does.

mariofan11 11 years, 1 month ago

From what Self says in this article, doesnt sound to me that the info he got back from the NBA was good news for Brandon. I dont see how he would be a 1st rd pick, let a lone a top 20 pick with all the guys in this draft.

Mario Russell Brandon Darnell Darrell Sasha Sherron Rodrick Cole

That is still a pretty loaded team.

11 years, 1 month ago


That is a great question. I think it depends. If you are able to have a great player for one or two years and they bring you a National Championship in that span, I would choose the great player (e.g. Carmelo Anthony). Otherwise, I would rather have a good player for four years, and maybe win the big one with them in their final campaign. Of course, the trick is figuring this all out ahead of time!

beatleboy500 11 years, 1 month ago

Come on Brandon! Here are your options:

  1. Declare for the NBA draft and be taken in the early second round and not get much playing time at all (not recommended).

  2. Stay at KU for another year (or two! doesnt hurt to try) and win a national championship and get a lot of playing time and have a heck of a good time and get all your national and conference honors and stuff... Then you can declare and you'll almost surely be a lottery pick! (Recommended)

Come on Brandon the money can wait stick around and have some fun. I've laid out your choices. Choose wisely and may the force be with you.

voygr1 11 years, 1 month ago

Brandon do what is best for you and your family you will always be a jayhawk and loved for what you have given to the university and the fans!!!

kujayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Rush and Arthur would be making a mistake to leave early. Julian is making the right choice.

kltbadboyz 11 years, 1 month ago

This years draft is too deep. Look how many stud freshman and sophomores in this draft. This draft is also affected by the Florida guys that didnt jump last year. Thats 3 lottery spots most likely 3 top 10 picks which definetely hurt Julians draft spot. The top 3 picks are probably freshman. Pretty much the top 20 guys are known and I don't think Rush is one of them. Anything after 20 is a crapshoot. It just depends on what the team wants to do. Alot of the better teams draft foreign guys and trade them. Most of the late first round draft picks are just there for the first guaranteed contract and end up over seas. Rush will probably test the waters and end up coming back. There isn't anyone in this years remaining recruting class worth getting at the wing position anyway. I would much rather save the schollie and give it to an 08 recruit. I mean do you really want a guy here that won't get to play much at all or any and will probably end up transtering. Even if Rush leaves KU has Stewart who can spell the other three guards. Remember we got Conner Teahan to walk on, he was the best player in Missouri and he is 6"5" i believe. Reed is also pretty tall for a point guard at 6'3". Im sure if Rush leaves these guys would at least play in blow out wins and get experience.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I can totally understand Coach being 'cryptic' in his statements on purpose as all sides to this scenario are certainly listening, or at least in KU-land and for the Rush family. From a national perspective, if the commissioner really told Self that this may be the most "loaded" draft classes "ever", that is saying alot, which may not project Brandon where he would be if it werent for this "loaded" class. And draft position means alot for the $ and that investment by an NBA team and playing time will strongly influence what happens AFTER that first NBA contract expires: has the player developed or proved he still should be in the NBA, even on the bench, or not?? Im sure Self gave Rush as much info as he could. Personally, I hope he stays, for his ultimate long term NBA prospects which should surely improve, and of course for the sake of helping KU one more year--how fun would that be. We'll all know soon.

suzifrye 11 years, 1 month ago

Basketball - $25.00 KU T-shirt - $15.00 KU Basketball ticket - $100.00 Brandon Rush staying - PRICELESS!!!

justanotherfan 11 years, 1 month ago

I've always believed that a player shouldn't declare unless they are projected to be a lottery pick. Let's face it, people lie. They overhype certain players, especially when picking in the middle of the first round, so that the other teams don't know what they are going to do. Teams say they are leaning one way to misdirect other teams and protect their guy. The fact that no one is saying Brandon is higher than about 20 should be something that worries him. After all, what happens if some of the guys projected higher start sliding? All of a sudden he slips from the low 20s to maybe the second round (land of no guaranteed contracts). I think he should probably stay.

I'm not sure that I feel too great about the prospects of losing Rush because his athleticism and defensive presence will be missed. He single handedly saved two games (Iowa St. with the steal, Missouri with the block) on the defensive end and probably changed the outcome of both Texas games with his work on Durant. If he's gone, who is the lock down defender? Who man's up on the other teams best player. Mario, Sherron and Russ are all too small to effectively defend big guards. Rodrick hasn't shown the offensive power to merit removing the three aforementioned guys. Although Reed and Teahen are both high school standouts, their athleticism has been questioned (and criticized) by some recruiting analysts. Plus, you have to consider that they are going to be freshman, and they are not as talented as Sherron or Darrell, both of whom struggled at times this year, nevermind that they aren't as talented as Mario, Brandon and Julian were as freshmen, and we are all aware of their growing pains.

Brandon is the key to whether KU is in the Nat'l Championship picture or just another top 25 team.

Eric Neuteboom 11 years, 1 month ago

Maybe it's me, but why would being selected outside of the top 20 be such a bad proposition (other than $$)? Aren't those slots likely playoff teams? Wouldn't Rush look good spelling Bruce Bowen in San Antonio (nearly identical physically and game-wise) and learning how to play with an established super-duper star like Tim Duncan? And how come there's no quote from Wayne Simien? I'd be curious to hear his thoughts about the benefit of playing with Shaq and D-Wade and learning how to be a pro. Isn't that an easier, more manageable and ultimately more beneficial situation than carrying the burden of being expected to turn your franshise around (which, by the way, doesn't happen - ask Marvin Williams, Andrew Bogut, Andrea Bargnani etc).

I guess this debate about draft position boils down to money, not, sadly, basketball. On a veteran team I can see Rush being a dynamite, defensive minded sharp-shooting "energy player" coming off the bench and busting his butt for 15 minutes a night. On some perennial loser I can see him being treated as some interchangeable cog (sound familiar, Kareem?) that bounces around the league, because, let's face it, Brandon is good, but he's not the kind of player who can carry a pro team. And I don't see that changing with another year.

I think, as I have all along, that he should go pro, regardless of draft position. But it would be fun to see him here one more year. Dang.

Drew Alan 11 years, 1 month ago

Simien stayed all 4 seasons and then got drafted by a playoff team. You won't get a quote from simien recommending that Rush leaves now. And if Rush was selected late first round by the spurs, (or any other playoff caliber NBA team), he wouldn't look good spelling bruce bowen (or whoever his teams wing is) next season, because he wouldn't even play. The bottom line is Brandon Rush is not an NBA basketball player right now. He may or may not be an NBA basketball player in another year... but he might as well stay another year in college and help us win more Big XII titles and hopefully make a final four. (If he stays we lose one player from an Elite 8 team and replace him with a McD's all american... sounds like a top 4 prediction to me) Rush - don't make the same mistakes your brothers did.

jayloco 11 years, 1 month ago

Coach Eric, agree with the sentiments, especially about it being all about the Bejamins. While it would be cool for Rush to be on a playoff talented team and learn from real stars, that doesn't bode well for him in terms of hitting that 4th year, new contract gold mine. While Wayne has learned from DWADE and SHAQ, his 2nd contract won't be worth too much because he hasn't had a chance to show what he can or can't do. Self even suggested it in the article. They would like for Brandon to go somewhere where playing time would not be an issue. That way when that 2nd contract opportunity presents itself, he can cash in. I believe his best bet is to stay 1 more year, reap the benefit of more college accolades and see if he can parlay that into a lottery pick.

jaypul 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm surprised more NBA scouts don't scour this board for draft information!

Craig Lang 11 years, 1 month ago

I hate to say this, but regardless of when he declares, I don't think Brandon will ever be a lottery pick. Top 25 is possible (most likely next year), but I don't see him going in the top 10 this year, next year or the year after.

Joe Ross 11 years, 1 month ago


A "lottery pick" is a player taken in the first 14 or 15 picks, not the top 10. Brandon conceivably could do that, especially if he returns and has a banner year.

11 years, 1 month ago

Indeed, jross1972 is correct. Here is a link showing the history of the lottery picks since its 1985 inception:

I agree Brandon could improve his stock considerably by returning and having an exceptional year (20+ ppg?).

erb2324 11 years, 1 month ago

from day one, I have compared Rush to Pierce. Pierce gave us three years and was the leader of one of, if not THE best team in KU history. I think Rush should look at Pierce as a model here. Pierce wouldn't have been lottery after his sophomore but gave it some thought. Came back for his junior campaign and bingo, lottery.

seattlehawk_78 11 years, 1 month ago

What would you rather have, a good player that stays all four years or a great player that bolts after 1 or 2?

With all the early departures it makes me wonder about recruiting strategy.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.