Brandon Rush's decision to enter the 2007 NBA Draft took at least one of his Kansas University teammates by surprise.
"I wasn't ready for it or expecting it," freshman guard Sherron Collins said.
He was preparing for an early Friday afternoon workout at Allen Fieldhouse when informed by coach Bill Self.
"I think Brandon could have told us and had us ready for something like this. We are upset with him a little bit," Collins said. "I still love him and think of him as a brother. I just think he could have done a better job of telling us."
Rush, who had until midnight Sunday to declare for the draft, held no formal team meeting to discuss his plans after finalizing his decision Thursday night. Instead, he was off to Dallas for the weekend.
"In Brandon's case, we didn't know what he was going to do," Collins said. "He could have stayed. He could have declared. We knew there'd be a wait, that it would come to the end."
Rush is not planning on signing with an agent - at least until after the NBA Draft camp in Orlando May 29-June 1. Players without agents can withdraw from the draft by June 18 and return to school if they so desire.
"We will miss him," Collins said of Rush, KU's leading scorer, "but we have a lot of people who will step up and be ready to play. We have to concentrate on who is with us in that locker room and have to focus on getting better."
Sophomore guard Mario Chalmers, who is Rush's closest friend on the team, said his buddy had a tough time deciding whether to declare.
"We talked about it a little bit. We are like best friends. He didn't really know what he wanted to do," Chalmers said. "He met with coach and decided to test the waters, see where he is.
"I mean, it's a dream for everybody. That dream is coming to reality for him."
NBA-bound Rush (13.8 ppg) and Julian Wright (12.0) will be missed on the scoreboard. They accounted for 25.8 points per contest last season.
"They (teammates) will look to me, Russell (Robinson), Sasha (Kaun) for more leadership," Chalmers said. "Sherron, 'Shady' (Darrell Arthur). Everybody will look to each other for leadership. We still have a nice team."
Freshman forward Arthur said he wishes Rush "good luck. This is his dream. All of us have the same dream. If he comes back, we'll be great. If he doesn't, we'll still have a good team. We'll be good either way."
Like Chalmers, Arthur could tell Rush had been weighed down by the decision.
"He had it in his head. He never talked about it," Arthur said.
Junior forward Darnell Jackson agreed Rush "hasn't talked to any of us about it. It was a shocker. I'm not mad at him. He has a dream to play at a bigger level and make money to support his family.
¢ Arthur staying put: Arthur reiterated he is definitely returning to KU, despite rumors that have had him pondering a possible jump to the NBA.
"I talked to coach and my mom about it," Arthur said of reports on the Internet. "Everything is cool. I'm coming back."
Was he ever tempted to leave?
"No. I feel we can go farther next year. We have a good team coming back. I am trying to win a championship. It was my goal when I came here. I'm trying to fulfill it."
¢ No jump for Mario: Some of Chalmers' sophomore buddies may be leaving, but he's staying.
"Just from talking to coach Self and hearing what people are saying about me, I think one more year would be the best thing for me," Chalmers said.