Saturday, April 28, 2007

Decision catches some Jayhawks by surprise


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.

6Sports video: Brandon Rush to enter NBA Draft; a look back on his KU career

Brandon Rush has decided to enter his name into the 2007 NBA Draft pool. 6News takes a look back on Brandon Rush's two-year KU career.

¢ 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.


Ted Toulouse 14 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like Rush was a little gun-shy with this decision to say the least. It's not the typical loud, proud, news conference announcement we got from even Julian. It's that kind of indecision that I also have seen on the court from him and is the reason I don't think he's ready for the NBA yet.

Ted Toulouse 14 years, 6 months ago

And as far as the family support thing, isn't Kareem in the NBA still? I don't buy the family support argument...

hometownhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

Kareem is out of the NBA, but still b.s. about supporting his family. Scary to hear Mario and Darrell basically say they'll be gone after next year, leaving us with next to no one returning for 08-09. That'll be an adventure.

kcchiefmatt 14 years, 6 months ago

No Kareem is not in the NBA. He was cut and spent last year playing overseas. You would think Baby Rush would learn from this. Oh well, it's his life and he will learn how hard the NBA is first hand. I feel bad for the kid and hope he doesn't have the same problem keeping a job like his brothers do.

emeryhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

Making millions of dollars is always good for one's family, regardless of whether your brothers have done it before you. I'm hoping Rush comes back, as this draft is stacked and he could fall a lot lower than I think his value is (15-20 range, if he improves his handle and mid-range game), and, of course, as it would really help put us in the national title picture. If Rush ends up in the draft for good, is there a chance we play small ball with 4 guards (like Villanova a couple years ago)? It doesn't seem like Self's style, but there will be a big hole at SF. I hope Stewart is hitting the gym!

Chicago_JHawk 14 years, 6 months ago

I think Collins was a little careless with his comments. I can understand he's upset with BR for not telling the team personally, but I think you need to keep that out of the public spotlight. If Rush winds up coming back, there could be some animosity about the comments.

I want to see him in a Kansas uniform next season, but we all understand the nature of the game, espcecially at a school like KU. I wish BR the best.

KEITHMILES05 14 years, 6 months ago

Well, Brandon says he's a "grown man" so what he did, he did. If by chance he comes back then he has to MAN up and take what is thrown at him. If he can walk out on his teammates and coach then he can MAN up and take the assault from them upon return.

You can't have it both ways. In fact, I am shocked how he did this on the personal level. I hope for his sake he has a clear conscience about things.

He didn't consult any family or friends other than his AAU coach. I find that very odd since he has always said he needed to be close to home and family. Now, he has dissed KU too. Not exactly the way I would have thought he'd do things.

hawkitup 14 years, 6 months ago

Quote - "He didn't consult any family or friends other than his AAU coach."

Where was that written? I don't recall seeing that anywhere. I am pretty sure that Brandon got plenty of consultation from his family. He seems pretty close with them.

Kirk 14 years, 6 months ago

We'll all live -- it's only sports -- but the looming prospect of the NBA is having a poisonous effect on our team. It's not the players' fault -- they are blue chippers with real talent and real tough choices.

But the overall feel isn't good. We're giving away too much in needed experience (which would translate to better decisions and poise late in games). And we're suffering -- as the quotes show -- from hurt feelings among teammates. All very understable -- though regrettable.

So far, all this early-exit-to-the-NBA-focused "talent"at Kansas hasn't amounted to any final fours (though we've enjoyed staying atop a weakening conference). Rush's teams amounted to a first round loss and an elite 8.

Good, but not great. Is there a better way?

KURUSH1530 14 years, 6 months ago

I think Rush has his kid on his mind when throwing the term "family" out there more so than his older brothers and parents. Does it matter if Rush is back or not? Is he really going to be that one player that pushes our team over the top? Hasn't proved to be yet. I am focusing on the class of 2008, we must get Greg Monroe. That would be the key for Bill Self getting to the final four.

dhoff32 14 years, 6 months ago

I think we all saw this coming. However, and I am not blaming HCBS for this, it is just the nature of things now, but the players these days don't seem to bleed crimson and blue the way they used to. That is what is bothering me. It seems obvious that Rush was content with his teams elite 8 appearance since he looked like our star player. If he would have sh## himself in the tourney, he would be back for sure. It's just seems the only people who "love" KU anymore are us fans and I believe Bill Self. Danny Manning could have been a lottery pick for sure his junior year, but he wanted the spotlight and a chance to win it all. Those days a long gone...

Rob Keeney 14 years, 6 months ago

Back in Danny's day, it was before the Olympic "Dream Team" crap. The top amateur players represented the USA. A lot of players stayed in college another year or two for the chance to play in the Olympics.

ralsterKUMed95 14 years, 6 months ago

Im not sure I understand someone's comment about us playing 'smallball'. At times, Self even this year had one bigman, Rush, and 3 guards on the floor and we were able to do that. But next year we will have Kaun, Jackson, Arthur, Aldrich, and our 3 starting-quality guards in Collins, Chalmers, and Robinson. Even if you plug Stewart in as a largely defensive player, expect to see alot of halfcourt hi-low action, AND our trademark transition game. We will still be a balanced team. What a chance for Self to show the rest of the country what kind of coach he is, too.

truefan 14 years, 6 months ago

I love Arthur. I love how he plays and I love his good outlook. He came here to win a championship.

Chicago_JHawk 14 years, 6 months ago

If you love Arthur, truefan, then be sure to keep loving him after he bolts to the NBA next season, championship or not.

John Strayer 14 years, 6 months ago

The one item I see as strange in all of these comments for all of the Rush/NBA articles is: Rush isn't good enough for the first round, but somehow with him back at KU he leads KU to the Final Four and possibly a NCAA championship. I realize there is a step up, but there is still an portion of inconsistency in that thought pattern.

As I have stated previously, next year looks to be Arthur's year to "interview" for the NBA...a good to great year from Arthur and he'll declare next year.

jayhawkliz 14 years, 6 months ago

Kareem was cut because of work ethic. He is playing in Europe. I am happy for Brandon, but do not think he is ready. The only thing about him that is ready is his age. Our team will be okay. I have faith in our coach and we all need to show him support otherwise we could loose him also! We need to take care of what we have!

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