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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Keegan

Keegan: The 3 Rs - Rush, Roby and rout

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The Colorado University basketball team arrived in town Friday night with lame-duck coach Ricardo Patton and slumping star Richard Roby, and the former hasn't been talking so nicely about the latter.

"Certainly, I think you need a guy who, by the time he is a junior, particularly a Big 12 player, can kind of lead the way for the young guys," Patton said on the Big 12 Conference call. "That hasn't happened thus far this season. Defenses are really geared to stop Roby. We have struggled because he hasn't played this season the way he played last season."

Patton's decision to announce in October this would be his last season hasn't helped, so it's not as if he doesn't share in the blame. Look at this way: The players can tune out the coach without fearing it will hurt them beyond this season.

Even without that factor, Colorado would have a nearly impossible shot at matching up with Kansas University today. Expect a blowout in the neighborhood of 90-65. To watch something other than the inevitable breakaway dunk-fest, check out the game within the game: Roby and Brandon Rush. Watch them match up and make the call on who's the better player and prospect.

Rush has developed into a terrific on-ball defender, and he relishes the challenge of stopping Roby.

"He posts. He shoots. He drives," Rush said. "He does it all."

Roby doesn't spend as much time running around a series of screens, as was the case with so many of Rush's recent assignments.

"They run a few post plays with him, that's about it," Rush said. "Other than that, he creates on his own. He makes his own plays happen. That's when you can tell when a player's pretty good, when they make their own plays happen without needing screens all the time."

Roby is listed at 6-foot-6, 205 pounds. Rush is the same height and carries five more pounds. Rush's long arms - all the more room to display an array of tattoos - make him play taller.

Both players were more accurate shooting threes last season. Rush has fallen from .472 to a respectable .391. Roby has tumbled from .356 to .237, the latter such a dreadful rate he should stop shooting them. He won't. In his past five games, Roby has gunned 20 three-pointers and made two.

Scoring on Rush won't be easy.

"He slides better than anybody we have, and he has more length than anybody we have," KU coach Bill Self said. "When we recruited him, I talked to (Brandon's brother) Kareem, and Kareem said, 'I played one-on-one with Brandon in the summertime, and I kept telling him he could be a good defender, he just doesn't know what he's doing.'"

Rush arrived at KU after having attended various high schools and a prep school noted for having a collection of stars from across the country essentially majoring in scoring points.

"When I came here, I didn't have any clue about defense," Rush said. "I kind of rolled my eyes at first. I knew defense was important. I didn't know it was that important. It started sinking in when players started getting hot and we needed some stops."

The first came when Rush was switched onto Terrell Everett late in the Oklahoma game last season. He shut him down and KU came back from a double-digit deficit to win. Rush has been doing it ever since.

Comments

KWufan 14 years, 10 months ago

I know ppl are dissappointed about Rush not scoring 50 per game this yr. The maturity only real knowlegable basketball ppl are starting to see in his overall game is impressive. Points are exciting but I'll take a guy who can do that and play D any day of the week, and trust me NBA scouts see that as well. Kudos to Brandon for realizing there's more to the game than "highlights"

Robin Smith 14 years, 10 months ago

right on! Rush is the complete package. He's strong on all elements of the game and he's improving on his weaker aspects (weak being relative to the rest of his game). If he sticks around (which I think he will) and continues to improve (as I'm sure he will) we could be seeing a Rush jersey hanging in the rafters. Keep up the good work Brandon, the knowledgeable fans appreciate you and got your back.

jaybate 14 years, 10 months ago

Maybe Ricardo ought to focus more on job hunting and less on blaming Roby in public.

jaybate 14 years, 10 months ago

Post Script: For those who don't like to read criticism about the writing of a story stop right here and jump to the next post. I don't want to ruffle your feathers. For those who care about decent writing, read on.

This story by Keegan is another one of these strange compositions, where he starts out with a lead about Patton and Roby and then winds up writing about Rush and his defense. Huh?

I've never felt bad for headline writers before, because they're often the ones who goof and mislead due to space constraints (at least in hard copy media). But how would you like to have to write a headline for this story? I tried and came up with this:

PATTON, ROBY AT ODDS WHILE RUSH PLAYS D

The more you try to write an accurate headline for this story, the more the disconnect in the story surfaces. The more you try to write a headline that ignores the disconnect (which the actual headline does), the more the reader is left wondering what the headline and story were about.

A story is supposed to have a theme that unites it and it is supposed to have a lead that premises that theme.

I don't see either here.

At least put a row of asterisks between the two unrelated parts of this "story," so the reader doesn't waste time wondering if you simply lost track of what you were righting about. I really don't think this is too much to ask.

Better yet, adopt a three dot journalism format. I think you would be a natural at it and this is a compliment since I admire this format. You have lots of interesting things to say...you're busy...readers would like it...this reader would...Rock Chalk, Tom!...Call it "Keegan Inside"...or "Inside Keegan"...forget the headlines...Ad astra per aspera. :-)

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