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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stay or go? Wait and see

Rush in no rush; others say they'll return

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— The one question lingering, waiting to be asked as soon as the season ended, "Stay or go?" was put to bed quickly and firmly by two Kansas University basketball players Saturday.

Sophomores Julian Wright and Mario Chalmers confirmed following KU's 68-55 loss to UCLA in the West Regional finals, that they plan to return for their junior seasons in 2007-08.

Wright, who again said he was "100 percent sure," had made that clear several times in recent months. Chalmers sang a similar tune in a sullen locker room in the HP Pavilion.

"Yes, I'll come back. I want to come back," Chalmers said. "I think everybody's coming back. I don't think anybody's talking about leaving right now. We've got a little taste of it now, and with everybody coming back, we'll have the same type of success."

Less than definitive was sophomore Brandon Rush, who quickly grew tired of being "bombarded" by the question in the locker room.

"I think so," Rush said of taking more time than last year to decide, "but I'm not even worried about that right now. No timetable at all. I'm just trying to not think about that right now. I'm not even commenting on that now."

A day earlier, he had indicated his "magic number" for deciding to leave would be guaranteed top-20 draft status.

KU freshman Darrell Arthur said: "I'll probably be back next year. We're going to try to make another run if everybody comes back. But I don't know what the word is. And we'll have to see what happens."

Freshman Sherron Collins also has NBA dreams.

"A couple of changes might happen, a couple of changes might be made," he said of a possible NBA defection or two. "But I don't know what's going to happen with me. I can't look forward right now. I don't know. Hard question to answer right now. So I don't know."

KU coach Bill Self said he would check the draft status of all his players in coming weeks. Realistically, it appears Rush would be the only player logically to jump.

"If he projects to be a high pick, then I think there's a great chance he may want to test it," Self said. "If he doesn't, I think there's a great chance he'd be back. I'm not keeping my fingers crossed for us, for him to return, because that's a selfish thing. I told him, 'Here's the deal.' We're going to evaluate it and see where he stands. I don't think he's in a hurry because he's enjoying school. But we'll talk about it the next week or so. We haven't talked about it in a long time."

Audio clips

2006-07 March 24 KU-UCLA Hoops

Self said his mind had been on the team, not the NBA.

"I don't have a clue how the guys project," he said. "If they are not a high pick, it'd be foolish to leave. We'll gather information, and I'll speak to them and their families."

Russell Robinson, who along with Sasha Kaun definitely will be back, said: "One thing is, I just hope guys do the best thing for them. I know Kansas will be good and will be ready to be contenders next year regardless of who stays and who doesn't."

- Assistant sports editor Gary Bedore contributed to this report.

Comments

Chris McIlvain 13 years, 2 months ago

Which foot would that be? Like I said...Roy still hasn't got Kansas out of his system. He thought that's who he was coaching the last 10 minutes.

Shelly Harshaw 13 years, 2 months ago

APDJayhawk - How's that foot in your mouth taste?

Chris McIlvain 13 years, 2 months ago

Roy Williams is 13 minutes from taking North Carolina to it's 2nd Final Four in 4 years. I can only imagine how heart-wrenching it's going to be for most KU fans when he wins his 2nd National Championship in 4 years with that team! But let's keep singing the praises of Bill Self! LOL!!!

DCSven 13 years, 2 months ago

Poor APD....losing out trying to rile up fans, supporting "Ol' Roy" and losing out all the way around. Its tough to be a Mizzou fan posing (did they even make the NIT?) as a fan of a real program, and then to come up so publicly for his buddy "Ol' Roy" before seeing UNC in what must be one of the greatest collapses in all history.

APDJayhawk must stand for A Poser Dissing Jayhawks

DCSven 13 years, 2 months ago

More importantly than APD.... Jayhawks, we love you and hope you will make the same decision for collegiate athletics that the student-athletes at Florida and UCLA did last year.

We love you, Coach Self and the fact that posers like APD will always suffer since they are really Mizzou fans.

Jaminrawk 13 years, 2 months ago

Cancel that Final Four trip for Roy. Georgetown punched thier ticket.

ColfromColorado 13 years, 2 months ago

Excuse me? This APD fella keeps saying that at different places. NC lost by what 12 or 14 points. I don't think that gets them past the Elite Eight. I wonder if this guy is really a fan or just another dunce who hates Bill Self for some unknown reason.

Listening to the players, Brandon is the only one who sounds like he could not be back next. He could use another year at the collegiate level. And it would be great for KU if he did.

Whatever he does, it is either welcome back or good luck in his future. Whatever he decides is fine.

Chris McIlvain 13 years, 2 months ago

As I have said on the other posts, it appears Ol' Roy still has Kansas running in his veins. Classic Kansas post-season meltdown dressed in Carolina Blue!
I don't hate Bill Self. I just hate that he couldn't figure out how to change an offensive set when the Bruins picked it apart THE ENTIRE 2nd HALF!

Jeremy Bolinger 13 years, 2 months ago

hahahahaha! spoke too soon dumbass! keep your ass of the computer and stop typing this crap and wasting our time!

Chris McIlvain 13 years, 2 months ago

Ummm, what? Like I said...Roy obviously still loves Kansas. He just coached a classic Kansas Meltdown wearing a lighter shade of Blue!

Jeremy Bolinger 13 years, 2 months ago

that was probably the dumbest thing i've heard in the last week. Maybe, just maybe, Kansas still hasn't gotten rid of Roy. Some people on here sure enough haven't let him go. 7 months until this starts all over again, and I cant f'n wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ralsterKUMed95 13 years, 2 months ago

Always interesting to start calling out either coach Roy or Bill. UNC fans are just as stunned as KU fans about their respective teams losses. But, HEY, it happens in the Big Dance. It is why the NBA plays 5 or 7 games, and the NCAA cannot because too many teams...Look at the stats--I personally do not care in this particular game about FTs (although bad), or the 21 turnovers (season high), as we went 14 for 33 on layups and putbacks. OUCH. That is WORSE than FT shooting. If we simply hit our 55-60% FG percentage of those 33 shots: 6 more buckets and maybe a couple of more made FTs, that is 14 points that we absolutely left on the floor. We would have won by 10+ even with the TOs & pisspoor FTs. Defensively, we had a boat-load of steals ourselves, so that negated some of the TOs we committed, but ya know, its just 'their day' when in a game they hit not one, but 3 (!) buzzer beaters, and all treys at that. Boys got tight for some reason. Russell Robinson and Darnell Jackson played their tails off (there is some Jr. leadership), while others were trying to be aggressive to the rim, but not finishing. The underclassmen need to keep working at it, and they will be fine. Darnell said it right post-game: too many guys trying it 1on1, and not looking for open looks, like we had all season. I LOVE this team and all the guys on it, and Coach Self, and it was not a lack of effort or heart or talent or athleticism, but we didnt finish some buckets, then got away from our offense. But getting to the Elite8 is no reason to be ashamed. We are proud of the season the team has had. For next year, NO reason we cant shoot FTs over 70% as a team next season. Already looking forward to next year. Hopefully our NONconference schedule next year is LOADED with top teams, which will prep our boys BETTER for national competition than beating up the pathetic bottom half of the BigXII. Playing a bunch of top teams should cure the tendency sometimes to play down to the level of the competition. Add a 7ft McD AAmer (Aldrich), & keep improving everyone elses skills and consistency, and maybe we give every team a-beatin'! Keeping the faith...

countryjayhawk 13 years, 2 months ago

Rush and Wright are the only ones realistically that could be first round picks, Sherron Collins no way, maybe in February I would have said yes but it showed in the post season he still has a lot of work to do, Chalmers same thing, he was extremely gunshy against UCLA, Darrell Arthur, not yet. As far as what Brandon does I wish him the best of luck, this is weird but defensively he is ready, he is a lockdown defender, but offensively still needs work on finishing when he attacks the basket, he has improved greatly because at least now he is attacking the basket. He will be a lottery pick next year if he stays

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