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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Rush: This isn’t a surprise

Kansas guard Brandon Rush runs away with a steal from Colorado forward Jeremy Williams during the second half of Wednesday night's game against the Buffaloes at the Coors Events Center in Boulder. Right is Kansas forward Darnell Jackson.

Kansas guard Brandon Rush runs away with a steal from Colorado forward Jeremy Williams during the second half of Wednesday night's game against the Buffaloes at the Coors Events Center in Boulder. Right is Kansas forward Darnell Jackson.

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Brandon Rush, who spent the weekend in Dallas "on vacation, chillin' with my best friend, getting the stress off my back," returned to Lawrence in time to attend class and work out Monday.

The Kansas University sophomore received a warm welcome from his teammates four days after entering his name in the 2007 NBA Draft.

The reaction of KU's student body, however, wasn't nearly as favorable as that of Rush's traveling companion - UMKC junior guard Tim Blackwell.

"The reaction of the students has been pretty bad. They are saying, 'It's a bad decision. How are you going to leave us like that?'" Rush said Monday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse.

"You have to deal with it (criticism), 'cause knowing I was coming here as a freshman, they should have known I was going to be a one- or two-year guy. I don't see why they look for me to stay another year."

Of course, there remains a slight possibility Rush would return to KU for a third season.

The 6-foot-6 Kansas Citian said he won't hire an agent until after heading to the Orlando, Fla., draft camp May 29-June 1, as well as various NBA cities for weeks of 1-on-1 workouts leading to the June 28 draft.

"After the workouts, if they guarantee I am a first-round pick, I'll have an agent," said Rush, who must withdraw from the draft by June 18 if he wants to return to KU. "It'd definitely be after the workouts. It's up in the air because I've got a lot of things ahead of me.

"Yes," he added, asked if his aim is to leave. "Everybody wants to go to the NBA."

Rush - who hears he could be picked anywhere between "15 to 35" (there are 30 picks in round one) - must pay his own way to camps. Negotiating with an agent would render him ineligible for next season.

"They will want to get to me. I have been avoiding them all year long. I can avoid them another two months," he said of agents.

Rush said he did not consult with his brother, former Missouri and ex-NBA player Kareem, about last week's decision.

"I'm 21 years old," Rush said. "I've talked to Kareem twice since I made my decision. He feels I am a lock for the first round."

Rush insisted he hadn't made up his mind to enter the draft until the end of a two-hour meeting with KU coach Bill Self last Wednesday in Self's office.

photo

Julian Wright and Brandon Rush.

"We sat down. He gave me some information. I made the decision right there," Rush said.

He admitted his performance during his sophomore season - which included his emergence as a defensive stopper - had him leaning toward entering the draft for months.

"I had a gut feeling I'd test it out like I did my senior year (when he withdrew the day before the deadline)," he said, adding, "I knew I'd do it all along when I saw the players that came out this year and I played against some of them. It'll be good competition going head to head with some of those guys in workouts."

Rush says he has to be "in top shape" for the individual workouts which - if they go well - would cement his status as a first-round pick.

"I'll work out with my brother (Kareem, likely in Los Angeles). I'll go there or somewhere else like that. Those workouts are tough. I remember (in high school) the pre-draft camp was fun, playing pickup games, 5-on-5 with the top players. I'm looking forward to it."

Rush, who has taken 12 hours of coursework this semester, is intent on passing his classes so KU won't be hurt on the NCAA's APR scale if he leaves.

"I wanted to stay in Dallas a couple more days," he said. "I was tempted to. But I have some schoolwork to take care of here, things to make up. I'm trying to finish up right."

Self obviously is happy Rush has returned from Dallas to fulfill academic obligations. Yet the coach, who hadn't spoken with Rush since 7:30 p.m. last Thursday, on Monday expressed displeasure with Rush during a 30-minute meeting with his team's leading scorer.

"Coach was a little disappointed how I didn't tell everybody. We had a 30-minute conversation. Next time I'll be up front with him. I'm sorry about that," he said of only informing his hometown paper Thursday night. "It (announcement) was pre-arranged by somebody. It was all kind of set up."

As far as not sticking around Friday to give a statement to Self, Rush said: "I couldn't talk to him Friday. I heard he was up there yelling. I didn't want to deal with it when I was going on vacation, try to get everything off my back until I got back here today.

"My family has been behind me 100 percent. My teammates are behind me 100 percent and the coaches. It's all I'm worried about now."

Comments

tis4tim 7 years, 7 months ago

"...they should have known I was going to be a one- or two-year guy. I don't see why they look for me to stay another year."

I know nobody REALLY knows for sure with kids and anything can come out in the flow of an interview, but that quote makes me think Rush is gone now.

CasperCorps 7 years, 7 months ago

How much better did he get from the time he got here to now?... Good luck lefty...

Jonathan Andrews 7 years, 7 months ago

Rush, we've been blessed ot have you here, and you have been blessed to be here. I hope the hard feeling of a few ingrates doesn't take away from your opinion of the college experience.

We'll be fine, he'll be fine. Go Rush! Go KU!

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 7 months ago

Although I support Brandon in his decision, I DO NOT think KU owes Brandon anything, especially holding onto his scholarship. Brandon needs to know that if Bill finds a suitable replacement, he's going to have to offer Brandon's scholarship. If Brandon decides to come back, then he'll have to pay his own way...hell, it's not like a future NBAer won't be able to take out a couple of student loans.

Carter Patterson 7 years, 7 months ago

Brandon! Thanks for finishing up your course work. I know its the last thing on your mind.

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 7 months ago

So, Bill was "up there yelling." Well, Brandon.......I wonder why? If you are the man you say you are then you would have not given him the opportunity to be yelling.

Glad you and Self sat down to talk. This is only the beginning of things like this since you are now 21, a man, and going into the big world.

I truly hope you accomplish your dream this year. However, if you do not feel comfortable please come back to KU. Everybody is family and even though some feel you shouldn't pursue your dream there is always a place for you at KU now and in the future.

Jclarkson 7 years, 7 months ago

i posted on here last week and i mentioned to the fact that some players could do the coaches a favor and be more upfront about their decision making process. brandon said it himself that he's known for months. tell bill that next time and we can replace you accordingly. it shows that there is a lack of respect to the future of the program when all you are thinking about is top 20, no i mean top 25, no i mean 35. pretty much if someone tells RUSH he is going to be picked he's gone. i just hope theres a senior right now that needs a team and is super talented.

Kyle Rohde 7 years, 7 months ago

"only informing his hometown paper" Hehe....the Kansas City Star???

Brandon sounds like the arrogant superstar we feared he was when he got here. He and Julian should not be surprised that fans weren't happy with them leaving - we've been so sheltered from the early-entry trend that's hit every other big time program. Look at all the guys who've left Duke very early (Brand, Avery, Maggette, Deng, etc.). All we've had is Pierce/Gooden and we're incredibly lucky in that regard.

Larry Smith 7 years, 7 months ago

The one thing that I have noticed with college programs these days is that the schools with heavy turnover and early enties into the draft also seem to be the teams that have had the most success. The high quality players just don't stick around these days. Maybe final fours and championships are in our future.

jayloco 7 years, 7 months ago

That's pretty low of KU students to get on Brandon about his decision. What business is it of theirs? I also like the people that were all on Rush's jock while he was a Jayhawk, but now that he is going pro, "Oh, he's not all that good". Give me a break folks. I wish Rush the best and while I selfishly would like one more year out of him, he owes the fan base and the school nothing. I agree that maybe he should have been more up front with BS, but he even said that a decision was not made until that final meeting with BS. To be honest, his departure will open up key minutes for the other players. I can see DA becoming a big star next year.

suzifrye 7 years, 7 months ago

It's really not anyone's business what Rush does but it's how he does it and how he handles things, God for bid coach would put a damper on Rushe's vacation so he just leaves. Here's my thing Mr. Rush may not be going pro and if he does come back he is coming back to some very unhappy fans. I am not unhappy with him for wanting to go pro I am very unhappy with him for the way he handled all of it. He doesn't owe any of us the respect but he does owe it to the coaches and the players.

filmhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

as a fan, i am disappointed to loose b-rush. very disappointed. next year looks sketchy, no matter how optomistic people want to get. but i can't chide kareem and jaron's little brother for leaving. i don't think there is a lot that he can improve on in one year's time - especially becoming ambidextrous. he's right, we all did know that he was a one or two year player when he came in, and if we didn't expect that, we were foolish. but using the "i'm a man" excuse for not consulting his brother, should lead him to the responsibility of telling his coach and teammates about his decision.

long and short is - good luck b-rush - make us proud - we'll be watching - and rock chalk next year - we've got our work cut out for us.

Jclarkson 7 years, 7 months ago

Im disapointed to lose Rush....but its his decision. at the end of the day, no player or coach is bigger than KU basketball.

countryjayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

does anyone have or know what Julian Wright said on his facebook, apparently he fired back at his critics via his facebook profile.

freak2304 7 years, 7 months ago

Like I've said before, I'm disappointed in him leaving because I believe he will sit the bench/play in the D-league for a couple years before even having a chance at the next level. This year's draft is so stacked. If he did come back next year and have a quality year, he could go top 15. Either way, it's his decision and hopefully everything works out for him. I just don't think it will.

KURUSH1530 7 years, 7 months ago

B Rush..just hire an agent, I'd love to do it for you, because it seems as if I'm the only person in KU nation that believes you are going to be a 15-25 lock. There will be nothing to work on next year if you come back to college that will have that huge of an impact. If this years draft is stacked, next years will be worse. Because the guys that dont get picked this year will be back next, plus you throw in guys that are one year and done (Mayo, Walker, Beasley, Gordon and possibly a few others). Rush is already an excellent defender and shooter, the NBA game suits his skills better than the college level.

hawkitup 7 years, 7 months ago

Rush is gone. He's pretty much signed, sealed, and delivered. Thanks for two great years have fun in the NBA for however long that lasts you.

bmkjayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Some of you think KU is in major trouble next year. I disagree. Self says Arthur is potentially the best big man he's ever recruited. If that is true and we see it next year, then I'd say we've got the post covered (one stud in Arthur, and several other solid contributors; you cannot ask for more than one manchild). Between Robinson, Chalmers, and Collins, the 1-2 positions are very strong. Obviously, losing Rush and Wright hurts the 3-spot, but I really do think that the other four positions are covered pretty well, depth included.

I know I shouldn't reference the 2004-2005 Jayhawks, but here is a typical starting five for that season:

Miles Langford Giddens Simien (maybe Giles when Simien was out) Moody

They were a preseason #1 in some polls. Yes I am aware of what happened in their last nine games, most notably their last game, and I am also aware that each season the competition changes based on the quality of other teams. However, sometimes you can only ask for a better team than some of the ones in the past, and this one should be better than any of the ones Self has had at KU yet, outside of 2006-2007.

jcsmith 7 years, 7 months ago

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. Did Mr. Rush NOT put his name into the NBA draft prior to his freshman year? I thought original reports said he entered then withdrew his name after he realized he wasnt a very high prospect. Now if this is the case, since he has submitted his name for the draft this year, that would make him uneligable to return to school. Even under his profile on NBADraft.net, it states, "Has already tested the draft process, so if he enters the draft he must stay in ..."

Am I missing something here?

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 7 months ago

In all fairness what in the world would you expect Self to say? That the team will be the pits?

Have to take tongue in cheek what BS says publicity. He's a talker and good one at that.

Trey Hohman 7 years, 7 months ago

Maybe facebook can sponsor a dribbling contest between Juillian and Bo....Whomever can get the ball stolen from him faster, wins...

Chicago_JHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

jcsmith - You can only enter and withdraw once as a college player, but he entered his name the first time as a HS senior, so he can also do so once (and withdraw) in college.

BigTamale 7 years, 7 months ago

We gotta see B Rush as a "gift" that fell in our laps (literaly). We all loved that he played with us (what we thought would only be a year) for TWO years!

We should ask ourselves this question: Over the last 2 years, were we better off with or without Rush?

Like Rush said, we knew what kind of relationship this was going to be.

I wish Rush would come back for another year, but he's gotta do what he's gotta do.

Thanks B Rush for your effort and the great memories.

actorman 7 years, 7 months ago

"brandon said it himself that he's known for months. tell bill that next time and we can replace you accordingly."

That makes NO sense. Since there's STILL a possibility that he is coming back (since he hasn't signed with an agent yet), telling BS 3 months ago wouldn't have made the slightest difference. Either way, Brandon's scholarship can't be replaced until he's 100% gone.

"Mr. Rush may not be going pro and if he does come back he is coming back to some very unhappy fans."

Another nonsensical comment. Do you honestly think for a SECOND that the fans will be unhappy with him if he comes back? The fans would be THRILLED to have him back and would welcome him with open arms!

countryjayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Brandon Rush is a man and he should be able to make his own decesions. We can disagree all we want with that decesion, but there is no reason at all we shouldnt respect him still. We knew what we were getting when we drafted him. I hate it just as much as anyone that the NBA is able to take these talented players from us. Do I think these guys are crazy for leaving, yeah I do. They are turning down an opportunity to wear the Kansas uniform for 2 more years, the NBA isnt going anywhere. The excuse I always hear is the "injury" excuse, has that actually ever happenend?? That is all my opinion though. However it kind of bothers me that i keep hearing a different story from Rush, wasnt it he wasnt going unless he was a lottery pick, then that became a top 20 pick, now its just first round pick. Brandon needs to keep in mind that if he goes late in the first round he will probably go to a good team who wont need him right away. Look at Simien, he plays what 10 minutes a game?

tis4tim 7 years, 7 months ago

As for the "injury" excuse. I can't recall how they may have fared in the draft had they gone early, but Archie Marshall (though I can't recall whether he was a strong pro prospect or not either...any help?) and Kenyon Martin come to mind. Kenyon still made it, but he's never been the same player since. Even Shaun Livingston...had he stayed in college, he would have been a junior or senior. Anyone who hasn't seen that footage of his knee disintegrating while going in for a layup...man, that's what these guys fear, I'm sure.

Trey Hohman 7 years, 7 months ago

Um, Brandon Rush at 21. Um, Kobe Bryant at 21. Um, are you serious?

Um, Juillian Wright at 20. Um, Luol Deng at 20. Um, are you serious?.

Um, Brandon Rush at 21, um, JR Giddens at 21. Um, toss up?

Um, Juillian Wright at 20, um, Bo Outlaw at 20. Um, toss up?

filmhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

um, i don't get it.

wright's ceiling is very high - and rush could be an outstanding defensive roll player for a long time.

how did giddens and outlaw enter the conversation?

Nick1421J 7 years, 7 months ago

Julian, The fact is that you dont tell the KU nation your coming back, and not do it. And for Brandon, it doesnt sound like you want to be here, and coach self has had it with you to. Hire an agent, move on, and give us the scholarship. Im sure we can find a talented player who will stay for longer than they did. Its Kansas Basketball, were always gonna be good, we have tons of good players coming back, someone will step up and will contend for another big twelve conference championship.

Trey Hohman 7 years, 7 months ago

I'll bet Bo Outlaw's ceiling was also very high back when he was 20....As was Sam Bowie's..

Bo Outlaw: senior year, age 21 while at Univ. of Houston:

16.2ppg. - 10.5 reb/gm 3.3 assists/gm. 2.2 steals/gm 3.7 blocked shots/gm.

byron 7 years, 7 months ago

Best of luck Brandon-hope the NBA thing works out this year for you, if not your always welcome back in Jayhawk land--rock chalk

Nick1421J 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree that the fans would be thrilled, but it seems to me that brandon has his eyes set in one direction...$$$

lee3022 7 years, 7 months ago

Thank you to Brandon for all you have invested in KU and yourself while here. Two consecutive Big-12 championships and an Elite-8 are fine achievements. Perhaps you choose to return and I welcome that but I understand that the NBA is the best competition in the world is basketball (at least until the Olympics and the World Championships). If you truly feel you have progressed as far as you can here, then it is time to take it to the next level. If you really believe in yourself and that is what you want to do it does not matter where you might be drafted. You will be invited or drafted to a summer league and probably a training camp and you can prove yourself there as well. God's richest blessings upon you.

rockchalk66 7 years, 7 months ago

Good luck Rush, But I do hope you dropout of the draft and come back

css5 7 years, 6 months ago

Let's just move on... they have made their decisions whether we like it or not. Plus, if they were so good, why didn't we win the whole thing?

ames14501 7 years, 6 months ago

your an idiot brandon, your gonna be just like your two loser brothers, can anyone in the Rush family learn a lesson, no matter how good you think you are....you need all 4 years of school because you will need a degree to fall back on. I promise this guy will be a complete joke just like his brothers. hes not even a dominant player in college, maybe hes going for 10th man of the year award in the NB GAY. Dont even think about bringin your sorry ass back to my fieldhouse, you are not welcome. Especialy after the way you just said " people should have known i was a 1 or 2 year guy" NO BRANDON, MAYBE YOU SHOULD LEARN FROM KAREEM AND JARON.

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