Saturday, May 26, 2007


Keegan: Booboo could be a blessing


If and only if Brandon Rush's right knee heals completely, that pick-up basketball game he played in Kansas City could end up being a disguised blessing for him.

We'll never know how Rush would have performed in next week's NBA camp in Orlando, just as we'll never know how Kansas University would have done without him next season.

This much we do know: Rush deserves praise for having the maturity and discipline to complete his fourth semester of school work and to keep himself from hiring an agent, a move that would have made him ineligible to return to KU.

Rush's decision to withdraw from the NBA Draft came Friday, two days after he suffered the knee injury.

Reached by cellular phone Friday afternoon, Rush's brother, JaRon, looked at the development optimistically.

"It's really exciting to get to watch him for another year or so," JaRon said. "Hopefully, they can get it done this time."

By get it done, JaRon meant win the national championship. The chances of doing that in 2007 died when JaRon's former school, UCLA, kept Kansas from advancing to the Final Four. JaRon didn't pretend to have split loyalties for that game.

Reader poll

Do you think that KU's basketball team should be ranked No. 1 with Rush coming back?

  • Yes 54% 2289 votes
  • No 39% 1657 votes
  • Undecided 5% 249 votes

4195 total votes.

"I was rooting for Brandon," said JaRon, who will coach at summer basketball camps in the Kansas City area. "I didn't know anybody at the school, so it was pretty much all for my brother."

Asked about his brother's knee injury, JaRon said, "I've heard about that, but I really don't know the specifics. I think he may be out for a few months."


"Maybe, but I really have no idea," JaRon said.

He sounded confident his brother will be back on the court for Kansas all of next season and will be better than ever.

"I think he ranks right there with what Kareem and I did in college," JaRon said of Brandon. "I think he can get a lot more rebounds if he gets in there more. I believe he needs to get just a little bit tougher. If he can go in there and fight for everything, he can sky-rocket to the top."

What else does he need to work on?

"Ballhandling and getting to the hole," JaRon said. "He needs to be able to create his own shot off the dribble, going to the hole. He has the stand-still jumper to go to. He has all kinds of things. Basically, he just needs to work on that."

And, of course, he needs extra work on his left-handed dribble. Brandon Rush broke his left arm in a tumbling accident more than 10 years ago, and it didn't heal properly. How much of his reluctance to go left is physical, how much mental is anybody's guess. He needs to force himself to go left every time he plays a pick-up game, once his knee heals.

When will that be? Tough to say.

Brandon Rush withdraws from NBA draft, returns to KU

KU basketball player Brandon Rush, who had earlier entered his name into consideration for the NBA draft, has now decided to return to KU for another season of Jayhawk basketball instead.

KU coach Bill Self said the knee will be re-evaluated next week. That's not a stall tactic. Often, doctors need to wait for swelling to subside for the pictures of the knee to be clear and accurate.

Picture this best-case scenario: Rush's knee recovers 100 percent well ahead of the first practice. He unveils a new and improved left hand, adds the interior toughness JaRon would like to see, and leads Kansas to a national title.

Imagine how high Rush would get drafted then. Imagine the guaranteed money.


skragglydoo 10 years, 12 months ago

Good God, Keegan. Is this an opinion piece or a factbook? Keegan: Booboo could be a blessing. No s@@@.

actorman 10 years, 12 months ago

Not that I think this was the greatest article in the world, but the only thing more predictable than death and taxes is that EVERY time someone writes a column here, people will immediately criticize it.

dsinger 10 years, 12 months ago

Why does the LJ World call us Kansas University? It appears to have been a staff-wide decision (since most articles I've read use the same wording), and I suppose it'd outwardly make sense since we're KU, but it's just flat wrong, isn't it? We've always been the University of Kansas, despite not being UK.

Anyone care to explain?

CasperCorps 10 years, 12 months ago

It saves ink to write Kansas University instead of the University of Kansas and it flows better in an article.

neilster 10 years, 12 months ago

When the University was founded, it was charted as Kansas University. Since nothing has ever been done to officially change that, it's Kansas University. My diploma reads University of Kansas, and that's how it's genrally referred to.

Nutflush21 10 years, 12 months ago

The Kansas University thing is a matter of journalistic style. The LJ-World decided long ago to universally use Kansas University to identify the school.

Robin Smith 10 years, 12 months ago

I think they're trying to cut down on confusion.

It may have to do with some infamous moments when guest speakers (possibly suffering from ignorance or dyslexia) refered to KU as UK, even though any casual college sports fan would know the difference. In particular I witnessed President Clinton botch the spoonerism and I'm sure he's not the only one.

All I can say is, "fuk Kentucky"

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

Count your blessings Brandon. You just lost out on $5-10 million bucks. I know would mind having that kind of money denied us by an injury.

Let's see, what's the annual interest on $5 million bucks invested at just 6%?

About $300,000. So he only missed out on $300-600K.

Assuming his knee heals 100%, that's all he lost. 300-600K is nothing!

Why 300K only accrues to $4,433,988.91 by the time he's 65 (45 years, monthly compounding at 6%)

Its so easy to discount other person's losses.

Mr. Keegan can quickly see the bright side to Brandon's lost income, and, yet, I bet Mr. Keegan thinks carefully about who's going to pick up the check when he goes to dinner.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

Oh, and then there's the little bit about the $5M, but that's chump change, right?

emeryhawk 10 years, 12 months ago

While this obviously helps the team next year, I'm bummed out for Brandon. Hopefully this injury isn't too serious! If he's back to anywhere near 100% next year, the squad will be fearsome. Still, the more I looked at his draft stock, the more it looked like he had made the right decision to declare. On the bright side, winning a national championship never hurt anyone's stock! Work hard in rehab, Brandon, and the NBA will be there!

kc_wildfire 10 years, 12 months ago

A silver lining for both parties.

KU, with a healthy Rush, is much better than without him and Rush is better off coming back for another year rather than watch himself be picked somewhere in the second round of the NBA Draft.

kujayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Don't forget to factor in what lotto picks get compared to late first round picks or early second round picks where Brandon was probably going to get picked. If he plays well next year, he has a chance to be near the lotto.

I'm not a big UCLA fan and I didn't watch JaRon much, but what did he accomplish at UCLA? Kareem had a great career at Mizzou, JaRon was a bust.

JayCeph 10 years, 11 months ago

They both were a bust (in terms of accomplishing things at their respective schools). Neither Kareem nor JaRon made any noise in the postseason. In fact, as far as I can remember, Mizzou didn't even make the postseason while Kareem was with them (outside of the NIT).

Brandon has done so much more on his college team than either one of his brothers. I'm not sure what JaRon was talking about in this article.

justanotherfan 10 years, 11 months ago

For the record...

Jaron had an incredible freshman season at UCLA (starter, played big minutes deep into a UCLA postseason run), then missed most of his soph year due to the suspension from the AAU thing. Little known fact is that Jaron had to declare because the NCAA was most likely going to rule him ineligible as a result of the AAU situation, so his college career was almost definitely done after that season whether he jumped to the NBA or not. People like to use him as an example because he didn't get picked, but its really not a good example because he wasn't going to play at UCLA the next year anyway.

Kareem was All-Big XII and like an Honorable mention All-American as a junior at Missouri (hardly a bust) before he declared. Along with that, he was a first round selection in the NBA and had a solid career with the Lakers and Bobcats, though he never moved past being more than a backup. Still, his NBA career was above average (since the average NBA career lasts only about 3 years).

Right now I would say that Brandon has done slightly more than Jaron but much less than Kareem.

Career numbers Freshman year Jaron - 11.4 pts, 7.3 rebs in 28 minutes Kareem - 14.7 pts, 4.3 rebs in 27 minutes Big XII freshman of the year Brandon - 13.5 pts, 5.9 rebs in 31 minutes

Soph Jaron - 12.1 pts, 5.7 rebs in 21 minutes (played only 9 games due to suspension) Kareem - 21.1 pts, 6.7 rebs in 30 minutes Honorable Mention AA Brandon - 13.8 pts, 5.6 rebs in 32 minutes

Junior Jaron - none Kareem - 19.8 pts, 5.2 rebs in 31 minutes Honorable Mention AA Brandon - none yet

As you can see from the numbers, Kareem had a better collegiate career to date, although BR can overtake him.

JayCeph 10 years, 11 months ago

Great analytical breakdown, justanotherfan. Good points all.

However, you neglected to include a couple of things in Brandon's resume for his freshman and sophomore years...

all BigXII 1st team (can't remember if it was in his frosh or soph year). Preseason All American (soph year). Wooden award finalist soph season. 4 BigXII champions (2 regular season and 2 tourney). Played in the Elite Eight in the NCAAs. And a couple of others but they are so mottled in my memory that I hesitate to include them.

But, by and large, you are correct about the games states. Very nice comparison.

didjabuti 10 years, 11 months ago

Wasn't Brandon the Big XII freshman of the year? Maybe not, I'll look it up

didjabuti 10 years, 11 months ago

Ok I just realized this article is way old so nobody will probably read my comments. I was on a long vacation and stayed away from the computer. Anyway for what it's worth he was freshman of the year and all BigXII first team his freshman year. Also it should be mentioned that Brandon's supporting cast has been much better than Kareem's and didn't need as many points from him. I'd also like to see the blocks statistics....oh yeah, I forgot that I'm talking to myself

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