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2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Monday, April 7, 2008

For Rush, final a family affair

Brandon expects support tonight from relatives



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— Kareem Rush really wants to see his baby brother play basketball tonight on the country's biggest stage.

"He's going to get fined for missing his game tomorrow to come down here," said Kansas University junior Brandon Rush, who'll start at small forward in tonight's national title game against Memphis (8:21 p.m., Alamodome).

Actually, Kareem, a guard with the Indiana Pacers, played against Milwaukee on Sunday night in Indianapolis and doesn't have another game until Tuesday, so if he's fined it'd be for missing a practice, not a game.

Whatever the case, Brandon Rush will be happy for the support of not only former Missouri player Kareem, but brother JaRon, who played at UCLA and who now lives in the Rushes' hometown of Kansas City, Mo.

"They haven't been here, so I've got the edge on them. I talked to JaRon last night and gave him an earful about how I got here first and stuff like that," Brandon said of JaRon's never making it past the Sweet 16; Kareem made it once to the Elite Eight.

"They haven't given me any experience points at all on what to do. (But) they've supported me a lot. It's good to see my family here in the stands," added Brandon Rush, whose mom and grandmother also are in San Antonio.

Rush - he reiterated at Sunday's media session he would have stayed in the draft last year had he not torn his ACL - indicated the injury was a "blessing in disguise" because he's having a blast in the 2008 NCAAs.

"It's been fun playing with these guys. Ever since I was in rehab (last summer), they've been pushing me and helping me, showing how much love they have for me," said Rush, who is considered a lock to enter the 2008 NBA Draft.

"This is what I came back for. I thought about it the whole time in rehab. It's what kept pushing me in the rehab room, working harder and harder each day."

The 6-foot-6 Rush likely will draw the defensive assignment on 6-7 Chris Douglas-Roberts, who enters with an 18-points-a-game scoring average.

"I love being in that role, trying to limit one of the star players," Rush said. "I know he's probably going to get his points, but I will try to make him work for them because I think he's going to be a tough matchup."

Of the game, Rush said: "I think it'll come down to who makes the key stop at the end. We're both great on the offensive end, but we've got a defensive edge to us because we like to pressure a lot, and they like to contain a little bit."

It officially will be the last game for seniors Russell Robinson, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun, Jeremy Case and the injured Rodrick Stewart, with it likely the last game for Rush and sophomore Darrell Arthur, who also is expected to turn pro. Junior Mario Chalmers and sophomore Sherron Collins possibly could be back.

"We've definitely thought about that a lot because it's the last time everybody will be on the court together with the same group of guys," Rush said. "We definitely want to leave out of here with something on our shoulders with the championship (trophy)."


fansincewilt 12 years, 11 months ago

Christ Douglas-Roberts will be contained tonight.

Jaminrawk 12 years, 11 months ago

CDR is a hell of a player, so is Rose. But Hansbrough, Ellington and Lawson are all great players too and KU did a pretty good job slowing them down. Here's hoping ...

KU 12 years, 11 months ago

I think it's like we learned against KSU and Texas: If you can contain the REST of the team, the superstars can't beat you alone. Beasley scored 39 at AFH and KU won; Commit too much help on Beasley and you got 20 apiece from Walker and Pullen at Manhattan and we lost.Commit too many people to stopping Augustin's dribble penetration in Austin and he scores 14 but Atchley kills you with scoring and rebounding; play them more straight up in the conference final, Augustin goes for 20 and KU wins.If we can contain the rest of Memphis' team, CDR and Rose can't beat us by themselves.

suzifrye 12 years, 11 months ago

I think Arthur may stay. From what I read yesterday in the paper he made a comment that if his family wants him to stay another year then he will do what his family wants. He said that his mom really wants him to stay in school and what moma wants moma gets. So hopefully he will stay, I do think Rush will be leaving. Chalmers and Collins will stay. I also think KU will be coming home with that trophy tonight. Rock Chalk Jayhawks!!!

Rock Klein 12 years, 11 months ago

Hopefully, DA has seen the benefit of Brandon staying another year. DA should do the same, as another year of developing under Danny Manning make him a much more marketable pro.

Dale Kroening 12 years, 11 months ago

I agree Rush and DA are gone,and Mario has had a great year.Sherron has had flashes at times,but hes not ready for the league,and Mario would be in a much better position if he came back for his senior season.The upcoming draft class is very deep.DA will get picked at 15-20 because of size and potential,Brandon will be a late 1st early 2nd as will Mario if he comes out.Sherron is a 2nd rd pick right now and would be crazy to come out.Sasha and Darnell are also 2nd rd picks.Either way I wish the guys luck,and either way we will still be pretty good next season.Lets get this one tonight and worry about everything else later!Go Jayhawks!

lance1jhawk 12 years, 11 months ago

Lebowski- I couldn't agree more. D.A. really could blossom next year and his stock could sky-rocket. Looking at the guys coming out in front of him pushes him down to early to mid second round. Not really a place you want to get drafted at. If he does want to leave, then I wish him nothing but the best.

KU 12 years, 11 months ago

Arthur isn't a natural scorer, despite his athleticism. How many KU bigs have ever shot below 50% from the field like Shady? (Primarily because he settles for that fade-away.)For him to be great in the NBA, he'll need to sell out for playing great defense, altering shots and rebounding. We haven't seen him do that yet in 2 years at KU.Hopefully he can do it one time.....tonight......for one shining moment.

Dale Kroening 12 years, 11 months ago

DA is shooting 53.8% this season,and shot the same last season.

Dale Kroening 12 years, 11 months ago

I mean .538 - how is that under 50% unless your just talking the tourney.

soapboxstew 12 years, 11 months ago

We are going to need DA to be helping from the weak side and blocking those driving-to-the-bucket lay-ups that Memphis lives so well on...If he can get a few blocks, we will see a much more tentative tiger, which is much less of a threat.

classfan 12 years, 11 months ago

Anybody getting nervous yet....How about butterflies....All I can say, is after tonight I hope all the KU fans have new excuses. Its been 20 years since two Carolina guys brought a NC to Lawrence ( Brown and Manning) and all the excuses since are getting old. A curse has been laid upon the KU doorstep. You can watch for it tonight. You will be able to tell when it enters into the game. Its a magical thing to see. The only way for KU to get rid of the curse is to find a little class. Wouldn't it be cool tonight if in the final seconds of the game, with the Chokehawks down, all the fans of the other schools starting chanting Rock Caulk Chokehawk. I can't wait. See you all at the game. I'll be the one in crimson and blue....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk.

jayhawker_97 12 years, 11 months ago

Dear Brandon:we wanted to let you know that we're here in San Jose have been supporting you and will always support you all the way. we're gathering tonight at a friend's house with the other Big-12 supporters from Texas, Okie, and even Arizona to experience you and the team greatness!!!!we salute you for being who you've become with all the decisions you made, the man you are now.go Rock the world, enjoy your Final moments: championship and play your last game as a Jayhawk!we can't wait to see you & team beak another cat!!go Jayhawks!

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