Boulder, Colo. Being in Indianapolis instead of Kansas City certainly didn't stop Glenda Rush from getting in her youngest son's ear in recent days.
The matriarch of the family - in Indiana while middle son Kareem is playing for the Pacers - called Brandon Rush after watching Kansas University's basketball team fall Wednesday night to Kansas State.
"My mama jumped on me again about going to the hole," Brandon said with a sheepish grin following KU's 72-59 victory Saturday at Colorado. "She got on me after the K-State game, saying I disappeared in the second half."
Wednesday, in the 84-75 setback, Rush finished with a line that looked fine on paper - 15 points and seven rebounds. But 12 of those points and all seven boards came in the first half. In the second stanza, he was just 1-of-3 from the floor, hitting a three-pointer with the outcome already decided in the game's final minute.
Brandon, convinced Kareem may have dropped added hints to Glenda about what little bro needs to improve on to avoid a repeat of the second-half vanishing act, took mom's words to heart.
Rush finished Saturday with a line nearly identical to the one he posted three days earlier: 15 points and six rebounds.
But in Boulder, he didn't disappear at the break. KU couldn't afford for him to, tied at 30 after 20 minutes.
"He played big for us," KU senior forward Darnell Jackson said. "And now he knows that he needs to keep that momentum going every game, because we're gonna need him."
Rush and Jackson were involved in a huge late-game run that swung the tide in the Jayhawks' favor for good. In that spurt, Jackson finished a lob toss from Sherron Collins and nearly ripped the rim from the glass. Second was a thunderous two-hander from Sasha Kaun. Then came a soaring Rush one-handed slam in transition off a Mario Chalmers bounce pass in front of the students who taunted him while at the free-throw line moments earlier. Finally, Chalmers took a backdoor pass from Darrell Arthur and swung on the rim following a flush of his own.
The slam provided the final points of the day for Rush, who scored eight of his 15 after the intermission. He also made it a point to take CU defenders off the dribble, even getting to the free-throw line on a couple of occasions.
"I really think that Sherron's pass to Darnell, Mario's pass to Brandon in transition and then the backdoor play, we actually had three athletic plays in a row that gave us confidence and got our guys going, no doubt," KU coach Bill Self said.
Rush liked the return of KU's high-wire act late in the game. It could serve as a springboard, too, into Monday's second showdown of the year with Missouri.
"It's been awhile since we've had a lot of high-flying, alley-oop plays like that," Rush said. "It pumps the energy right into us.
"They stuck with us the whole game until the end, when we started pressuring, getting out, and it opened up from there."