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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Who goes where?

Rush confident in abilities at next level

A group of Jayhawks, from left, Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers, Sasha Kaun, Brandon Rush and Russell Robinson, stand together in this file photo from Austin, Texas. The five, plus Darnell Jackson, will learn their fate in the NBA Draft tonight in New York.

A group of Jayhawks, from left, Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers, Sasha Kaun, Brandon Rush and Russell Robinson, stand together in this file photo from Austin, Texas. The five, plus Darnell Jackson, will learn their fate in the NBA Draft tonight in New York.

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Frank Franklin II/AP Photo

Former KU guard/forward Brandon Rush responds to questions Wednesday in New York. ESPN's draft coverage begins at 6 tonight.

Brandon Rush, who turns 23 on July 7, has been deemed "NBA ready," by so-called experts entering tonight's draft at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Rush, whose brother Kareem plays for the Indiana Pacers, knows exactly what that tag means.

"I've spent three years in college. I've developed my body. I've gotten stronger. I play the type of game they play in the NBA, pick and roll, up-tempo," former Kansas University guard/forward Rush said Wednesday at a pre-draft news conference for possible lottery picks (top 14) at the Westin Times Square Hotel.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Kansas City, Mo., native, who left KU after three seasons, realizes he's a safe choice for a team needing a player to contribute immediate minutes. ESPN's Chad Ford said he'll be tapped No. 15 by Phoenix.

"I think I can bring some stuff to the table that teams need, being able to defend and shoot the three," said Rush, who wore a black sports coat and white shirt to the press session.

KU's other two certain first-round draft picks - Darrell Arthur and Mario Chalmers - are in New York for tonight's draft (6 p.m., ESPN) - but did not attend Wednesday's media session.

"I think I probably need to get stronger and keep my body in shape," Rush said. "The NBA season is a long journey."

Rush, who led the national champions in scoring at 13.3 points a game, impressed at his various individual workouts for pro teams. It's said his stock has increased since the national title game.

"I guess because of the type of team we had at Kansas. We were pretty well balanced," Rush said, speculating why he's sometimes overlooked as a scoring threat. "It was a different player stepping up every night. It's kind of hard to really appreciate an individual's skill set. But once you get into an individual workout, you have a chance to shine."

Rush actually wanted to be in New York a year ago for the draft. But an ACL injury forced his return to KU for a third season.

"Going back to school and learning the game, experiencing the whole college atmosphere and going to Kansas, which is a beautiful school, it taught me a lot," Rush said.

So where will he be selected tonight? Rush has heard rumors the New Jersey Nets may want him at No. 10. The Phoenix rumors at 15 remain strong. What about his brother's Pacers team at 11?

"I seriously doubt it because we play the same position," Brandon said. "We'd be battling everyday. It would be pretty funny though."

¢ ESPN's Ford believes Chalmers, a 6-1, 190-pound combo guard who will play point in the NBA, will be selected at No. 12 by Sacramento.

His stock went up after hitting the three-pointer that sent the national title game into overtime.

"I think it made an even bigger name, because people like winners. We proved that we were a winning team," Chalmers said.

He said he doesn't pay attention to mock drafts, even ones that now have him in the lottery.

"I try not to worry about that, because it's other people's opinions, not the GMs," Chalmers said.

¢ Arthur, a 6-9, 225-pound forward, says he's heard he will be tapped anywhere from No. 9 to 20 tonight. Ford says he'll be selected at 18 by Washington.

"I've done as well as I can to hopefully get a spot in the lottery," Arthur said. "I'm anxious. I'm worried and nervous about it, but I'm excited about it, so I'm just going to try to take it all in."

KU's Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun are projected as likely second-round picks tonight. There's a chance Russell Robinson could be chosen, as well.

Comments

Clarence Haynes 11 years, 5 months ago

During the course of the past 3 years this young man has become more poised and confident. Best of success!

yates33333 11 years, 5 months ago

We, KU alumni, can be proud. They weren't only good players, they were basically good kids. Hope they have all the best.

jayhawkinATL 11 years, 5 months ago

I am definitely proud of this group of guys. Hope all 5...um, 6...get drafted.

kunomu 11 years, 5 months ago

The stress fracture thing is that the stress fracture he had last summer never healed correctly and is still bothering him.

Chris Weaver 11 years, 5 months ago

i'm fairly certain that DA doesn't have a broken leg - he has worked out for teams recently.the kidney thing has some traction - he has complained about his back recently and there was a 5 - 8 day stretch this month where he didn't show up for workouts and nobody could get a hold of him.does anybody else know anything more about this?

nocaljayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

C'mon Kings---bring Mario here to Sacto!

justanotherfan 11 years, 5 months ago

JayViking,I agree, its sad that this group has moved on. I felt the same way when the Pierce, Pollard, LaFrentz, Vaughn, Haase group broke up in 97. I felt the same when the Simien, Miles, Lee, Langford group left in 05. College basketball is like that. You get groups that come in together, grow together, win together and then they all leave together (or mostly together). I'm sure in another few years, we will look back at the Morris twins, Tyshawn Taylor, Travis Releford and Quintrell Thomas as they have all departed and reminisce fondly about their time in the Fieldhouse.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 5 months ago

DA commented somewhere yesterday (?) that the "back problem" was just the result of repeatedly cramming a big body into a little airplane seat.I guess that could be damage control, but he has had a full workout schedule this week at least.

Paul Meyer 11 years, 5 months ago

Justanotherfan, is relating the philosophy "Reloading, not rebuilding"

Ben Kane 11 years, 5 months ago

anyone if know if there are any truths to the injury rumors about DA (broken leg/kidney problems)?

JayViking 11 years, 5 months ago

picture on the front makes me sad i won't see any of these guys play for us again

truefan 11 years, 5 months ago

My only problem with the NBA is that I don't have a home team to root for (Chiefs, Royals) and so I just end up rooting for whatever teams have a KU player. The Celtics winning the title and giving Pierce and Pollard a ring was pretty much the most excited I have ever been about an NBA game...ever. Who knows Nocalijayhawk, maybe I'll be rooting for the Kings with you next season.

kltbadboyz 11 years, 5 months ago

Is Chalmers getting traded for Jackson? Saw that on the trades on espn.

jaybate 11 years, 5 months ago

I'm officially ill. Rush at 13 was real. Arthur and Chalmers between 24 and 30 make me sick. This is brutal for Arthur and for Chalmers. The lesson? The NBA prefers size, regardless of position.It is still good to be a Jayhawk, but it is not good to be Arthur, or Chalmers right now.

jaybate 11 years, 5 months ago

CELTIC SUCCESS WITH DEFENSE IMPROVES KU PLAYERS POSITION IN DRAFTWinners are emulated. KU won an NCAA ring with defense. But, the GMs said, that was college ball. Yet now Boston has won an NBA ring with defense, so GMs and coaches are suddenly hot to emulate the Celtics. But what rookies can already play defense? So many college coaches talk about playing D, but almost none of them make it a litmus test to get minutes; they have to keep the blue chippers stroked and most of the blue chippers don't want to pay the price to get their butts down and slide for 40 minutes. Howland just teaches them to slap.Roy's boys play enough D to keep up the pace, but they aren't indoctrinated to win with defense. J Thompson 2.0? He's still playing his father's thug ball; NBA players take guys who try to play Georgetown defense in the L and break their noses until they stop.Huggo-Muggo defense? Same deal. Face rearrangement city by the perma ballers of the NBA.Coach K? He just teachers players how to be three point pussies and then trip people when ever they get behind.Bob Knight could coach defense, but he quit.Right now, there's only one college campus to one stop shop for defense; that's Lawrence on the Kaw.Guys who played for Bill Self at KU play manly defense, or they don't play. They are taught the fundamentals. They are taught the tricks. They are taught how to out rough anybody who tries to maul them. They are taught the Howland hack'n'slap. Their manhoods have been questioned for lack of defensive commitment. They have collected splinters for not playing close enough to inhale atomic balm fumes from their opponents jocks. They are taught to defend everywhere on the court every way there is to defend. They don't just try to stop teams from scoring, they try to wreak havoc.Allen Fieldhouse is the home of the Institute for Advanced Defensive Studies. You want NBA defense now, not later? Draft one of those guys with weird bird decal in the rear window of their rigs.Note: every NBA coach hates teaching millionaires to play team defense. Defense is work. Millionaires don't work--they play. A few coaches, like LB, and now Doc Rivers, who really want to win go ahead and perform the coaching equivalent of a root canal without anesthesia on these millionaires, because they know its the only way.Others like Phil Jackson and Pat Riley refuse to do the procedure themselves, they just limit themselves to picking up old vets who already know how.Coach Self is kind of like a vendor at a ball game with something everybody loves, like frosty malt on the Fourth of July: Hey, get your defensive players here, get'em while they last, hey, get your defensive players before they're gone!Its great to be a Jayhawk right now.

Lin Rahardja 11 years, 5 months ago

I have the same challenge as you truefan...It was good to see Celtics with 3 all-stars won their first NBA ring. That Garnett was such a factor defensively. Pierce + Allen, offensively.I thought Pierce was the best player we had during his college career, but I didn't think he would be such a dominant player. We knew he could shoot given a little daylight, but his will to go to the basket was not a consistent skill he showed during his college days. He definitely surpassed everyone's expectations. Way to go Pierce.

jaybate 11 years, 5 months ago

J. R. Gidden taken #30? Ainge prefers Gidden to Chris Douglas Roberts? What is wrong with this picture? I thought you were the smartest guy in the NBA after the ring. Was it a fluke?Chris Douglas Roberts 40?CDR was significantly better than Mario and he would eat Gidden alive.

100 11 years, 5 months ago

As great as Mario was in the college game, surely most of us knew he wasn't a first round NBA pick without another year of college ball. We tried our hardest to let him know for five weeks to not get sucked into the hype with our posts, right? I hope so... Its too bad, but its logical. He's not a first rounder. He'll be fine, but boy he just wasted a year of incredible national hype to sit on the bench with a one year contract. Best of luck Mario, you're a classy Jayhawk. Rock Chalk.

jayhawkfan78 11 years, 5 months ago

Does anyone know anything about Darrels kidney issue....that kinda threw me for a loop but something obviously wasn't being disclosed with him falling this far!

jaybate 11 years, 5 months ago

Silver lining? Surely Boston will take Arthur or Chalmers.

jaybate 11 years, 5 months ago

Patrick Ewing Jr. is now better than Darnell Jackson, or Sasha Kaun.Are they going to start picking Wesley Snipes before Dblock and Kaun?

jaybate 11 years, 5 months ago

I am presently applying salt and pepper to my hat and cutting it into bite sized portions. Arthur must really have some baggage we do not know about. Teams interest in Chalmers seems to have been a faint while the teams zeroed in on foreign bigs.

jaybate 11 years, 5 months ago

Let me get this straight: Nicholas Batem of France and George Hill are better than Arthur and Chalmers? This is insane. Have Arthur and Chalmers contracted some antibiotic resistance bacteria?

BigBundyTime 11 years, 5 months ago

WTF!! KU bias aside...these teams are picking some rediculous dumb picks. Noone will even know who half of these people are in 2 years.

100 11 years, 5 months ago

but you're looking at spots on the floor with the NBA game. CDR will get eaten alive at his position. Giddens will be a great NBA 3 man.

jaybate 11 years, 5 months ago

Byron Scott builds toward a KU front line.

Michael Auchard 11 years, 5 months ago

As much as I want to say "I told you so" to certain KU players, who really cares, they're still in the league and I wish them the best. As far as Chalmers... WOW. You get to play with D-Wade and Beasley. The need a point guard, way to go. And D. Arthur looks like he'll be playing in Houston at this point? Boy, that kidney thing has got to be pissing him off right now. Apparent bullcrud? Who knows. Looks like it was all a random red herring, though, from what I've read.Rush and T.J. Ford in the backcourt together? Mwahahahaha! Now THAT should be entertaining to watch!Hope Julian gets more playing time next year, too. Man, the league is looking pretty crimson and blue these days.

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