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Friday, May 23, 2008

Rush impresses in Chicago

Kansas guard Brandon Rush slaps hands with fans as the Jayhawks take the court for practice in this file photo. KU worked out at the Alamodome in San Antonio on the eve of the 2008 national semifinal game against North Carolina.

Kansas guard Brandon Rush slaps hands with fans as the Jayhawks take the court for practice in this file photo. KU worked out at the Alamodome in San Antonio on the eve of the 2008 national semifinal game against North Carolina.

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Kansas University's Brandon Rush, Kansas State's Bill Walker and several other college standouts have been working out in Chicago the past several weeks under the direction of Tim Grover, who is regarded as one of the top athletic trainers in the world.

Grover - he tutored former KU player Julian Wright in weeks preceding the 2007 NBA Draft - has famous clients in Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, Dwyane Wade, Juwan Howard as well as baseball great Alex Rodriguez.

Rush had an impressive Wednesday workout under the watchful eyes of ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford.

"Rush has been working nonstop for several weeks and looks as though he finally has regained his explosiveness and lateral quickness (following last spring's ACL surgery)," Ford said in his column at ESPN.com.

Ford applauded Rush's "beautiful jump shot, smooth demeanor and his above-average size for his position. I saw him work out with Timberwolves' forward Antoine Walker. Rush shot about 80 to 90 percent from the field. He can hit his shot from just about anywhere."

Ford believes Rush will be tapped No. 22 in the first round of the June 26 draft by Orlando. Ford also said he could see Rush going as high as No. 15 to Phoenix.

Ford, who also observed Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts and USC's O.J. Mayo at Grover's state-of-the art ATTACK Athletics Center on the Windy City's West side, said K-State forward Walker has lost 30 pounds since the end of the 2007-08 season.

Walker - who also impressed Ford - says he'll remain in the draft if he believes he's a first-round pick.

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Bobo circus continues: J'Mison "Bobo" Morgan, who held a news conference on Nov. 2, 2007 to announce his desire to attend LSU, canceled his Thursday presser in which he was expected to commit to UCLA.

Morgan's mom, Bianca, told the Los Angeles Daily News the re-scheduled news conference was "definitely" set for today. Asked by reporter Brian Dohn if UCLA was the school "Bobo" would attend, she said, "Yes, definitely."

She recently listed UCLA, KU and Cincinnati as finalists for "Bobo," who attends Dallas South Oak Cliff High.

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Chip off old block: Santa Clara basketball coach Kerry Keating, who is the son of KU senior associate AD/hoops schedule maker Larry Keating, apparently has learned some tricks of the scheduling trade from his papa.

ESPN's Andy Katz says the younger Keating is putting together a format for 2009-10 to guarantee Santa Clara two home and two road games with four teams from four other conferences.

Katz says Keating will get teams from the Mountain West, Big Sky, Big West and WAC. The five coaches (Keating is from the West Coast Conference) would agree to play two home games and two road games that would be arbitrarily drawn. No one would have to return the game the following season. Katz reports each team could lock in two home games, important to mid-major schools.

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Fran loves Arthur: ESPN's Fran Fraschilla is another analyst who expects KU's Darrell Arthur to be a sure lottery pick in the June 26 draft. Fraschilla says the 6-foot-9 Arthur will be tapped No. 9 overall by Charlotte.

"He runs the court as well as any big man in college basketball," Fraschilla said in his column on ESPN.com. "Like all of Kansas' top seven, he checked his ego at the door and only played 25 minutes a game for the national champs. With added strength, he's a young Horace Grant."

Arthur has not yet hired an agent, but is considered a lock to remain in the draft.

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Pre-draft camp: Jeff Goodman of Foxsports.com says six Jayhawks will attend next week's NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando, Fla. Arthur, Rush and Mario Chalmers are expected to attend only for physicals and interviews with NBA executives. Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun and Russell Robinson are expected to play in camp games in an attempt to work their way into the second round of the draft.

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ISU stung: Iowa State coach Greg McDermott is reeling from the recent decision of Wesley Johnson to transfer to a yet-to-be-determined school.

McDermott is upset Johnson, one of the Big 12's best players, has said he decided long ago to not return to ISU, yet informed McDermott of his decision just a week ago.

McDermott is not sure if he'll grant a release to Johnson.

"If this had happened in mid-March, as much as I wouldn't have wanted it to happen, we would have had a chance to replace him," McDermott told the Ames Tribune. "It's difficult to do now. We'll factor all that in before we make our decision."

If ISU does not release Johnson, he will have to spend one year as a walk-on before accepting a scholarship elsewhere. Without a release, Johnson cannot contact coaches from other schools.

Comments

Chicago_JHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

An issue with Beasley is his perceived immaturity. I think that's a strike against him in the eyes of some. As for Roase, he'd be a significant upgrade over Hinrich, who completely lost his ability to shoot last year. I think the Bulls are also tentative about drafting another 6-9ish PF, as they've done several times in the past 10 years with nothing to show for it.As for Chalmers, his decision to attend the draft camp only to interview and not workout signals to me that he's staying in the draft and doesn't feel the need to potentially hurt his stock with a poor workout. If he felt he needed to move up, then he'd workout for sure.With the recent Arthur hoopla, it's nice that Morgan isn't seriously considering us...I have a feeling we'll be staying away from South Oak Cliff recruits for awhile, and it would be awkward to have to either rescind an offer or face scrutiny for signing another kid from that school while their internal investigation continues.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 6 months ago

Here is my post from Arhtur's article. I would take Beasley. Jay Mariotti is a fool for the Chicago Sun Times. He is the one getting all this hoopla stirred about Rose just because he is from Chicago. I would take Beasley. "Just as big a riddle is why the Chicago Bulls, with the No. 1 pick, are considering Memphis' Derrick Rose ahead of Kansas State's Michael Beasley. Have their scouts been on Mars?"I could not agree more with this statement from Mayer. Everybody in Chicago including Paxson and Reinsdorf are fools. Why on earth would the Bulls take Rose? I don't see it at all. Everyone in the NBA is now caught up in the next "Chris Paul" and "Deron Williams". Just like everyone was once caught up in Drafting the next "Kobe" and up until recently drafted on "Potential".If it wasn't for Bill Self going to the zone and then to that Box and 1, Rose would not have had the stat line he had in the Championship game. Right now in the NBA it's the Flavor of the week and Rose is fortuanate enough to be all the Flavors because of the success of Paul and Williams. I don't see it though.Rose is a great talent, but it does not fix the overall problem that the Bulls have had the last 4 seasons. A BIG MAN IN THE POST! NBA teams have figured out the Bulls and all opposing teams do against the bulls is "Pack it Outside". Yes, I did say "Pack it Outside"! Most people are familiar with "Packing it Down-Low" for a defensive scheme to stop a center or a scoring forward. You do not do that against the Bulls because their whole offense at the moment is drive and kick and they don't have the guards that usually can finish at the basket. That is why teams guard heavy out to the 3 point line against the Bulls because they know the Bulls are weak at finishing it to the rim. That is why the Bulls need to draft Beasley. They've been saying for the last 4 years that all the Bulls need is a Big Man and they can get over the hump. Well, they have a pretty good chance at a decent big man and now they want to draft another Guard? Does not make sense? Kirk Hinrich and company can get the job done, but in order to be successful in the NBA everybody knows you need a Big Man to win Championships!A big man opens up the entire inside for your team and right now opposing teams do not care about the inside against the Bulls. The NBA is so fickle because Chris Paul and Deron Williams are doing exactly what Kirk Hinrich did in his 3rd season. Draft Beasley and be done with it.

ChicagoJHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Chicago_,I agree, the Bulls need to draft Rose! Michael Beasley is amazing, yes, but if they draft one more 6'9" super athletic dude I'm going to start ripping my hair out. They already have Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, Thabo Sefolosha, Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Cedric Simmons & Demetris Nichols. All of those guys are about 6'8" or 6'9". I really, really hope the Bulls don't blow it & get another 6'9" guy. They need a center but they also need a point guard, a really good one too. Anyway, back to the article, good to hear Rush is doing really well so far. Best of luck to all the Jayhawks trying out for the NBA right now!

sho_tyme21 11 years, 6 months ago

That is great to hear about Rush, and Author hopefully the all the Seniors will make it on a team, expecally RusRob hopefully the teams will see how he lead the KU team on the floor and off, he is a true leader.Also a question for you all if you were Chicago would you draft B-Easy or Rose and trade Kirk like some people are saying, I believe this is a harder pick than last year with Durant and Oden.I am torn between it that is my vote.

Robert Brock 11 years, 6 months ago

Chicago is in a fascinating yet precarious situation. They are loaded with talent (albeit a lot of average and unproven talent) and now will draft a player that will probably start from day 1. No matter who they draft, Beasley or Rose, they will have to trade someone off that roster. For bigs, you have Nocioni, Gooden, Tyrus Thomas, Noah, Simmons. For point guard you have Hinrich and Duhon. There is a lot invested in these players, i.e. contracts, draft picks, etc. Some of these guys have fat paydays coming, others will have to be resigned after their rookie contracts are up. They are really in a no lose situation as far as the pick goes, and I am really on the fence. My gut feeling is to go with Rose and try to package Hinrich and some other players. As much as I love Beasley and know the Bulls desperately need low block scoring, I think Rose is going to be really special even though his game is a little uneven right now. I can definitely understand picking Beas though.

patton6 11 years, 6 months ago

Not to be too cynical, but I just wish I could read an article that didn't just quote other articles I've already read.As for the Chicago pick, it's got to be Beasley... http://kansasfootball-itsbusinesstime.blogspot.com/2008/05/bulls-and-bease.html

jayhawkinATL 11 years, 6 months ago

BTW...Bobo made a dumba$$ decision to attend LSU in the first place!!!!

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

Mareese Speights--this guy could be a player, so okay if you really need a big.Robin Lopez--ok if you need a backup post more than a starting 2.JaVale MaGee--ditto above.Kosta Koufos--ditto above.Ty Lawson--you would have to be brain dead to choose him ahead of Rush.Chase Budinger--Rush is vastly better than Budinger in EVERY way you could compare, except for trey shooting, where both are about the same.Rush is frankly a better basketball player than Paul Pierce.If NBA people would start recognizing that his knee is going to fully recover some time over the next three months--BRush is arguably the best player in this draft.Why?The way to rank players to be drafted is to ask how near the top of the league will they be at their position.BRush will be closer to the top of the 2s than any other player in this draft will be to the top at positions 1, 3, 4, and 5.BRush will have about 6 guys who will be distinctly better at the 2 when he hits the floor next season.Every other player in this draft at every other position is going to start out either with 8-10 NBA veterans better than he is, or every NBA veteran better.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 6 months ago

Maybe that ISU player saw Taggart (ex-ISU player who transferred to Memphis) on the big stage in the championship game and wants to be at a higher profile school? Well a closer look at the KU-Memphis game will reveal Taggart got more minutes than he should have due to foul trouble on "Mr." Dorsey. After a couple of missed shots, I sarcastically kept rooting for Taggart to "shoot it again", and he would! He blew half a dozen possessions for Memphis nicely & helped KU tremendously. Maybe Taggart was trying to rewrite some bad memories as a former Cyclone player going against KU--now he's REALLY got something to think about the rest of his non-basketball days, which shall begin shortly.

soapboxstew 11 years, 6 months ago

The Bulls have too much down-low as it is. For that reason they will likely take Rose.But I think that Rose is a product of fond recent memories. Remember during the season when he was averaging 12ppg and 3assists against competition like SMU? He was out of the lotto at that time. Now he is 1 or 2. He is in this position because nobody really scouted him when he played C-USA games, they only saw him in the tourney. And in said tourney, he played his best ball ever against MSU, UT, UCLA, and us. Great timing.Rose was ranked lower than many players coming out of HS (including Gordon), but he was WAY below Beasley. Every time that these two are on the same court, Beasley showed everybody why he is better. He was the MVP of the McD's game that Rose came off the bench in. He (Beasley) scored more than twice as much per game, ripped down more than 4 times as many Rebs, and matched Rose's assists against FAR superior teams. The Big 12 sent (what was it) 6 teams to the tourney, we had the highest winning % of any other 'BCS' conference, we were the best conference in the Nation last year, and Beasley did this against B12 bigs, amidst double and triple teams. Compare that to Rose who wasn't even close in #'s to Beasley in a conference where he was one-on-one against players that couldn't make the NIT. I mean I can't even count the ways in which the B12 was superior to C-USA. Our walk-ons would have swept than conference sans Memphis.Beasley will win Rookie of the Year. He will score more points, get more Rebs, more assists, be more mature, and eventually be one of the best players in the league. You think that Durant was good? Beasley could lift Durant with one arm. I thought that I would never see a better Freshman than Durant, but Beasley proved me wrong. Beasley is 10X better than the reigning Rookie of the Year. Watch this kid EXPLODE...And then watch Rose fade...If Chi doesn't take Beasley, and Beasley goes to Miami (a better fit for Beasley), watch for Miami w/ Wade & Beasley be one of the top teams in the East; and watch them pound Chi and Rose every time they play. Then you will never hear then end about how Chi passed on the best player in the Draft.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 6 months ago

Honestly, since Jordan retired, I have had trouble being a big NBA fan. Not that there isnt great talent in the NBA (there is). It is obvious that the regular season is at an entirely different pace than the playoffs, which are usually great competitive games. This is understandable as playing 80 games, you have to be healthy enough as a team to do something special in the playoffs. BUT NOW, with a fair number of KU players potentially going into the League, I may be alot more inclined to root for players who I may have some connection with, namely (if they make it): Rush, Arthur, D.Jackson, Chalmers, Robinson, and Sasha Kaun (who could develop nicely as an athletic NBA bigman off the bench?). Keep making us proud, guys. I will root for these particular guys forever, whatever they choose to do.

Jeremy LeMaster 11 years, 6 months ago

I'm sorry in advance, I am gonna choose to rip on the ISU portion of this story (Love the story about the Hawks by the way).McDumb@$$... Wake the hell up! The kid does not want to play for you. Who the hell are you to screw with his future and not let him transfer. This is COLLEGE Basketball not pro... Grant him his transfer and move on... just like we are moving on after losing a lottery pick last year... possibly another one this year and possibly two more later in the first round along with our 5 graduating seniors.I know you aren't use to it coming from an MVC caliber school into a Big 12 school, things happen a little differently when you get to this stage. Your job is to develop young men. They are free to leave if they do not feel that they are getting what they want out of it or have grown beyond the level that you are able to provide anything further to them.Just my 2 cents.....Alright, 2 and a half...

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 6 months ago

Regarding the article headline: Rush impresses in Chicago (shooting 80-90% from the field--wow!). How about: Rush impresses in knee rehab...Rush impressive attitude...Rush impresses in 07-08 conference season...Rush impresses in March Madness...Rush impresses in Final Four...Rush shines in National Championship...Rush Impressive.

nameer 11 years, 6 months ago

What really pisses me off is that I know that if UNC had Rush instead of Wayne Ellington, Rush would probably be a lottery pick. Just because of East Coast bias and the lack of SC coverage that KU gets, he's going to slide out of the lottery.He gets the last laugh though, as he'll be going to a team that is already in playoff contention that will benefit greatly from a lockdown defender and 3-point shooter.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

soapboxstew, you are right on. Beasley is a proven talent and will with out a doubt have a successful NBA career (barring injury). Those saying he could be the "best PF ever" are being ridiculously presumptuous, but it is clear he will succeed. Certainly he will score at least 12 to 15 points a game and probably pick up around 10 boards his rookie year, and the numbers will only go up from there. Rose, on the other hand, to me is much more of a gamble. Could he turn out to be a fantastic point guard? Absolutely. Could he be an over-hyped media darling -- due to, as soapboxstew pointed out, a very well played NCAA tournament -- that may end up only being an average to above average guard? Certainly a possibility. And the Bulls already have an above average PG.And ChicagoJHawk, as a life-long Bulls fan who grew up in the windy city, I understand your skepticism about the organization attempting to pick up another 6'9" forward with the limited success they've seen in recent years. But I do have to point out that all the players you mentioned simply are not Michael Beasley (and I say that with a cringe considering where he played college ball and the fact that you mention Gooden). He is far and away a superior talent to all of them. His immaturity aside (a fault he has publicly admitted himself and is, therefore, fully aware of), when he steps on the court, he is and will be all business. Neither of these players will be Jordan, nor will either be Sam Bowie. So, either way I think the Bulls will be helping themselves, but I just can't see how you can pass up Michael Beasley.

jayhawkinATL 11 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if there are concerns about Bobo's eligibility!!!!!

Lance Hobson 11 years, 6 months ago

I feel bad for McDermott, but I'm not sure if not granting his release will be good for the future. His future recruits will see that. It sucks and he got screwed but he probably should just bite the bullet on this one.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 6 months ago

I say we steer FAR away from Bobo and his stellar math skills. I would, however, love to see 6 Jayhawks from our championship team on NBA rosters. And not just because of the recruiting coup it would be.I absolutely want a story on our 1922&23 teams! Maybe someday 90 years from now somebody will be asking for a story about the '08 team, wanting to know what it was really like when some guy named Chalmers (we just know him from his retired jersey hanging on the AFH south wall) made a miracle shot.

jhawk4life1976 11 years, 6 months ago

I hope Bobo didn't have a particular math teacher while at SOC.

Michael Ales 11 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone want to see a story about the 1922 & 1923 National Champions? I just got some pictures from Spencer Library of these unsung heroes and I want to tell you those people at the library are great!! I put these pictures in my Den/Jathawk sanctuary and they make the room. What became of these guys? No fat NBA contract, just student athletes in the pure sense. Put Woodling on it, he probably knew them anyway!!!!!

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

Someone tell me how Russell Westbrook will be drafted ahead of Brandon Rush, or Mario Chalmers?I just read Chris Forde's mock draft and look at the guys being projected ahead of Rush.Beasley--ok, if you need a big bad and you don't mind if he couldn't raise a team to higher than 3rd place in the B12.Rose--ok, if you don't mind that KU's short, apparently second round at best guards took away his game in the NC game.Brook Lopez--ok, if you need a 7' wide body who couldn't carry his team past Kevin Love.Jerryd Bayless--not okay under any circumstance.OJ Mayo--not okay under any circumstance. BRush carried KU to league titles EVERY season at KU and Mayo couldn't really make USC a threat even one season when he was supposedly all USC needed to turn the corner.Danilo Gallinari--the guys 6'9" and from Italy. I have no clue about him.Russell Westbrook--you have to be kidding. He's a 6'3" 2 guard that BRush AND Mario Chalmers could shut down defensively AND out shoot him from anywhere on the floor.

Jeremy LeMaster 11 years, 6 months ago

I agree Stikewso... it does suck. WJ is a good college basketball player... But just because you are hurt doesn't mean you have to take it out on him .

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

Eric Gordon--I like this fat kid, but c'mon, Indiana underperformed just like USC did with Mayo. Like Mayo, and Bayless, and Rose, for that matter, he's a good PG, but he's not decisively better than other PGs. Take Rush and you instantly have a guy who is better than all but 2 or 3 two guards in the show. And even with those threes that are better than Brandon, Brandon will still be one of the best bets to hold these great 2s to their averages.Kevin Love--Love made a believer out of me this year, but he will never be as good at his position as BRush will be at his. Love just is not over sized at his position the way Rush is at his. But both are highly skilled players, but I'd rather live with Brandon at the 2 than Kevin at the 4, given the talent at both positions in the NBA.Anthony Randolph--well, let's see, Randolph went to LSU and LSU sucked. If you want to expend your first round choice on a project who likely will always be a journeyman big, you've got to take Randolph over Rush.D.J. Augustin--this is just absurd. He's never going to dominate anyone in the NBA and because of how short he is there is a strong likelihood that he will windup a backup.Darrell Arthur--Let's see: Arthur disappears from half the games he plays. Rush, operating on a knee and a half, has to be put on Arthur's man at times and he needs Rush's help defense ALL the time. KU's post defense actually got better when Arthur went out and Kaun came in.Joe Alexander--let's see, he's a forward, but Rush could hold him scoreless if Rush, a guard, were assigned to him. Rush can out jump and out rebound him. Rush can outshoot and out dribble him. Rush is faster, stronger, and just flat out better in every conceivable way.DeAndre Jordon--ok, if you need a project in the post.Donte Green--ok, if you just have to have a future journeyman 4.

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 6 months ago

"The Bulls have too much down low.."Yes they have quite a few players down low...and they all suck! They're biggest problem has been they don't have a big man who can score! Kirk will be fine, he just needs a coach and management that commits to using him as a POINT GUARD. Geez , he played well his first two years. All of sudden they want to toss him out with the bathwater? The whole potential trade fiasco messed with several players minds last year. Duhon, Heinrich , Gordon. All young guys with their first team. That could have been smoothed over with competent coaches and management. Gee surprise it wasn't. I am a lifelong Bulls Fan but ever since the egos of Krause and Reinsdorf decided they could blow up the Bulls and start from scratch and build another championship team it has been one cluster*&^% after another. If they had any sense they would draft Beasely. I hear the knock on him is maturity? Did anyone notice how mature Noah was by getting arrested for open container and possession?

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