Keegan: Dismissal saddens Rush

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

On the day he learned he was named first-team preseason All-American, Kansas University sophomore forward Brandon Rush learned his friend had been booted from the team, this time for good. As usual, Rush was honest in assessing the situation Tuesday night after a 90-55 exhibition victory over Emporia State.

"I worry about him sometimes," Rush said of C.J. Giles. "He's irresponsible sometimes."

Irresponsible is too soft a word for the latest Giles transgression. Even if he didn't do more than, according to the police report, he admitted to campus cops that he did - which was drag a woman off of his bed, onto the ground and into a hallway - thuggish would be a better word than irresponsible.

You can't blame Rush for using the softer word, though. After all, until Tuesday, Giles and Rush were members of the same family, faced with the same responsibilities. Giles was bad at adhering to them, and he's gone. Rush has been good at it, not that it has been easy for him, he said.

"It's kind of hard to be responsible in college," Rush said. "You have basketball, girls, practice and tutoring. It's kind of hard to take everything at once."

Not, however, too difficult a juggling act for Rush, who readily admits he finds the classroom challenging.

"I manage my time," Rush said. "I don't think C.J. manages his time right. The first time he got in trouble kind of brought him down a little bit."

Coach Bill Self was right there to pick him back up again, and this was how Giles thanked him for a second chance the coach gave the player for the potential good of the player, not for self-serving reasons, not for the good of the team, for the good of Giles and Giles alone.

Giles missed a practice, broke a team rule and blew off child-

support payments and was allowed back once he showed progress in those areas.

"I was a little surprised about this one," Rush said. "I didn't believe it at first that he could be so irresponsible."

Rush said he still considered Giles a friend and still would "talk to him every day." Giles should listen to his friend when Rush said it would be best for Giles to leave town and pursue basketball opportunities elsewhere. He could play Division II ball this season.

The players learned about Giles' dismissal at the 2 p.m. shootaround.

"I was like, 'Not again!' We tried to help him," Rush said.

In the first half, Emporia State's mouthy miniature guard DeAndre Townsend had too easy a time getting to the lane and too easy a time tossing in runners because there was nobody there to block his shot. There's no point in saying Kansas could have used Giles in the first half because that would be no different from saying the Jayhawks could have used Wayne Simien last season. Simien had exhausted his eligibility by playing four seasons. Giles has used up his eligibility by misbehaving.

Giles doesn't deserve to wear a Kansas uniform, and he has torched his welcome in Lawrence. Don't expect him to bolt today, though. He's got too much baggage to pack in one day.

"He wasn't going to play until second semester," Rush said. "We had to get through it anyway. Now that he's gone for good, it's probably better for the team, better chemistry."

Giles needs to think ABL, as in Anywhere But Lawrence.