Monday, April 9, 2007

Kansas forward likely going pro

Wright expected to make announcement today


Julian Wright, who has said numerous times he'd be back for his junior season at Kansas University, this afternoon is expected to announce his intention to declare for the NBA Draft.

KU coach Bill Self on Sunday night issued a statement to the Journal-World from Las Vegas after getting inundated with phone calls from media members in response to a Sunday afternoon story on the paper's Web site,

That story indicated the sophomore forward had a sudden change of heart and likely would leave school early.

"Due to the volume of calls I've received, and me being on the road (recruiting), I want to say Julian's intent is to make a formal announcement Monday afternoon concerning the future status of his career," Self told the J-W.

Self earlier Sunday afternoon told the Journal-World that the 6-foot-8, 225-pound Wright "will strongly consider his options regarding the draft. We expect he'll have a decision at the first of the week. At that time, we'll have a formal announcement."

That announcement will come today, likely at an afternoon news conference.

Sources close to the situation told the J-W that Wright early last week told Self he had completely changed his stance on the NBA. At that time Wright told Self he'd likely leave rather than return to graduate after his junior year. The two agreed to meet again today upon Self's return from his recruiting trip to the West coast. Barring some overnight change of heart, Wright's decision will be to turn pro.

Some of KU's players were informed Sunday by staff members that Wright had decided to leave KU.

It comes as somewhat of a surprise considering Wright said after KU's season-ending loss to UCLA: "I made my decision before the season (to return). It hasn't changed."

Yet things did change, "drastically the last two weeks, ever since the season was over," a source close to the situation said. "He may have decided, 'I am not going to help myself by staying.' His mind is made up."

KU forward could make jump to NBA

After two seasons in Lawrence, KU forward Julian Wright may be ready to test the waters of the NBA draft.

Various draft analysts believe Wright will be a certain top-10 pick in the draft.

"This is no surprise," one agent told the J-W Sunday night. "He's a lottery pick, if not a lottery pick close to it. I had heard he might be staying, but I was a little bit leery when I heard that. A lot of players say they are staying during the season."

Players have until April 29 to declare for the draft. A player can retain his collegiate eligibility by not hiring an agent and withdrawing before June 18.

"That way if you get a freak injury you can stay in school," the agent said of players guaranteed multi-million-dollar contracts electing to not sign with agents. "I would not be surprised if he signs and goes back and works out in Chicago."

Self said there was no change in the status of KU's other players considering the NBA.

Sophomore Brandon Rush currently is considering his options. He's taking notice of which players decide to enter the draft and where he'd be selected. No other players have indicated any desire to leave, Self said.

"I saw Brandon yesterday, and we did not discuss it at all," Rush's grandmother, Jeannette Jacobs, said of the draft. "I guess he's not sure. He hasn't said he's leaving. Until he tells me there's no reason for me to give my opinion."

Her opinion? "Whichever way he goes, I'll back him," Jacobs said.


one_and_one_is_two 15 years, 8 months ago

We have seen Julian make questionable on-court decisions throughout his career at KU. Apparently, we're about to see him make a questionable off-court decision.

JayViking 15 years, 8 months ago

KGphoto hit the nail on the head. I urge everyone to go back to the middle of this page and revisit his post. Best of luck, Julian.

lee3022 15 years, 8 months ago

Most good players are inundated by agents on campus promising the world. In Julian's case there is pretty good support for him to be a 1st round pick. The mock drafts showing top 10 generally have not included other early entry players who would benefit from another year but are declaring (such as Spencer Hawes). Corey Brewer seems clearly ready as a small forward for the NBA and benefited from playing his Junior year. Julian has more potential but nowhere near the readiness as Brewer and the top picks in this draft will mostly go to bigs (there are a bunch) so Julian's place may be lower than he is being told.

damonj_3 15 years, 8 months ago

I completely agree, ju's being promised everything, and will benefit from nothing, basketball-wise for about 4-5 years. There are at least 5 other players at his position that are better, more polished & some of the reason is because they've stayed in school to develop. He's making a HUGE mistake. One more year gives him another year of school, something down the road he'll look back on & be like man I really made a bad choice. He'd probably get a nice shoe endorsement, etc.. plus he's not going to fall anywhere draft-wise over another year at KU. He'll only go up, more money, experience & no broken promise to his mother. Man it's really sad to see money change these kids these days. KU can get the players to win a title, but it's gonna be a long time before we win one because this situation is only going to occur more & more as the years pass. I mean if you want to go to the NBA & are good enough after your freshman season, you don't even have to attend class! That's why I can't understand Julian working so hard to complete his degree in 3 years, then overnight changing to, oh it's not that big a deal, I'll come back and do it. You hear that all of the time, how many actually do? NONE! Congratulations Julian, but your making a BIG, BIG mistake. Deception is the root of all evil!

Sanity 15 years, 8 months ago

A really in depth report would find out which tests were taken and papers were due last week.

We all hear how freshmen hit the wall during their first basketball season. Yet many students hit a similar wall, when the difficulty of their academic goals and load, exceeds their responsible effort to achieve those goals. Some drop a course, then make it up in summer school. Others have taken more than 15 hours per semester and just use it as a wake up call. Few are on a three year graduation trail. Almost none have a multi million dollar out waiting without responding to the challenge.

Facing the hurdles of realistic goals with responsible effort is a major life lesson that must be learned by those who graduate from college. It is one thing to declare for the draft, then work toward that education. The NBA draft withdrawal date of June 18 is after the semester ends. We may see Julian declare for the draft and work hard to finish this leg of his educational goals. We may see him declare, hire an agent, and run from the challenges in Lawrence.

It is not my place to judge Julian Wright. History will judge whether he can develop the handle an elite college small forward would have used to responsibly dribble safely against Bruin defenders with his team's loft goals at stake. History will judge whether he learns to make the correct play, instead of the flashy play to avoid turnovers that end in team defeat instead of team victory. Time will tell whether he can develop the bulk to play NBA power forward and keep his hops and quickness. It is certain that voluntarily walking away from the advisors, tutors, instructors, and coaches at the University of Kansas is the type of choice that should not be made without serious thought. If his next level challenges again present him with more difficulty than he can responsibly meet, he will be put involuntarily out the door with the money he chose to save, but with far less support, and far grimmer options.

Mama Wright, he's your son. Certainly he can go League based on his potential. He can also continue towards graduation, based on his potential. He is no more ready to meet the NBA challenge now, than he will be ready to graduate now. Finishing this semester applying all his effort towards his classroom challenges, leaves all options open but with an adjusted timetable. He can be very close to receiving his degree in seventeen months. His body can be stronger and just as quick. His basketball decisions and ball handling skills should be better and more in demand. The money may be better. It may be worse.

Mrs. Wright, he's your son. Make sure you let him know what he gives up by not finishing this school year. If he is the man we all thought he was, he'll listen.

Robert Brock 15 years, 8 months ago

Julian has decided to pass up having fun; now basketball practice will be all drudgery all the time (ever watch the NBA teams practice?). Lousy road swings. Small crowds. That cruddy recording of a bugle - CHARGE! No off-season to rest. Most importantly...Julian won't play for a couple of years. Maybe more, unless he starts to bring some POWER to the Power Forward position or the unlikely event of Julian shooting more naturally. Enjoy the money.


wtarush 15 years, 8 months ago

I enjoy watching Julian play... wearing a KU uniform. If he declares, at best, he'll just be another name scrolling across the bottom of the screen... just another player in the NBA for awhile. But, to stay, his could hang eternally from the rafters of Allen with the likes of JoJo, Wilt, and Danny.

damonj_3 15 years, 8 months ago

We may end up with about 5 or 6 deciding do declare after this goes down. What a shame to a legendary program. The court's not Dr. James Naismith Court for no reason! College basketball is the greatest sport on earth. The only way you'll ever get that bound, everyone knows what I'm talking about, with a team, is maybe switching fanbases to a mid-major school. That's where the kids TRULY love it for what it is.

rockchalkAZ 15 years, 8 months ago

We won't be hearing from Julian for about 3 or 4 years. I'm not sure what changed from when he said he wants to be ready to play when he gets to the nba, but that ain't gonna happen right now.

Chicago_JHawk 15 years, 8 months ago

These decisions are not based solely on what some agent is telling Julian. Self has certainly had some input from NBA teams and their scouts to truly judge where Wright might go in the draft. These days, if you're a top 10 pick, you go. Every one of us on this board would do the same thing if we were in that position, and you're lying if you say you wouldn't. It's a guaranteed $10M contract.

For "fans" to bad mouth a guy just because we want him to stick around is pathetic.

craigers 15 years, 8 months ago

Chicago_JHawk, I don't necessarily think it's pathetic. We are all just venting because another kid that is so close to having a degree is about to make a big mistake. When college ball players declare for the draft early, they end up riding the pine and don't develop as quickly as they would in college. Sure maybe he might play well in the NBA after being there for four or five years, but some of the sloppiness he shows in game time will bite him in the butt in the pros. I think KU fans not only want them to come back and be a powerhouse team, but they want the KU players to do well later on. Hinrich obviously didn't hurt from the college maturing process. He is now a good leader for the Chicago bulls.

BigTrav 15 years, 8 months ago

As much as I love KU basketball, chicago is right on the money. It's not like we'd be losing our only weapon anyways, so I don't know what all the fuss is about. KU will be fine, with or without Julian. I wish him the best no matter what his decision.

yates33333 15 years, 8 months ago

Wright didn't change much during the two years at KU. Why would anyone believe that by staying another year or two he would change substantially as a player? I hope he has a great career as a professional, but I doubt it very much. Of course, I rarely accurately assess KU basketball or its players.

tailg8prty 15 years, 8 months ago

Everybody posting on here is a hypocrite. If you were staring at millions of dollars to become an accountant or salesman by leaving school early you would leave school early too. I honestly don't think he has the 12 to 15 foot shot that pros make all the time. So I'm with you all by admitting this may be a mistake. But you can't blame the kid for going for the money. I would and most of you would too. To be honest with you, I don't see an NBA impact player on this team but if they want the money then I can't blame them for their decision. The selfish side of me wants Julian to return but I wish him the best of luck in the pros.

palewhale 15 years, 8 months ago

I've enjoyed watching Julian play but to be honest I'd rather loose him than Brandon. Julian may have the flashy plays but Brandon has the complete game.

Maybe this will help make the decision for Rush since he may have moved down a spot in the draft.

Chicago_JHawk 15 years, 8 months ago

Good point, yates. There isn't much more improvement for Julian to make at this level, except for consistency, and he's given no indication that he can make strides in that regard.

Julian Wright earning a degree is the least relevant part of this. A degree will never be of use to any of these prospects any good. Even if he blows out a knee and never makes it at the next level, he'd go into coaching or something. It's not like he'll get a desk job at an accounting firm.

imagold 15 years, 8 months ago

Beware of those "I'm staying" comments.

KEITHMILES05 15 years, 8 months ago

Blow out a knee? Career ending injury? Then what?

No degree. No decent job. The BIG money these young kids get is blown needlessly.

It happens time and again. Only if a guy is a very, very, very good player with many millons is he set.

The lure and grandour of the NBA is only that. So many flame out and end up with nothing.

Chris Shaw 15 years, 8 months ago

You know I have mixed emotions on this topic. For selfish reasons I think the NBA needs to adopt a rule similar to the NFL that allows you to come out after your Junior Year. It would definitely help the overall image of the pathetic NBA. However, who I am to judge and be disappointed with someone wanting to take a guranteed 3 year contract, if around 8th-13th in the draft, worth about 3.5-4 mil a year. I didn't think I would ever say this, but there has to be something special about those group of Florida Gators. I mean, Noah could have been the top 3 pick in last year's draft and he skipped all the money to return. Granted, I understand his background and not really having an issues Financially b/c of his father's Tennis career. I understand this decision to go for his dream and make some quick dollars. Let's just hope you're able to get that guranteed contract after your first 3 years. If you get it, then no one will ever talk about it, but if you fail you'll regret your decision and people will criticize you. That's life and that's how fickle people are.
As for the aftermath of this event on KU basketball. I understand that you have to have McDonald's Americans coming into your program, but I don't know if they are truly the way to go anymore. I'm saying most, not all, have huge egos, and have a pre-determined mindset that I don't know is necessarily good for "Team" basketball. This year's Florida Gator team really only had two McDonald's All-Americans in Horford and Brewer. I'm being Selfish and probably frustrated to the point that I'm tired of seeing all of our so called "McDonald's All-Americans" fail to win Championships. Hinrich, Gooden, Langford, at least for our more recent teams weren't All-Americans, but they turned out to be really good Jayhawks b/c they had to work for their spot and to get into the league. I could name many others from the late 80's and 90's, but don't have room to list. I think my characterization is that I'm just sick and tired of hearing about the NBA all the time with these recruits. I know we're a big-time program, but it would be nice to only talk about the NBA from a college basketball standpoint with either one player once a year or alternate years, but talking about the NBA with like 5 or 6 of our guys is just an annoyance to me. Take the money and be happy, but let's recruit some different guys.

Chris Shaw 15 years, 8 months ago

Yes, I know Langford is not in the league, but he is making good money in Europe.

hawkitup 15 years, 8 months ago

I'm going to have to agree with palewhale. Julian is good and he will be missed but Arthur can fill that void. I'd much rather have a more complete player like Rush on this team next year. I really hope he stays no mater what Wright does.

TrueBlue92 15 years, 8 months ago

If Wright leaves, does that make Rush more likely to go?

I'd love to have the whole team back. I'm shocked that Wright is so highly valued. But, you know what? If Danny Manning thinks that staying in school is the right way to go, you should listen. If Danny Manning thinks that going pro is right for you as an underclassmen, then best of luck. Danny is DMann, he's lived it. Coach Self and Coach Manning -- what better advice could you get??

Now, if Rush and Wright both leave, then I believe there will be another scholarship available. It would not make much sense to hold it for next year. Are there quality players who are uncommitted? I think there were a couple in the McGame. Anyone with rivals access willing to have a look?

84Hawk 15 years, 8 months ago

I would think that Brandon would learn from his two brothers. At least I HOPE he does! They apparently keep telling him not to leave early for the NBA. The average pro player just doesn't get the "love" they got in college. They need to enjoy it while they can. The NBA will be there next year! As far as Julian goes, I really am surprised he is backing out on his promise to his mom. I do wish him the best of luck though. Arthur can fill his spot.

jayhawkinpa 15 years, 8 months ago

You guys are clueless. If he is really a number 6 pick, he gets 3 million dollars for the next 3 years regardless of any injury. I thought he was stupid for staying. If he leaves, he can always come back and get a degree, if he stays he risks losing 9 million dollars.

Chris Shaw 15 years, 8 months ago

As for Rush, I think this could help him as well with Julian Leaving. I originally thought that there was No-Way Rush would return for his Junior year, but having Julian leave, might be the best thing for Brandon. Right now, Brandon Rush is still trying to change his image from an NBA standpoint. It's not his fault he's a Rush, but his older brother "Jaron" didn't get him started on the right playing level with NBA executives in the geneology tree. Jaron just had unfortuante circumstances that he was the oldest and everything was given to him in High School and he had all these slimeballs surrounding (Mr. Wigley) him, which didn't help his attitude and develpment any. Kareem was a lot better, but once he got to the league his attitude took over and he started getting a bad rap from coaches as he started bouncing around. I know the money is good and I would probably take it, but Kareem has already earned some money for the family so as long as he hasn't spent it fool-heartedly, he could be in a similar situation as Noah that would allow him to return for his Junior Year and continue to improve his image with NBA executives. By him coming to KU, and I totally believe this, improved him as an individual and his image, staying for his Junior Year will definitely raise eyebrows and show good character that he's not all about the money and Self will do a good job in trying not to let this kid fail and fall to the pressures like his other two brothers. Brandon will get drafted in the first round this year, but how much does he want to improve is draft stock. If he goes he'll be in the 18-25 range and get a decent contract that I would love to have, but if you wait one year you could possibly sneak into a late lottery and then we get into the guranteed money. Having Julian leave actually might be a blessing in disguise for Brandon b/c I actually think the Rush's as a family and Brandon for his unwarranted reputation need a break. Good Luck Julian and Brandon, if you stay that would be awesome, but if you go, I completely understand b/c I would probably leave. You just have to have a good finanical person watching your back so you can be smart with your money. Don't go out and buy a freakin $80,000 dollar chain. Invest that crap. Good luck

GIHAWK 15 years, 8 months ago

Though I hate to see him go, I still feel good about our chances on winning it all next year. We still have a lot of good players coming back. Now if Brandon leaves too, then that could be a problem.

Stacey Harden 15 years, 8 months ago

Hawkitup - I agree with you 100%. After the loss to UCLA I knew that losing Julian would not affect the team as much as losing Rush would. We have Arthur, and all the returning BIGS and Cole Aldrich coming in. Losing a physical guard that really can be a small forward like Rush would hurt the Jayhawks chances more next year. I hope that Rush decides to stay - I think he will as he isn't a lottery pick this year anyway. Mid-to-late first round if lucky.

For all of the haters/pessimists out there - I would like to see any of you turn down $10 million GUARANTEED for 4 years of work. Consider also that with if you turn it down and you blow out a knee, you get your college degree and then you can make $50,000 in your degreed profession. Hmmmmm, $50,000 per year compared to $2.5 million per year. Not a tough decision for me. If Julian truly wants that degree, if it is important to him, he will easily be able to afford to go back and take classes and finish. Graduating in three years is an accomplishment anyway and he was on pace to do it. Heck, Emmitt Smith went back to school and finished his degree!! Anybody going to bad mouth him for coming out early?

dbegert 15 years, 8 months ago

Kaun, Arthur, Rush, Chalmers, and Robinson starting with Collins, Reed/Stewart, Aldrich/Jackson off the bench? Can't really complain too much about that.
I second the notion that Rush staying is essential now, though.

ku98 15 years, 8 months ago

Leave the kid alone! He is projected to be a top 10 pick, and will have a 3-year guaranteed, multi-million dollar contract.
We will miss him, but KU basketball will be fine.
Good luck, Julian, and thanks for the good times.

Matt Kenton 15 years, 8 months ago

I disagree that Wright hasn't improved much over his two years at Kansas. With his size, court vision, and all-around versatility, the comparisons to Magic were made (based on POTENTIAL) when he first arrived. But it was not until the latter part of this season that I was finally comfortable with Ju handling the point in an all-out fast-break situation. Sure we'd see flashes of brilliance during his first year, but for every one of those there were two more out-of-control, what-the-hell-were-you-thinking, flashy attempts that resulted in a turnover.

Also, his first year, he was asked to play the 4, which he did effectively, but not dominantly. This year he was allowed to face the basket more, and it took him awhile to adjust. He was down on himself a lot during the early to middle part of the season, often for making poor decisions and finding his role in the offense.

Right now he's a better than good player with a huge amount of potential, which is enough to get a great FIRST contract. One more year (another 50% of his current college experience) could make him a great player that would have an immediate impact in the NBA and throughout his career and guarantee second and third contracts.

justanotherfan 15 years, 8 months ago

I'd hate to see Julian go because he could be a great college player and be a big time pro. Thing is, I've always believed that if you were a lottery pick, you should leave. All the NBA people are saying Julian is a pick anywhere between 5-10. So based on my own formula, Julian should go.

Remember, Darius Miles is still in the league. Another superb athlete with amazing potential. He's been in the league for six years now and he was nowhere near as developed as Julian when he got into the league. In fact, he got a big second deal based on that potential.

I'd like to see Julian stay, because he can help the Hawks and maybe help himself, but I can't blame him if he goes.

As for Rush, he should stay. Everybody is talking about him being a pick in the 20s. That means he could slip to the second round (the world of nonguaranteed contracts). That's too big a risk. He should come back.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 15 years, 8 months ago

I will miss him if he goes. I really enjoy watching him and I don't think he'll get much playing time in the NBA. This is still the kid who fell down trying to make a layup and he needs to grow in a safer environment for another year.

JSDAD 15 years, 8 months ago

Posted by KEITHMILES05 (anonymous) on April 9, 2007 at 8:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Blow out a knee? Career ending injury? Then what?

No degree. No decent job. The BIG money these young kids get is blown needlessly.

It happens time and again. Only if a guy is a very, very, very good player with many millons is he set.

The lure and grandour of the NBA is only that. So many flame out and end up with nothing.

Thats why we have choices in this world. good or bad I don't see anyone saying that you must get a back up option when those political science degrees, dont net you the million dollar lifetime contracts you dreamed of as a child. plenty of degree holders in this world working as night watchmen. when is someone going to stand up and cry out for all those who were misled?

JayCeph 15 years, 8 months ago

Nobody's bad-mouting Julian. They are just stating their desire to see him stay (improve) and increase KU's chances of winning it all next year.

As far as I can tell, everyone is still wishing him luck should he decide to move on to the league.

So, to remain consistent with all the other posts...

Julian, don't go. You'd benefit on all sorts of levels if you stuck around. However, should you decide to leave, best of luck to you. I hope you land on a good team that will provide you with more than just money.

Rock Chalk~

caddie733 15 years, 8 months ago

This message board must be littered with NBA scouts who know exactly when a player is ready or not for pro ball. Good luck Julian, it's your decision and no one elses...hope everything works out well, appreciate all you did for KU.

KGphoto 15 years, 8 months ago

Does anybody remember the breakaway, windmill dunk attempt? Julian thought he was in the NBA dunk competition and forgot that he is still an underdeveloped pro prospect.

Now, I love Julian. I do. But the fact that he faked an injury out of embarrassment after he blew the windmill jam, tells me all I need to know about Julian and the NBA. He's not ready. He needs to mature.

Many of these comments/postings, balance on the notion that millions of dollars are the key to happiness. Obviously none of them have a lot of money. Once you have plenty of money, you begin to see that there is more to life.

You will have plenty of money Julian. It's not about being a millionaire. It's about the things you can't buy. You can't buy another year of Allen Field House. Adoring fans, Rock Chalk chants and maybe a number in the rafters. You will never be able to buy a space next to Chamberlain or Pierce. They aren't for sale. You see? Some things aren't for sale.

I was so proud of how you had decided to stay for your degree before you even laced'em up for your first practice in Lawrence. You just don't hear kids say that kind of thing anymore. It also meant that we would get to see you for three years. I told my friends here in Colorado. "That's what Kansas basketball is about"!

Julian, I will root for you in the NBA. I will follow your progress and cheer for your team. But you need to get away from the people that have something to gain by your declaration, and go clear your head. Go sit in the middle of Naismith Court. Spend some time looking around. See if you can't get some help from the spirits that haunt that magical place. You'll never be happier playing basketball than you have been/will be in that building, in that town.

This I guarantee.

craigers 15 years, 8 months ago

Somebody at work said there was a rumor flying around about Collins being homesick and wanting to transfer. Anybody else heard that? They said that they were told the story was on this website but I don't see anything.

Stacey Harden 15 years, 8 months ago

craigers - I heard of Collins being homesick during the season - when he was having his mini-slump. Self talked about it being more of a freshman funk, kind of like what Robinson did when he was a freshman. I think Collins is here to stay. And for the record, he should start. Or at the very minimum play 28-32 minutes per game!

Chris Shaw 15 years, 8 months ago

Logicsound04: You have provided the absolute most funny post today. Let me get this straight. You're comparing an accountant and it's salary to that of an NBA salary. Does this accountant have NBA players as his or her clients? If that's the case then I would have left school to take that job. What are we talking about here? We're talking about a career that probably if you're really really really really good would make about $120,000 a year. I'm pretty sure I'm being a little generous on that. If anyone on this forum is an accountant I would definitely like your viewpoint. Logicsound04, I agree with you to some extent that college is a great place and you'll have time for your career blah blah blah blah........lord knows, I was that person that took 4 months off after college and I back packed through Europe. Trip of a lifetime, but I gurantee you if I was standing there after my sophmore, Junior, or even after my Senior year with a 3 million over 3 years guranteed contract stairing me square in the face, I'm pretty sure I would sign the contract.I would try and be the best player I can be, but if it means sitting on the end of the bench staring at the cheerleaders for 3 years, then I will stare at the cheerleaders better than any other person out there. Logicsound, believe me I understand what you're saying about the memories, college ball vs NBA, and etc., but there is no way you can compare an accountant salary to that of an NBA salary. Let's see here $120,000 for the rest of your life which over a 30 year career period equals to 3.6 million (Let's just say 4 million b/c you'll have pay increases in there) or as another posted stated guranteed 9 million over 3 years. That's pretty much an easy decison for me. The main thing to look at though, is as long as he takes care of this money then it will all work out, but as we all know a lot of these guys throw it down the drain. Julian seems like a kid that would be smart, but also his family needs the money. As long as your getting good advice and you know for sure within a couple of picks where you will be drafted, then go have a ball and go stare at the cheerleaders.

Rationalanimal 15 years, 8 months ago

Julian, Opportunity is a fleeting thing. If you go pro and have a career-ending injury you'll have millions to pay for the rest of your education. If you stay at KU and have a career-ending injury you'll miss the opportunity you've been dreaming of your whole life. Grab the opportunity you've worked your whole life for, its here. No rational person that truly wants your best interest would ask you to skip millions of dollars so that KU can make another run (that's really what this is all about). Oh, one last thing, buy your mom a sweet car. Thanks for representing KU so well, on and off the court. We expect that representation to carry forward at the next level.

Thomomys1 15 years, 8 months ago

Julian has a pro game and he's playing in average at best offense. Will he struggle next year in the NBA? Probably. Few rookies don't struggle (regardless of how many years they remain in school). Would he benefit by staying another year? Possibly.

I wish he would stay (my selfish reasons). But being a top 10 pick...he HAS to go pro. He will get MORE coaching and be able to devote his time (not in class, etc) to learning the game 24/7. It's still a risk for the team that drafts him. Based on his body type, he won't be putting on massive amounts of weight (playing the 4). He's a 'long', relatively slow 3 with an average outside shot. For his size though, he has amazing court vision. Will he be able to make the adjustments/improvements? I suspect yes.

ryblake 15 years, 8 months ago

Julian has been my favorite Jayhawk since I saw video of him in high school and I don't have a problem with him leaving early, even though I don't think he'd be ready even after his junior season. I have a problem with the Nick Saban-like situation he put himself in by saying he was "100 percent" he was coming back. He'll be an average player in the NBA and just another 6'8 guy with skills and no jumper. Selfishly, I'd love to see him come back but I get why guys leave early...I think his mom would have a bigger problem with him giving his word and going back on it than not getting his degree.

I read an article where he told Coach Self not to recruit anyone for his position next season, now we haven't recruited anyone. Darrell will fit in at the 4 well as long as he keeps his feet when someone shot fakes and stays out of foul trouble.We still have Brandon and let's be honest, he's the one that makes this team go. Russell started to assert himself offensively at the end of the year and Mario will have to be more consistent but KU will still have to be one of the favorites to win it all next season. Julian is still my boy but when he's riding the pine next April and his former teammates are cutting down the nets in San Antonio he'll be sorry.

Julian is still my guy despite the mistake he's about to make. Give me some love, I'm a Jayhawk fan stuck in Bob Knight country in Lubbock, TX...ROCK CHALK!

scottku1 15 years, 8 months ago

Very interesting comments on here this morning. In regards to Julian I am pretty much on the fence. Personally and selfishly as a KU fan I want him to come back for his junior year. But all that $$ is going to be very hard to turn down. I really cannot compare he and I. He is from inner city Chicago. I am from Overland Park. I was by no means weathly but probably not as worried as he is about taking care of my entire family. That $$ could do alot for he and his family if spent and invensted correctly. I went to KU to have some fun. I had too much as it took me 5 instead of 4 or in Julians case 3 years to finish. Personally a Degree is priceless. All season long he was talking about coming back and finishing up in 3 years and getting his degree. "I was thinking wow, good for him. Thats great, I wish more young athletes thought like this." I personally do not know Julian, like most all of us on here but sometimes I think I do. I do not know is home situation. He could have a sick family member, or a child or two to take care of.

Either way staying or leaving good luck Julian.

Eric TheCapn 15 years, 8 months ago

It will be quite a shame. I love watching Julian play and won't see him anymore as the NBA is about the most boring league i all of professional and college sports. I mean, they don't even try. Guess I'll be passing on a Wright jersey too...

KU 15 years, 8 months ago

From a selfish perspective, I want Wright to stay. But who among us could honestly say that we would pass up the SURE 3 year GUARANTEED contract making MILLIONS of dollars as a Lottery Pick to stay in college one more year? I would go in a heartbeat. There are too many things that could happen between now and next year that could push Wright out of the Lottery Pick status: 1) If he comes back, he could under-perform like he did much of this year and play his way out of the lottery, 2) He could get a career-ending injury, 3) He could find the draft stacked next year so even if he plays better than this year he could be outside the first 20 picks. We don't know which kids will blow up to Lottery Pick status in the next year and we don't know which foreign players will go in next year's draft.

CMKUbLu304 15 years, 8 months ago

everybody know's what's best for him, don't they? I couldn't believe my ears when I heard that he was more than likely going to leave, but honestly this is his decision, if he feels he's ready. I would love it if he stayed at least another year like he had initially planned, but it doesn't appear that's going to happen. All I can say is that I wish him the best of luck and I will miss that guy like crazy. He'll be alright tho. I believe in him, as should all of you.

Patrick Bryant 15 years, 8 months ago

Everyone talks about these career ending injuries (that keeps them out of the NBA) but I can't remember all these players that this has happened to. Can anyone refresh my memory?

Andy Hess 15 years, 8 months ago should ask Danny Manning about blowing out a knee in the NBA and how it affects your career from then on.

emeryhawk 15 years, 8 months ago

Swedehawk- it wasn't career-ending but Curtis Sumpter for Villanova comes to mind. McDonalds All-American, all but guaranteed a pro career. He might still make it, but not as a lottery pick. Like everyone I'm just really bummed out to think that this is the end of Julian's Kansas career. I was at the UCLA game in San Jose and the player that I was most excited to see in person was Julian Wright. Obviously, he didn't come through in that game, but I just feel the guy has a ceiling that no one on this team can match. NBA scouts feel the same way apparently. I see the holes in his game as well, but there's a reason that DraftExpress has him ranked as the top player in his class. I agree that if he came back and we won a title he could make himself a KU legend, but I can't hate a guy for taking the money and a shot at the hardest competition the sport has to offer (a lot of people seem to pass over the fact that these athletes are competitive and want to play against the best). Whatever Julian chooses, I'll respect his decision.

tdub 15 years, 8 months ago

Rush should make note of the fact that he can now be THE guy next year. He could add valuable points and rebounds to his average that would make him more attractive to scouts.

As for Julian, all I have to mention is the dunk debacle against Colorado. And that move he does when he starts dribbling between his legs and then bounces it out of bounds off his foot.

This is all strangely reminiscent of Drew Gooden. Next April, we may all be saying "if we only had Julian, he was the missing piece" after the Final Four. Meanwhile, Juju will be in the league, still learning how to dribble and shoot a consistent jumpshot.

Mark Winkler 15 years, 8 months ago

well that opens up a scholarship....I think they should stay I know that is a lot of money...but 1 year more I would rather play now then get splinters in my butt riding the bench. I have no respect for students that never play in college or one year and leave. GO BULLS go hinrich

Mark Winkler 15 years, 8 months ago

oh yea maybe with the open scholarship Beasley will think about it

scottku1 15 years, 8 months ago

With Julian now leaving who is out there to fill his scholarship??? I have not heard any names. I know there were 2 or 3 guys in the McDonalds game that were undecided, although 1 was a point guard. Let me know if anyone has heard anything. Thanks

Rock Chalk!

tis4tim 15 years, 8 months ago

I don't want to reiterate what everyone has said already. I will submit this to those who talk about maturity: Ask Stephon Marbury or Ron Artest or Rasheed Wallace about whether or not that maturity some of you speak of ever arrives. I'd say compared to those 'adults' Wright's got his head on pretty straight.

scottku1 15 years, 8 months ago

tis4tim- Nice point. Those are 3 pretty 3 douche bags and I don't think Wright has ever shown any signs that he is or is going to be like them. He seems smarter and more mature. Good for him.

Bob Zielinski 15 years, 8 months ago

please stay julian. we all love to watch you play and you could be a part of something big (just in case ju-ju reads these message boards).

Chris Shaw 15 years, 8 months ago

The only guy left out of the McDonald's American game that is undecided is Patrick Patterson. There is Jai Lucas, but he's 5'10" and really wouldn't replace Julian. Patterson is a big guy, but the chances of us getting him zero to none. I don't think I would want another McChicken All-American. Give that Teahan walk-on the schloarship. He's shown the most committment! Here's the profile of Patterson.

JSDAD 15 years, 8 months ago

Posted by swishymcjayhawk (anonymous) on April 9, 2007 at 11:51 a.m. (Suggest removal) should ask Danny Manning about blowing out a knee in the NBA and how it affects your career from then on.

And he lives where, and works where, and makes how much, and has more than how many other people in the degree business at ku?

cklarock 15 years, 8 months ago

The question for Julian isn't "should he go," but rather "will he go higher if he waits a year?"

If Julian thinks the answer to that quesiton is "no," then he needs to leave now. The difference between going 8th and going 18th is immense.

Julian's future is playing in the NBA, and just like my college experience did, his college experience needs to reflect that.


p.s. I wonder if he had a dream about playing in a Kansas uniform alongside Darell Arthur last night?

Matt Kenton 15 years, 8 months ago

Some interesting reading:

Early-entry mistakes:

Late-entry mistakes:

Which one does Julian seem more likely he could turn out to be?

KURUSH1530 15 years, 8 months ago

This is great...for all of you Bill Self fans out there getting mad at those of us who doubt Billy boy can now see why you HAVE to make it to the final four when you have the most talented team. Because soon, guys change there minds and leave, then you have no one with the same amount of talent to replace them, while everybody else in the country is getting reloaded with incoming recruits. Patterson will most likely go to Florida, too bad, because he didn't look too bad at the McD's AA-game. Maybe we should try and get Jai Lucas incase Russell Robinson decides (out of the blue) he's ready for the NBA draft too. All in all, I wish we could trade Bill Self for Scott Drew.

tis4tim 15 years, 8 months ago


I doubt Self is trekking around the country right now looking for a secluded place to pout about players possibly leaving. He knows how this works.

The same "you get in bed with the devil and you get burned" comments made about Huggins apply here. If you get McD All-Americans, you know that you are on borrowed time. It's part of the territory. Fortunately, here at KU we have the luxury of getting another high quality one to replace the one(s) that leaves. One of these days the chemistry and the timing will be just right. As sad as it is when guys leave, I get just as psyched seeing who it is we're gonna get to replace them.

Some of you seem to think the talent well is going to dry up. It won't. And during the dustbowl years, we will always be just about the last to die of dehydration.

KU 15 years, 8 months ago

KURUSH = Scott Drew. Or Scott Drew's momma.

I don't believe KU had the most talented team in the country this year. The schedule hides a LOT of flaws and makes players look better than they really are; playing in the Big 12 doesn't help. Don't get me wrong--Rush and Wright are good college players, but you didn't see them on anybody's post-season All-American team, did you? How about Second Team?

There were any number of teams with as much or more talent as KU this year: Florida (hands down more), North Carolina, UCLA, Georgetown, Ohio State.

It's not as if KU had a cake-walk to the Final Four and Bill Self blew it, KURUSH. Coaches coach. Players play. Our players had an off day against UCLA and UCLA played one of their most inspired games of the year. Had we drawn the UCLA that played Florida, we may have been in the Final Four despite our off day.......OR maybe Florida was really that much better than UCLA, whose athleticism on the perimeter REALLY bothered us the whole day.

fansincewilt 15 years, 8 months ago

I think Wright is going to be a great pro. I think he will actually do better at that level than college. He has the athletic ability to get to the rim. He is on the brink of getting that done. He led the team in rebounding, an amazing accomplishment at his size. His athletic ability is amazing. I think we will all be proud of him. You certainly can't fault him for going for it.

Mangino_Maniac 15 years, 8 months ago

I'm starting to tire of college athletics... Julian was one I figured to put it all in proper perspective and come back next year - you will never get your college years back Julian.

What a dissappointment if he leaves.

esuyat 15 years, 8 months ago

Good luck to you, Ju! We'll miss you, but if you're going to be a lottery pick, there's no use hanging out at KU. Thanks for 2 great seasons.

rockchalkAZ 15 years, 8 months ago

So what position does he think he'd be able to play in the NBA next year? He is way to small to play any kind of a forward, and we all know he has no handles whatsoever. He's got a decent shot, but he could definitely use another year in college to mature... but that's what any KU fan would say, so whatever I guess.

Geekinout 15 years, 8 months ago

How many players now have been kicked off the team or have transfered? Now we get to watch what I've feared the most, which is players not sticking around 3 years or longer before jumping to the NBA. I'll bet we won't be seeing Rush or Collins next year in KU uniforms either!

filmhawk 15 years, 8 months ago

i don't understand people second guessing julian's choice to turn pro. if the association is willing to pay him millions of dollars to work on his game - there is no reason not to. it would be one thing if he was going to go late 1st or early 2nd - but who's to say - even with a good year next year - he'll project into the lottery?

we all love ku - and there is a difference between the average student cherishing the 4,5, or in my case, 7 years we spend on the hill, and a basketball player who chose to attend ku without stepping foot on campus and has been dreaming of a career in the nba since he was a child.

good luck julian. thanks for the ball you played for us - make ku proud.

Geekinout 15 years, 8 months ago

Too small to play the 4 or 5 in the NBA. Limited range and not sticky enough handles to play the 2 or 3. He could be a great defensive/rebound role player though. Can anyone seriously see him trying to match up with some of the players in the NBA right now and being able to score. Good luck riding the bench for about 3-5 years. Drew Gooden incarnation, but bigger disappointment! You will be getting "paid" though...

KBReyn06 15 years, 8 months ago

will we be able to listen to the announcment on the radio or anywhere else?

JayCat_67 15 years, 8 months ago

Actually, I hear that he will be announcing his intention to follow Bob Huggins to West Virginia. NBA! Geez!

Larry Smith 15 years, 8 months ago

KURush, Can you tell me how many final fours the teams of Jaque Vaughn, Paul Pierce, Reaf Lafrentz, Scott Pollard, Jarrod Hasse made it to? Did Roy manage to get them there with all of this talent? Please get off of the Bill Self has to get it done with all of this talent crap. Because that 97 team was one of the best I have ever seen and it just didn't happen for them. That's the way it goes some times. Get off of Coach Self's Case.

Matt Kenton 15 years, 8 months ago

I don't understand people second guessing people second guessing Julian's choice to turn pro!

Hey, that's what fans do!

Geekinout 15 years, 8 months ago

Heard a nasty rumor, which I'm hoping is only a rumor, that Collins might transfer to DePaul?

bmcmich1 15 years, 8 months ago

Wow, as if I didn't already hate the NBA. It's not Julian's fault--who wouldn't take the $? I fault the league--everything about it today screams sleazy and low-rent. I remember the days of Larry Legend, Magic, and MJ--what happened to the NBA? It seems now to just be a nuisance hanging over college ball threatening to take away the best players and throw them into perpetual anonymity. Has anyone seen an NBA game lately? Sparse crowds, cheesy automated organ music, and the incredibly annoying voice of Bill Walton announcing. Nowadays, if I read anything about the NBA in ink I'll pass it over, and if I hear about the NBA on the radio or sportscenter or something I'll change the station. I have absolutely no affinity with the NBA whatsoever, and most people I know feel the exact same way. Naturally, I wish nothing for the best for Julian--but I fear that the only contact I'll ever have with his name and likeness from here on out will be a blurb about him getting two minutes of playing time when some Euro with a name I can't pronounce needed a breather in a meaningless game between the bobcats and clippers or something, and it saddens me.

KBReyn06 15 years, 8 months ago

the ncaa tourny beats the playoffs... easily.

sunkufan 15 years, 8 months ago

did any of you fans that are picking apart this story even notice coach Sutton in the background of the front page pick

JayCat_67 15 years, 8 months ago

Now that it's official... No I don't blame him for going for the money. I just think that there is something wrong with anyone making multiple millions of dollars a year for PLAYING A FRIGGIN' GAME. A GAME!!! But, people keep on shelling out for the tickets, the jersey's, the shoes and whatever the heck else they advertise during the games on TV. As long as that happens... Aw crap, I'm pontificating again. Hope he does well. If you enjoy the pro game, it's cool... no... really:-)

Chris Shaw 15 years, 8 months ago

Choffman: You have got to be kidding me. The days of Larry Legend, Magic, The Bad Boys and of course MJ are gone and buried. MJ was the rise of the league and has been the absolute downfall of the league the last 10 years. All of these players want guranteed contracts, shoe deals, and huge endorsement deals because the NBA marketed to individuals. If David Stern would try and shift his focus and try and market the League rather than individuals maybe there would be a better product. Why do you think the NBA playoffs have been stretched to about a month longer over the last 10 years? The NBA knows it lost and is still most likely is losing money and it can't compete with the NCAA tournament in March and beginning of April. You're right "Choffman", I enjoy a 70 game regular season schedule where I can watch one player on about 80% percent of the teams just do isolation plays. I love the fact that the lane is 100' wide with 3 second defensive calls. 3 second defensive calls? Are you kidding me? What a joke? Let me not even get into the Reffing topic. That is the biggest joke I've ever seen. You are right that the last 15 games of the season are a little more exciting and playoff action does start to heat up, but David Stern as such a choke-hold on reffing and every little rule on the court it makes me vomit. You want good basketball Choffman, did you happen to watch the World Championships last year where our USA team got their butts kicked. The only two players who came to show up were Hinrich and Melo. Granted Hinrich could have shot the ball better, but he came with effort and Melo couldn't miss. Did you see how lost our team was against good team basketball in Greece? I mean we absoultely got pick and rolled to death. Of course I players complained, but that's the type of attitude we've develped in the NBA. Yes, Choffman I'll watch the NBA b/c it is basketball to some extent, but I'll still have a distaste in my mouth of how ridicoulous the league has become.

Midwest013 15 years, 8 months ago

Big loss.. hopefully he has another 'sudden' change of heart before June 18th.

craigers 15 years, 8 months ago

Thanks to those that responded to my question. I just wanted to make sure nobody else heard the same RUMOR about Collins. I had no idea what that question would spark on the Julian announcement story. Sorry.

tailg8prty 15 years, 8 months ago

What is your main objective by going to college? Some would say to mature on your own and have a good time while doing so. But the main reason people go to school is to improve their life when they have to finally get a job. Comparing the NBA and Accounting is ridiculous. Yes if you are a hot prospect as an accountant it would only help you by going back to school because you would be that much more valueable with a degree. I haven't heard of too many career threatning injuries pushing a pencil. Go for it Julian. A career in the NBA is short because if you can't cut it then there is another underclassman ready to declare for the draft and take your job. BEST OF LUCK!

seitzy24 15 years, 8 months ago

He's a great college palyer, but not NBA material YET. He is too unconsistant and a little undersized to play in the NBA. I'd love to see him stick around one more year.

michael anway 15 years, 8 months ago

Thank you! Thank You! Thank You! While I loved Julian as a player, he hurt Kansas more than he helped them. No one threw the ball away more or missed more easy layups. Now it's time time for the others to shine, especially the BIG SHADY! There is no doubt that we will be a lot better team next year. 31-3 and the FINAL FOUR!

JayCeph 15 years, 8 months ago

Collins is now the proud father of another little baby boy born in Chicago (over the weekend?).

smasher 15 years, 8 months ago

Posted by rockchalkAZ (anonymous) on April 9, 2007 at 2:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"So what position does he think he'd be able to play in the NBA next year? He is way to small to play any kind of a forward, and we all know he has no handles whatsoever. He's got a decent shot, but he could definitely use another year in college to mature... but that's what any KU fan would say, so whatever I guess."

Are you serious?? He's 6'8" and 225 lbs. how he is not the size of a forward? Do you even watch the nba? He's probably going to be pretty darn good in the pro game. I have heard him compared to Shawn Marion at the time he came out of the draft. He was 6'7" and like 215 lbs and he worked for three years and turned out to be a superstar.

Has no handles? You are crazy. To say Julian Wright has no handles means you (1) have never seen him play, or (2) are referring to luv handles. The latter I would agree with, as he's one lanky mofo. Julian has great handles, especially for his size, and the match-up problems he presents to future opponents are one of the main reasons he's projected to be taken in the first round.

I wish JW all the luck in the world and support his decision to take the money while it's being offered.

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