Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Self: Rush ‘has to step up’


— Now is not the time of year for Brandon Rush to get tentative.

He knows it.

His coach knows it.

His teammates know it.

"Let's call it like it is. Brandon has to step up. He can't score eight points or five points. He's better than that offensively," Kansas University coach Bill Self said after Rush hit for nine points off 2-of-7 shooting with four turnovers and seven rebounds in the Jayhawks' 67-65 victory over Oklahoma on Monday in Noble Center.

"He has to do more offensively for us to look good. He shied away from plays tonight," Self added. "That's what he can't do. We've got to get better at that."

Rush, who along with several other players appeared frazzled at times - "I think the whole group showed frustration tonight; the body language wasn't as good," Self said - admits he has been struggling.

He has made just seven of his last 24 shots over three games.

KU barely tops Oklahoma in tough conference play

The Jayhawks had a hard time with Oklahoma Monday night, but was able to come away with the road victory over the Sooners, 67-65.

"I'm just worried about making a mistake," Rush said.

Why's that?

"I don't know. I've had in the back of my mind, 'Don't make mistakes,'" Rush said. "I need to have a free mind when I'm out there, not worry, just move on to the next play."

Rush made two of four shots in the first half, but went 0-for-3 after intermission.

"I couldn't get myself into the game, I guess. I was getting frustrated with myself, missing shots, air-balling. I just need to do a better job out there," he said.

Junior Russell Robinson said he noticed frustration in Rush.

"It's our job as guards to get Brandon easy shots, get him going, get him in rhythm," Robinson said.

Rush was pleased to see Julian Wright and Mario Chalmers save the day with 18 points apiece.

"They stepped up and led us," Rush said.

It has been a different guy each game for KU much of the season.

"No question Sherron (Collins) has been our best player in crunch time until tonight," Self said. "You could almost ask me who our go-to guy is between TV timeouts, it changes so frequently."


FlaHawk 15 years, 7 months ago

Still don't see NBA potential in Rush. However, they don't play with their head in the game consistently at the NBA level either. You just hjave to know when to step your game up.

Hope thh Hawks got a very poorly played game out of their system. Thanks goodness no more true road games!

jayhawkinATL 15 years, 7 months ago

The Hawks definitely had the "deer in the headlights" look throughout the second half. Again, as Franscilla said, this may be a good character-building win for us.

BigTamale 15 years, 7 months ago

Flahawk...NO KIDDING!

There is a quote in the KC Star that says Rush will probably return for his Junior season.

JoCoJoe 15 years, 7 months ago

Can't go to his left. Wildly inconsistent from game to game with his offensive game. Shies away from initiative in big games.

What general manager in his right mind would draft Rush in the first round?

brilljayhawk 15 years, 7 months ago

The key word is potential. Rush does have the potential for the NBA. Has he come into his game yet? No, but that is not what the league looks for.

Robert Brock 15 years, 7 months ago

Did you guys notice ESPN cutting to a shot of the irrational NBA GM known as Danny Ainge in the crowd last night ? He was probably more interested in scouting Julian, but I wonder what his impression of Rush was. Maybe that he could one day be a solid NBADL player.

I like Rush and think he has some good tools but he is really frustrating. I don't know how many GM's right now are excited about a guy who has a pretty good shot but is passive and doesn't attack much, and who has mediocre ball-handling and passing ability. Lots of things to work on IMO.

jayhawksnumber1 15 years, 7 months ago

Don't you love it when the professional scribes, the people who get paid to write can not get it right!!! Gary, looking forward to your story on Senior Day, next year........

KJRFC 15 years, 7 months ago

Rush can go cold vs. some of the cupcakes that we played at the beginning of the season, certainly not now. We had our most consistant player (Collins) have a bad night last night, but others stepped up. Where in the hell was Rush? For f---ing sake, this is the NCAA D1, and we are consistantly a top 10 team in a major conference! Rush, lose the skirt, grow a pair, and step up like all the other players around you. These disappearing acts have got to stop. We've got the Big XII tourn. next week, then the Big Dance. Now's not the time to be "afraid to make a mistake." I can't believe an "NBA-prospect" is scared, what are you, back in grade school?

William James 15 years, 7 months ago

He isnt in grade school. He is a 19 or 20 year old sophomore in college. He might need some more time to mature before the NBA which is why he will be back next year. Give the kid a break. Dont expect the world from a college underclassmen, more times than not you will be dissapointed.

Christopher Johnson 15 years, 7 months ago

Great positive reinforcement KJRFC . . . Good Grief man!! What gives anybody the right to call a player like Rush out so disprespectfully like that unless you're the coach? He had a bad game. So what? So did Collins. The only reason people are hating on Rush is because they want to see him succeed. We aren't bashing Collins for his bad performance.

beakemhawks 15 years, 7 months ago

Rush is 21 years old. Maybe he should take some of the time that he spends at the Jayhawker Cafe (aka The Hawk) and go to the gym to learn how to drive.

Robert Brock 15 years, 7 months ago

hawkandtigerfan, Rush was preseason Big 12 player of the year, a guy many initially expected to be gone after last year, and someone getting national praise. We have high expectations for him for a reason. Collins is a frosh, but Rush continues to play like a frosh.

JayCeph 15 years, 7 months ago

Lebowski, that is the most cogent arguement I have read all day. Nice work.

Jordan Brown 15 years, 7 months ago

You all bashing Rush are d-bags. I want to see you fill his shoes and go out there in front of millions of people watching with high expectations and pressure. YOU CAN"T

KJRFC 15 years, 7 months ago

Brocklll, thanks for extending my point. You get what I'm trying to say. Fabio, maybe YOU need to grow a pair! Why don't you be a little softer and more forgiving of our most underachieving player. Hawkandtigerfan, first off, pick one and stick with it. If it's the tigers, go chime on their board. I'm sure it's full of the positive comments you're looking for. Secondly, Rush deserves to be bashed on because he has no consistancy, where as Collins does. Nobody is calling out Collins because he backs it up each game with solid play and one off night is allowable. Rush, on the other hand, should be the best player on this team, but wait, he's "SCARED TO MAKE A MISTAKE." You don't see any of the freshmen showing any fear when they play, even off the bench. As I said before, Rush's inconsistancy as a dominant player is getting old and KU fans should be sick of all the hype that isn't being fulfilled. He has the talent and potential to significantly help take this team to Atlanta, but the question remains, which Rush will show up?

John Brown 15 years, 7 months ago

It is great that the team has many stars. Rush just needs to shine at tourney time

Jordan Brown 15 years, 7 months ago

You don't know anything. None of us really do when it comes to what is going on with the team and Rush.

William James 15 years, 7 months ago

As tough as you guys are I hope you guys go out for the team next year. Takes a man to jump on a website and bash a college kid. Maybe some of you guys should take a look in the mirror. Brandon has done, is doing, and will continue to do more for KU athletics than any of you guys.

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