Kansas University freshman Brandon Rush backed up the words he uttered after KU's defeat to Bradley last month, saying Tuesday that he would indeed return for his sophomore season instead of leaving Lawrence for the NBA draft.
"I'm still staying," Rush told reporters, after winning team MVP honors at KU basketball's postseason awards banquet held at the Kansas Union.
"I feel pretty good about it," said Rush -- who said he was eager to return for a chance to win a national championship, despite learning that he would likely be a late first or early second round pick.
Jayhawk coach Bill Self, who provided Rush with information from NBA sources on his likely draft status, was once again happy to hear Rush reiterate that he would return for his sophomore campaign. "That's great news," Self said.
In addition to Rush taking home the MVP hardware, freshmen Mario Chalmers and Julian Wright tied for Most Improved Player honors. Sophomore Russell Robinson won both Mr. Jayhawk and was named Defensive Player of the Year, wrapping up the awards that KU players and coaches voted on Tuesday.
2005-06 Kansas Men's Basketball Awards
Senior Awards - Jeff Hawkins, Christian Moody, Moulaye Niang, Stephen Vinson
Ken Koenigs Academic Award - Christian Moody
Dutch Lonborg Free Throw Percentage Award - Mario Chalmers
Dick Harp Field Goal Percentage Award - Julian Wright and Sasha Kaun
Clyde Lovellette Most Improved Player Award - Mario Chalmers and Julian Wright
Bill Bridges Rebounding Award - Brandon Rush
Cedric Hunter/Jacque Vaughn/Aaron Miles Assists Award - Russell Robinson
Ted Owens Defensive Player Award - Russell Robinson
Danny Manning "Mr. Jayhawk" Award - Russell Robinson
James Naismith Captain's Award - Jeff Hawkins, Christian Moody, Moulaye Niang, Stephen Vinson
Dr. Forrest C. "Phog" Allen Most Valuable Player Award - Brandon Rush