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Sports

Rush withdraws from draft

Severity of guard’s knee injury to be determined next week

May 26, 2007

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Kansas University's men's basketball team may have wrapped up a preseason No. 1 ranking on Friday.

"I wouldn't think so, but we'll be up there," KU coach Bill Self said Friday night, three hours after reporting Brandon Rush's decision to withdraw from the NBA Draft, in part because of a right knee injury incurred two days ago playing pick-up basketball in Kansas City. Self said the severity of the injury would not be known until medical tests early next week.

"I think we got better today, there's no doubt about that. On the flip side, it wasn't the way I wanted to get better."

The 6-foot-6 Rush, who declared for the NBA Draft on April 26 but elected to not sign with an agent, had hoped to compete at the NBA Draft camp next week in Orlando, Fla.

The 58 college early entrees have until June 18 to withdraw and retain their collegiate eligibility provided they are agent-free.

"People will think the reason I am returning is because I injured my knee playing in a pickup game," Rush said. "That is not true, but it did reinforce to me that the time was not right to go to the NBA. I thought all along that I would more than likely return to school, but it was something I needed to find out about.

"We have a great team returning and I love my teammates. The people at Kansas and the fans have treated me so well. It is hard to pass up the opportunity to experience another year of that."

As far as the injury ... Self said there was no reason to believe Rush's status for next season was in question.

"I do not want to comment or speculate on anything (regarding the injury)," Self said. "In the short term it was going to be tough for him to get ready to do what he wanted to do in pre-draft workouts."

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Rush - who walked with a slight limp without the use of crutches with an elastic sleeve on his knee Friday outside Allen Fieldhouse - was asked specifically if he had a torn ACL.

"I don't think so," Rush said, holding a bag of ice. "I think it's more like a sprain. They (doctors) still have to look."

Self said he learned of Rush's knee injury Thursday. Rush informed his coach of his decision to return to KU in a Friday afternoon meeting.

"He has some swelling in there. He will be evaluated seriously early next week," Self said. "He came down on the knee wrong. It swelled up on him. It was very very stiff. With him leaving on Tuesday going to the draft deal, he knew he would not be in shape to do that.

"His returning is not a shock," Self insisted. "I thought there was a chance he'd come back the whole time. When we visited today, he said, 'Coach I was probably going to do this anyway. Injuring my knee certainly made me rethink the deal.' He did not want to go to Orlando not healthy.

Self said he "felt bad" for Rush because the coach believes the workouts would have solidified Rush's status as a first-round selection.

"I think Brandon has done enough over two years to impress people on his improvement and athletic ability," Self said. "I think he would have been a first-rounder. I think it would have played out to be true.

"Even with that said, he told me all along if he couldn't go high he'd come back. Our (pre-draft camp) reports still had him on the bubble, on the borderline. I'm sure he's disappointed, but this will not be a killer to him."

Rush, in fact, appeared to be in good spirits Friday.

"This (injury) had nothing to do with it," he reiterated of withdrawing from the draft. "I would have (attended Orlando camp) just to see where I stood."

Self said returning might benefit Rush in the long run.

"I don't think the draft will be as deep next year. If he performs like he can, certainly that (lottery) is a possibility," Self said of Rush being a top-14 pick after his junior campaign.

"I certainly wanted Brandon to make the best decision for Brandon and his future. The best decision was for him to come back. On the flip side, I didn't want it to happen this way. He didn't want it to happen this way."

KU senior-to-be Jeremy Case said he found out about Rush's injury Friday.

"It's disappointing for anyone to get hurt," Case said. "He'll work through it. He's a tough guy. It's strange because he had not gotten hurt in two years here. He's a thoroughbred, has had no problems. This is bad timing for him."

Brandon Rush withdraws from NBA draft, returns to KU

KU basketball player Brandon Rush, who had earlier entered his name into consideration for the NBA draft, has now decided to return to KU for another season of Jayhawk basketball instead. Enlarge video

Case said he had expected a healthy Rush to enter the draft.

"I think he can be a really good player in the league," Case said. "I definitely thought he'd be in the NBA next year. I wouldn't say I'm happy because I don't know if this is exactly what he wanted. He loves it here, but who doesn't have the mindset of playing in the NBA?"

Comments

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 7 years, 2 months ago

Brandon is just not ready for the level of play in the NBA. He's not aggressive enough and thus far has not been able to consistently put the team on his back and carry them along like a major NBA recruit would do. I really don't like to see Wright go either. I will never forget setting in the field house and watching him soaring down the floor unchallenged, only to wind up on the floor in a fetal position. It was like yeaaaaaaahhhh......ohhhhhhhhh noooo. But then I'm just being selfish, I would love to watch him for another year, and now I think he'll be on someone's bench for a couple of years.

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Staci Dark Simpson 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes!!! Hope I am not happy dancing for nothing!

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KUGreenMachine 7 years, 2 months ago

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tarrant 7 years, 2 months ago

Sorry about the knee but welcome back for at least one more season, Brandon.

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Eride 7 years, 2 months ago

At this rate we might end up with four seasons out of him.

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mom_of_three 7 years, 2 months ago

YYYAAAYYYYY!!!

Hope the knee is fine.

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Kaw Pickinton 7 years, 2 months ago

I knew he'd stay and I'm glad he did.

Get well BR.

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Richard Boyd 7 years, 2 months ago

I would love to know the "REAL REASON".... you know the REALLY REAL REASON...

did someone sit him down and say... you know while a good college player... you might be "disappointed" with the NBA's evaluation of your net worth.... stuff like the ambiguous "family history"?

In any event good to see he has chosen this path....

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perkins 7 years, 2 months ago

Anyone else having trouble getting too excited about this turn of events? It took an injury for Rush to stay at KU?

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Tarrant 7 years, 2 months ago

Nah...I believe the kid. I'm sure the knee helped with the decision but I doubt that was the one and only cause of him changing his mind.

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gccs14r 7 years, 2 months ago

My guess is that he already was of little interest to the NBA and was even less interesting after he hurt himself screwing around in playground ball. If Brandon is even medium smart, he'll expend more effort in getting his degree than he will in winning games. He's no Carmelo (and I think Carmelo should have finished his degree at Syracuse, even though he's making cubic dollars in Denver.)

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jhawkdpt 7 years, 2 months ago

SORRY TO RAIN ON EVERYONES EXCITEMENT FOR HIS RETURN, BUT IF HE TRULY TORE HIS ACL HE MAY NOT BE READY TO PLAY UNTIL DECEMBER OR JANUARY AT THE EARLIEST. THIS IS NOT A SMALL INJURY AND EVEN WITH THE POWERFUL ATTENTION HE'LL GET FROM THE MEDIA AND FANS IT WILL NOT HEAL ANY FASTER IF IT'S TORN OR RECONSTRUCTED

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rlmtyco 7 years, 2 months ago

great news, I am happy, regardless of why he is coming back I am glad

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