Must read: Doyel on Rush

Gregg Doyel devotes an entire article to the Brandon Rush situation. The original article is here, but it is so flush with bits and pieces that I've decided to reproduce the whole thing here, without Mr. Doyel's permission, of course (until he asks me to bring it down).

Aug. 8, 2005 By Gregg Doyel CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer

Two months after withdrawing from the 2005 NBA Draft, unsigned high school senior Brandon Rush will decide this week between Kansas, Illinois and Southern California.

This is a big deal, people. Big. How big? We're giving it an entire Ten for Tuesday.

1. Ramifications: First things first. If Kansas gets Rush, a 6-foot-6 wing who was among the more impressive prospects at the Chicago pre-draft camp, the Jayhawks would go from fringe Top 25 team to instant Final Four contender. If it's Illinois, Rush would give the Illini -- even without Deron Williams, Luther Head and Roger Powell -- frontrunner status for another Big Ten title. With Rush, Southern Cal would go from Pac-10 straggler to postseason contender in Tim Floyd's first season as coach.

2. Brother or booster: Rush apparently has ruled out Missouri, where one of his older brothers -- Kareem -- starred from 1999-2002. With Missouri potentially out of scholarships earlier this summer, Kareem Rush told the media that he would pay his brother's way to Missouri. Which begs the question: Does there come a point where a brother becomes a booster? If Kareem was willing to pay Brandon's tuition to play anywhere, it's a brotherly act allowed by the NCAA. But if Kareem would only pay Brandon's tuition to Missouri, that becomes an act on behalf of Missouri, does it not? Interesting question, but one the NCAA won't have to answer just yet.

3. Golden Triangle: Any story that links (again) Roy Williams, Bill Self and Bruce Weber ... is a cool story. When Williams left Kansas for North Carolina, of course, Self replaced him, with Weber replacing Self at Illinois. For parts of last season, that trio seemed to have the country's best three teams. Now they are linked to Brandon Rush. Self and Weber want him, while Williams infamously stopped recruiting another of Rush's older brothers, JaRon, after JaRon publicly questioned Williams' substitution patterns while in high school.

4. Oklahoma omission: At the Chicago pre-draft camp, Brandon Rush told me that his top choice was Oklahoma. Now the Sooners aren't even among his finalists. That's interesting -- very interesting. Some day the rest of that story will come out, and it'll be noteworthy.

5. One-and-done: Wherever he plays, Rush will become the most likely freshman to enter the 2006 NBA Draft. He doesn't pretend to have an interest in getting a college degree, at least not in the traditional four-year sense. Whoever gets Rush is getting a mercenary, but such is life in college basketball.

6. Micah Downs: Downs, an incoming Kansas freshman, could be the biggest individual loser in the Rush sweepstakes if Rush chooses the Jayhawks. They play the same position, but Rush is more developed physically and would likely play ahead of Downs, who pouted after playing just 11 minutes in the McDonald's All-American game. Throw in another notoriously sullen newcomer on the wing, USC transfer Rodrick Stewart, and Kansas could have chemistry issues.

7. Self vs. Weber: Self didn't endear himself to Illinois fans when he left for Kansas. Weber didn't endear himself to Kansas fans when he held a mock funeral for Self. Self struck again last year when he received a verbal commitment from the best player in Illinois, Julian Wright, before Wright had even visited Kansas. Now they're battling over Rush -- after Self got involved awfully late. Rivalries are so fun.

8. Brumbaugh bettered: For several weeks, Oklahoma State has enjoyed having the best late signee in the country. That was Keith Brumbaugh, a 6-8 forward who signed in late July with the Cowboys (over USC and Nebraska). OSU still ought to feel plenty good about Brumbaugh, but Rush is better. In the Roundball Classic, Rush had 21 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots.

9. Baggage: Brandon Rush seems like a nice young man, but he's got more red flags than a Russian patriot. For one thing, he's 20. That's an old high school senior. For another, he spent two seasons at notorious basketball factory Mount Zion in Durham, N.C. A number of schools backed off Rush this summer, even after he withdrew from the NBA Draft, saying there was no way he would be eligible this season. Add to that the as-yet-unknown financing of his NBA individual workouts -- reported to be with anywhere from four to six NBA teams -- and the NCAA will examine Rush with a microscope before allowing him to play for anyone. High school players can have their workouts financed by NBA teams within reason, according to the NCAA. Did Rush go through the process "within reason"? We'll find out.

10. Prediction: Kansas. When Self really wants a recruit, nobody can beat him.

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