Brandon Rush First Team AA according to Dick Vitale

Thanks to reader Michael for sending this in. KU's own Brandon Rush is a pre-season All American, at least to Dick Vitale. My guess is that he'll be getting a lot of attention for this honor if DV is saying so.

Here's the rest of his selections:

FIRST TEAM C: Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina

F: Joakim Noah, Florida

F: Brandon Rush, Kansas

G: Arron Afflalo, UCLA

G: Jarrius Jackson, Texas Tech

SECOND TEAM

C: Glen Davis, LSU

F: Josh McRoberts, Duke

F: Corey Brewer, Florida

G: Alando Tucker, Wisconsin

G: Ronald Steele, Alabama

THIRD TEAM C: Aaron Gray, Pittsburgh

F: Nick Fazekas, Nevada

F: Jared Dudley, Boston College

G: Chris Lofton, Tennessee

G: Taurean Green, Florida

FOURTH TEAM C: Roy Hibbert, Georgetown

F: Al Horford, Florida

F: Richard Roby, Colorado

G: JamesOn Curry, Oklahoma State

G: Sean Singletary, Virginia

FIFTH TEAM C: David Padgett, Louisville

F: DJ White, Indiana

F: Curtis Sumpter, Villanova

G: Brandon Heath, San Diego State

G: Dominic James, Marquette

SIXTH TEAM C: Jermareo Davidson, Alabama

F: Joseph Jones, Texas A&M

F: Marcus Williams, Arizona

G: Adam Haluska, Iowa

G: Kammron Taylor, Wisconsin

Rush to test the NBA Waters again?

This is draft buzz, pure and simple, so enjoy it until it turns out not to be true:

Kansas freshman small forward Brandon Rush is thinking about testing the draft process again. Remember Rush tested the process last year and had a solid performance at the Chicago Predraft camp. He is in a unique position with the ability to test the process for a second time due to the NBA's rule, which allows high schoolers that have tested before an additional withdrawal.

Rush considers himself a lottery pick right now. But NBA scouts NBADraft.net spoke to say he's a bubble first rounder at best

As Brandon goes, so go the Hawks?

Luke Winn explores the importance of individuals to teams in a column today. I was surprised to find Brandon Rush in his list at #6. I think the miserable performance at UT probably hurts him the most, but it's still an interesting exercise. Check it out.

All-Bellwether Team Which players' scoring averages differed the most between wins and losses? Rk. Player Team Conf. Rec. Avg. in wins Avg in Ls Diff. 1 Richard Roby Colorado (9-7) 23.7 13.1 10.6 2 Steve Novak Marquette (10-6) 23.9 14.5 9.4 3 Paul Davis Michigan State (7-8) 20.4 11.6 8.8 4 Devan Downey Cincy (8-8) 13.5 5.3 8.2 5 Chris Lofton Tennessee (12-4) 19.9 12.8 7.1 6 Patrick O'Bryant Bradley (13-8) 15.6 8.6 7.0 7 Brandon Rush Kansas (13-3) 16.4 9.7 6.7 8 Dee Brown Illinois (11-5) 17.2 10.8 6.4 9 Adam Haluska Iowa (11-5) 15.8 10.2 5.6 10 Cameron Bennerman N.C. State (10-5) 17.6 12.0 5.6

KU Men's Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Feb. 15, 2006 Weekly Men's Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Head Coach Bill Self

On Missouri guard Thomas Gardner: "We have to guard Gardner this time. Last time he only got about three or four good looks that he made, and the other times we were there. He just played unbelievably well. I'm not sure we'll change a lot. I think we'll try to force him to take bad shots and limit his touches. Hopefully, we'll do a better job collectively on him than we did last time. Last game, he was as good as anyone in America that particular night." On the importance of making your first shot in a game: "I think that's a little overrated. I bet Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have had big games when they've missed their first shot. I think that with guys who are struggling with confidence or role player type guys it becomes a little bit more important than with guys who are going to shoot the ball regardless of whether or not the ball goes in early."

On the different directions Missouri and Kansas have taken since their last game: "I can't comment on Mizzou. I don't know their situation other than them having gone through a lot lately with off the court type things. Our team played well over there. We didn't lose our confidence even though we lost in terrible fashion. We feel like we got better playing at Mizzou. The guys really rallied around each other and have gotten pretty tough. They've really learned to enjoy each other and play together even more than they were before that game."

"You don't want to say losing helps. I do believe that at a time when a loss could have hurt us and done more damage than just that one game, the guys didn't allow that to happen."

If he expects different looks under Missouri coach Melvin Watkins: "Yes I do. They probably didn't have much time against Kansas State to do a lot of different things, but I expect Melvin to put his twist on things. Based on what I have heard, Quin (Snyder) and Melvin have had a strong relationship through this, and I'm sure Melvin will do the majority of the things that they've been working on all year long. Everybody has their own style and he'll put his own twist on the team, which will make it more difficult for us."

On the coaching fraternity: "Firing a coach affects more than just that particular person. You're talking about families, kids in school, relocation, assistant coaches and their families -- one thing about our profession is that it's a tough profession, but you don't ever wish ill will on anyone. You want to beat them on the court or field, but after that there is a strong fraternity of guys that bond together and look out for the betterment of all coaches. I would honestly say that no one in our profession that's worth a salt would enjoy see someone else and someone else's family suffer due to a termination. I think that a lot of people will rally around Quin and other coaches in the profession because that's the nature of the business."

On the Kansas-Missouri rivalry: "Our young guys could not have grasped any more how important the Missouri rivalry is today than they did the last game. They knew that, understood it, respected it and played like it."

On their ranking: "If you're at Kansas, you're a pretty big game in most people's gym night in and night out, regardless of what number a team has next to it. Our guys probably enjoy being ranked, but the biggest reason being ranked is good is because it gives you exposure for recruiting. The teams that have been ranked all year have an advantage over teams that haven't because they haven't gotten as much attention nationally with recruiting. So if anything, it helps recruiting, but that's about it."

On Christian Moody: "Christian's a great kid. I think his spirits are good, and I think he'll be looking forward to the game on Saturday. I don't want to say that the first game has affected him negatively, but I do think that at least initially, it hurt and it hurt bad. Hopefully he's worked his way through that, but I'm sure he thinks about it everyday. How could you not? He's a mature kid, he's tough and he's handled it well. His teammates and other people that he cares about have rallied around him. He's fine. It's more of a coincidence than anything else that his role has diminished. It's not because of the Missouri game but because Darnell (Jackson) and Julian (Wright) have been playing pretty well."

On Mario Chalmers: "Since Christmas, he's been pretty good. We knew he had talent all along, but he wasn't playing to his talent level because he was too busy thinking too much. He played slow because I think his mind was cluttered. I think he's been really good the past month or month and a half. He's going to continue to get better and better as he gets more sound."

On Julian Wright: "At this point in time of his career, Julian is not going to statistically lead your team in scoring over a season. That's not what he does. Julian is a playmaker that makes others better. He is playing with a lot more confidence, his defense has gotten better and he is playing more physical and to his size. Everyone talks about Mario, and Mario has been terrific, but Julian has come about as far as Mario has but in a shorter amount of time."

On the Big 12 race: "Our goal is to win the league. Every day there will be some mention of the league race, and it will be that way everyday that we coach here. Until it's done or until we're eliminated, that will still remain our goal and we will talk about it in some form or fashion. There will be some focus on the league race each and every day."

On Brandon Rush: "I thought Brandon had one of his poorest games against Oklahoma State, and he still got 12 points, nine rebounds and three steals. If that's a poor game for a guard, that's still pretty good. The light is shining pretty bright for all three of our freshmen right now. They're starting to get it, and they're starting to get it in ways that don't necessarily involve them scoring. The guys are all sharing the ball and really understanding their roles."

On how the season has played out: "We haven't done anything yet, but it's been one of the more rewarding times I've had as a coach. It's easy to do it when things are easy and you win based on talent and everyone is patting you on the back. The real fun times are when you turn the negatives into positives. You can learn through that and become a better ball club through those things. It's been an enjoyable ride in that regard."

KU - OSU Postgame

Well, that was pretty ugly. Really ugly. Really really really ugly. But we won.

Why is it that teams from Oklahoma play so ugly?

I'm miffed. I thought our defense was good, but I thought we really had trouble executing for such a long part of the game. That had a lot to do with the fact that Robinson and Wright were out for the end of the first half when we let them back into the game.

Curry had a good game and I'm betting that Hoopinion's stats will show that he was more productive than usual.

Speaking of productive, Brandon Rush had 9 shots in 39 minutes. Marcus Dove is a good defender, but I'm betting he could have gotten more shots.

It's really nice to be able to see KU's scores on ESPN's scoreboard without having to dig through the (almost entirely subscription) site to get to the Big 12 scores.

We outrebounded them 40-25.

We had 16 steals.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this win. Once again, this team has shown that over the course of 40 minutes, we're very hard to beat. We just pulled away in the end once they got worn down. I think we'll see at least one tournament game when a team tries to make it ugly - and succeeds for 32 minutes -but loses by 10. Another solid win for the Baby Jays. Vegas and all the Power Ratings were suggesting a 3-4 point win, and we pull away by 15.

Despite how ugly the game was played and how much the referees sucked the momentum right out of the game, I'm smiling like a guy who just watched the Jayhawks win by 15 in Stillwater.

I mean seriously, if I had told you we won by 15, would you be happy or not?

Can I get a Witness?

KU - ISU Postgame

I didn't think this game was that dangerous, but we really let off the defensive intensity for the first 12 minutes of the second half. We cannot afford to do that moving forward if we expect to make a run in the NCAA tournament. Check out the line on our three freshmen: 52 points, 23 rebounds, 10 assists, 7 steals and 4 blocks. Best class in the nation? I think you could make argument.

Nice to see DJ and CJ have good games as well.

We looked really good against a zone in the first half, but I was disappointed with our ball handling and poise for most of the second half.

Chalmers is really coming into his own. Before the season, I was hoping he could be a Daniel Gibson figure for us. I wouldn't trade Chalmers for Gibson right now. That floater is just remarkable and it makes our whole offense so much more efficient.

Maybe it's just my crimson and blue aviator goggles, but it looked to me like Blalock and Co. were throwing some cheap shots during the second half. I like how Iowa State makes our point guards (see Aaron Miles and Russell Robinson) get juiced up to throw down.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the continued emergence of Julian Wright and Brandon Rush. Those guys are so tough when they're on the court together and they really do everything. They make KU very difficult to prepare for.

If we can play disciplined basketball and keep up the intensity for 40 minutes, there's really nobody in America we can't beat. I'm hopeful that Self can fire up the Baby Jays to give the proverbial 40 minutes of Hell. If so. Look out March, and keep an eye on April.

On a side note, Mike Davis didn't coach Indiana today, and his team (or former team) managed to lose at home. Very concerning for me was the 'black-out', a grass-roots protest against the fact that Davis was still the IU coach.

Shame on you IU fans. If I had any say in the matter, I'd yank the season tickets of any deadbeat fan that participated in the black-out.

Lucky for you, IU doesn't ask me.

A few interesting notes from the game:

# Kansas is shooting 76.5 percent (114-of-149) from the charity stripe over its last six games. # Kansas shot 50 percent from the field for the sixth time in its last eight games and 10 of its last 14 (11 times overall).

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