November 10, 2006

Rush holds the key to title run

For Bill Self and No. 3 ranked Kansas the time is now. After back-to-back first round NCAA exits, Self has assembled a squad that is deep, extremely athletic and very gifted. With all of the pieces in place, its no surprise that sophomore Brandon Rush will have to be at his very best if the Hawks are going to contend for a National Championship. Having struggled in the first half against Emporia State, Rush knows that he must perform at a high level for an entire game in-order for KU to be at its very best.

"For us to be at our best, your best scorer should always get going early," said Self. "By his own admission, Brandon wasn't very good the other day. A large part of that was because; I don't feel like he had prepared to play as well as what he normally had. He turned the ball over and got off to a bad start.

"I don't think that's all bad for him," he added. "This is not a sport where you can just turn it on and turn it off, like a switch. He is going to get other peoples best shot. Every scouting report says you get to guard a preseason first team All-American. If you haven't had the opportunity to do that in your life, on a regular basis, that gets you pretty jacked up to do."

Rush, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound shooting guard/small forward from Kansas City, Mo., is the one true player on KU's squad that has the talent and athletic ability to completely dominate the game from start to finish. He has a super sweet stroke from the outside, can hit the midrange jump shot or can beat his man off the bounce and finish with a thunderous dunk.

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