October 15, 2006

Rush ready for big year

When Brandon Rush arrived in Lawrence for his freshman campaign, he didn't anticipate being on campus for more than a year. Shortly after KU's opening round NCAA Tournament loss to Bradley, Rush, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound shooting guard/small forward announced that he would return for his sophomore year. To his credit, Rush is completely focused on helping lead the Jayhawks back to the Final Four.

When the NCAA Tournament field of 64 was announced last year, Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks were one of the hottest teams in all of college basketball. They were coming off a big win against the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 Tournament Championship, and appeared to be running on all cylinders.

However, Self's squad, for the second straight year, failed to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. According to Rush, last years experience, both good and bad, brought the team together.

"It (last year) brought us a lot more closer as a team and really figure out our identities and personalities of each other," said Rush. "I think that (Bradley) loss really turned everything around. We came back in the off season and worked hard and made each other better.

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