May 25, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Brandon Rush, who led Kansas in scoring last year, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will play his junior season at the school.
A two-time all-conference selection, the 6-foot-6 Rush averaged a team-high 13.8 points for the Big 12 champions.
Sophomore Julian Wright, another starter, has committed to the draft. But with Rush returning, Kansas will have all but one of the 14 players who went 33-5 and captured the Jayhawks' third straight conference title.
"Brandon and I met earlier today and he told me that he was withdrawing his name from the 2007 NBA draft," coach Bill Self said Friday in a statement. "Brandon has handled the process exactly the way the system was designed and has followed through with everything he said he would do. I know in his mind he wanted to do this from a personal standpoint to investigate, but he never lost sight of the fact that he was going to make a smart decision that was based on his well-being for a career and not just the immediate future."
Rush was second with 5.6 rebounds for Kansas last year and also hit a team-high 50 3-pointers.
"I thought all along that I would more than likely return to school, but it was something I needed to find out about," Rush said in the statement released by the university. "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."
Rush said his decision was not affected by a knee injury he recently sustained.
"People will think the reason I am returning is because I injured my knee playing in a pickup game. That is not true, but it did reinforce to me that the time was not right to go to the NBA."
Self said he was urging Rush to seek medical treatment on the knee, if necessary.
"I believe that Brandon will prepare harder than ever to put himself into a position that he will be a very high NBA draft pick after his junior season," Self said. "My immediate concern is that Brandon has the knee evaluated and begins any rehabilitation that is required."