After a slump in his play over the holidays, Brandon Rush, the No. 4 ranked player in the Rivals150, is back on track, averaging 26 points per game over the past two games. Conventional wisdom has the 6-foot-6, 202-pound small forward from Mt. Zion (N.C.) Academy pegged for a jump straight to the NBA, but that is not a certainty according to Mt. Zion head coach Antonio Fozard.
"He is leaving both options open," said Coach Fozard. "He hasn't taken the ACT or SAT yet, but he took the Pre-SAT and did very well."
Coach Fozard did not know when Rush plans to take one of the tests, but he did rattle off the schools that are still recruiting Rush despite the NBA buzz surrounding him.
"Oklahoma, Louisville, Arkansas, Missouri, UCLA, Connecticut and Cincinnati have all offered Brandon," said Fozard. "Kentucky and Iowa State have shown interest."
Averaging 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and around 6 blocks per game for his 13-2 team, Rush's inconsistent production and effort on the court this year has the jump straight to the NBA looking much more difficult than it did earlier in the year.
"Brandon has been up and down this year," said Fozard. "Sometimes his play is just inconsistent. He is still the top player on our team and one of the top players in the country. He just doesn't always want to play hard, and I also think people sometimes expect too much out of him.
"He started the season out strong, but then slumped during the holidays. He averaged around 16 points per game, and I think the travel caused him to suffer some wear and tear. He has averaged 26 points in the past two games, and we have some big ones coming up."
An electric athlete, who is extremely difficult to guard once he gets a head of steam going to the basket, Rush has a lot of room for improvement on the defensive end. He also needs to tighten up his ball handling skills and become more consistent with his long range shot. Despite the weaker areas of his game, there is no denying Rush's NBA athleticism and potential to develop his game over time.