It is finally official. Brandon Rush, the No. 13 ranked player in the class of 2005, has been officially cleared academically by the NCAA Clearinghouse and will play for the Kansas Jayhawks this season. It has been a long, strange trip for Rush, a 6-foot-6, 202-pound small forward from Kansas City, Mo., but he has worked his way back close to home and is excited about being a Jayhawk.
"Personally, I always wanted to go to college," Rush told Rivals.com. "It feels great to get this situation out of the way and get on with school. I've always known that I needed college first to get ready for my dream of playing in the NBA.
"I need to put weight on my body, work on my defense and learn to play hard all the time."
Rush said his visit to Kansas in mid-August convinced him that the Kansas program was the best fit for him.
"I was also looking at Indiana and Illinois, but when I took my visit, I knew I wanted to go to Kansas," said Rush, who spent the past two seasons at Mt. Zion Academy in Durham, N.C. "The team treated me great and acted like they wanted me to come there. They also have a great coaching staff, and you can't get any better than Kansas basketball."
With two of the nation's top small forwards also coming in as freshman this year to Kansas, Rush looks forward to competing with Micah Downs and Julian Wright.
"I think it is a positive to be playing with other good players at my position," he said. "There will be great competition in practice. I'm not worried about playing time. I'm just going to come to practice everyday ready to play hard, and I'm sure they will be ready too."
In fact, do not be surprised if three freshman are on the court at the same time for Kansas. Wright, who can defend and pass with the best of them, has the versatility to play the four. Mario Chalmers will certainly play for the Jayhawks at either guard position. And Rush has the explosiveness and scoring ability to be a perfect compliment to Wright.
Brandon Rush scouting report:
Rush is gradually developing the mentality and skill of an elite prospect. A tremendous north and south athlete who can run and jump with the best of the country, he is also a strong one-on-one player who can get to the basket and finish difficult shots. A good offensive rebounder when he puts in the effort, his passing and defense need work and he needs to get stronger.