Monday, December 31, 2007

Brandon Rush - NBA Draft Prospects

Numbers: 13.3ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.8 t/o's, 44% FG, 78% FT, 42% 3's

About Him: After taking only 5 1/2 months to rehab the ACL he tore last year, Brandon Rush looked to be almost fully healthy this season. His quickness and athleticism were there this year, but what suffered was his defense. He struggled to move laterally, but was still did a decent job keeping people in front, and he is long enough to block a shot and recover if he does get beat. He also seemed hesitant to fight through screens and mix it up in the paint, but that could just be a result of him trying to protect his knee. Offensively, Rush has developed into almost exclusively a jump shooter. He shot 42% from deep while taking over five three's per game. His release is high and quick, and he does not need much space to get it off. He has also developed an effective, but inconsistent pull-up jumper. He struggles shooting off the bounce, but with his quick first step and ability to elevate higher than defenders that shot could turn into a very good weapon. Rush has a very good first step and his long strides allow him to get to the rim, but he is not a a good finisher. He can't change directions when he drives, and despite his athleticism, he does not have the creativity in the air to finish at the rim. Usually he will settle for finding an open teammate, which he does fairly well. His production during his three years at Kansas stayed relatively constant, and he never developed the killer instinct that Kansas always hoped he would.

Comparisons: Eddie Jones, Francisco Garcia

Bottom Line: The biggest knock on Rush when he was younger was that he needs to be more aggressive if he wants to be a star. But it has become clear he is not going to be a star in the NBA, so his passive and unselfish nature will work great for when while he is filling a role for an NBA team. Look for him to go in the late first-round.

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