Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gold Rush

Much like his two older brothers Jaron and Kareem, Brandon Rush came into college with lofty expectations. If anything, he has had the least prolific college career of the brothers, at least individually. But it has become apparent that Brandon will be the best NBA Rush. In fact if NBA GM's look past his surgically repaired knee and underwhelming statistics, he may have his name called in the Lottery come draft night.

Rush is a cut 6'7'' and 210 lbs. He has a great NBA body; lean but strong, with a 7' foot wingspan and big hands. His defense was once a question mark but now may be his strongest suit. He has tremendous lateral quickness and can guard wings of all shapes and sizes, using his great footwork and long arms to stay in front of his man. He is a solid rebounder who gets his boards on good position. Rush possess a deadly jump shot from 3 point land and can work the mid-range game and can hit off the bounce and off the screen. He has a good basketball IQ; he spreads the floor well in the half court and takes excellent angles in the open court, setting himself up well for the easy bucket. His passing and ball handling have improved to the point where they are no longer questionable. His body control and athleticism are first-rate. He is a good team player who will be able to fill a role on any succesful team.

The problem with Rush's game comes down to aggresiveness. He does not attack the rim like a player of his athletic prowess should. Maybe it was the Kansas system, or maybe it was his reconstructed knee. Or maybe Rush simply lacks the killer instinct to ensure that he gets his points. He did have reconstructive surgery on his knee during the summer of 07', but by the end of last season he was showing very few ill affects. Though not an elite prospect, Rush is one of those well rounded players who can do most anything at least adequately.

Brandon Rush, in my opinion, is one of the most underated draft prospects in recent memory. He does turn 23 this summer, has never averaged more than 13 points per game and is coming off a knee reconstruction. But he was the best player on a national champion and is such an elite athlete that it would be silly for too many teams to take a pass. My personal opinion is that Rush should be a top 10-12 pick. He is one of those wings that can be the perfect compliment to any frontline perimeter or post players, a quality starter who can defend and score. Though he may never be a superstar, Brandon Rush will have an impactful NBA career.