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Phoenix Suns got a close-up look at Missouri swingman Kareem Rush, one of college basketball’s most prolific scorers, at Friday’s private pre-draft workout.

Following the morning session, the 6-6, 218 lb. junior talked to about his workout and his left-handed shot. How was your workout today?

Rush: It was cool. It was a little bit different than my other ones. It was different?

Rush: Well, coming from Denver (Thursday) it was totally different, but it was good. I liked it. What was different about it?

Rush: Denver went a lot longer. This one was a good hour. There was a lot of shooting and one-on-ones so it was pretty good. It was pretty nice. It was good to come in and have a nice hard light workout. How do you think your game will translate to the NBA?

Rush: I think I can come in and score a bunch. I think what I can do well is score. I want to keep working on my game. I think I can be successful at the next level. Do you think your left-handed shot actually helps you out because it’s a little different?

Rush: Because it’s unorthodox. Everybody is used to going to the right. When I play against right-handed players I’m going the opposite way. I think that’s why I score so well because people aren’t used to guarding a left-handed player. When I fade it’s hard to get to. It’s become one of my signature moves and it is pretty hard to stop. Do you feel comfortable already shooting the NBA three?

Rush: Yeah. I always practiced it in college. I just never got a chance to shoot it. Coming out here it’s kind of nice shooting that deep. At first it was kind of weird. You had to heave it up a little bit, but you actually get used to it. When you use your legs it becomes a lot easier. If I were shooting at the college level it would be curtains. The three-point (line) is pretty far, but you get used to it. Last year you considered turning pro after your sophomore season, how did it help you returning for your junior season?

Rush: I think I matured a lot more. My sophomore year I just went out there and played, and did well. This past season I faced a lot of obstacles. I got double and triple-teamed all the time. It made me become more of a cerebral player. I learned the game a little bit better and learned how to use my teammates more. I think it is going to prepare me and help me succeed in this league. Do you have a feel for where you may go in the draft?

Rush: Not at all. Anywhere, maybe 8-15. It will be like that. I’m just trying to come to these workouts and show what I got. Hopefully, someone will pick me up. Do you see yourself playing shooting guard in the NBA?

Rush: Definitely. If I need to play three I’m willing to, but I might have to beef up a little bit. I think shooting guard is my position. How hard is it to go through this process traveling from city to city?

Rush: It’s kind of crazy actually. I’m tired. My body is hurting. I’m worn down and I’m going from airport to airport and city to city every other day. It’s a strain, but playing an 82-game season is the same. You have to get used to it. I think this is preparing us for the NBA lifestyle. It’s tough living in hotels and staying by yourself all the time, but you are a man now and this is your job so you have to get used to it. What are your impressions of Smush Parker and John Salmon, who you were matched up against today?

Rush: I like Smush. I worked out with Smush (Thursday) in Denver. I was really impressed by his game. I played against John in the (NCAA) Tournament in the first round. I knew he was pretty good. He’s a big guy who can handle the ball really well. They are all going to do really well at the next level and I wish them the best. How’s your brother (Jaron) doing?

Rush: He’s doing great. He went through a few problems, but now he’s getting focused and getting ready to try out for some teams. I hope he does what he wants to do. Can you talk about the Suns’ organization? Do you know much about their team?

Rush: I don’t. I know (Shawn) Marion. My friends know him. I’ll probably be working with him this summer. I’ll get to know him better. I’ve played against Joe Johnson before. Of course you know about (Stephon) Marbury and Penny (Hardaway). They are an organization on the rise. If people are working hard they’ll be alright. Do you feel this would be a good fit for you?

Rush: I think so. I can’t say. I want to fit in wherever I go. If they do decide to draft me, I’ll be willing to come in here and work hard and be a team player.


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