View Full Version : Pacer rookies Rush & Hibbert adjust to NBA.....

10-04-2008, 10:25 AM
While checking the Rocky Mountain Newspaper to see if they still had Tinsley listed as a member of the Nuggets roster (they do), I saw an AP article I hadn't seen yet regarding the adjustment for Brandon & Roy:


Pacer rookies Hibbert and Rush adjust to NBA

Notes: The Pacers had three players miss Friday morning's practice with injuries. Guards Travis Diener (sore foot) and Mike Dunleavy (sore knee) were joined on the sidelines by forward Troy Murphy
The Associated Press

(AP) _ The Indiana Pacers expect rookies Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush to play key roles in helping the team climb to the top of the NBA.

Hibbert and Rush are among nine new players competing for spots in training camp, and Indiana coach Jim O'Brien has been impressed with them so far.

"Drafting people like Brandon and Roy, if they work hard and are mentally tough in their ability to improve, they are certainly going to be very, very important pieces as we build toward a championship contender," O'Brien said Friday.

Both of them were selected in the first round of the draft, although neither pick was by the Pacers.

The 6-foot-6 Rush was selected by Portland, the 13th overall pick, and sent to Indiana as part of a draft-day trade for Ike Diogu. Hibbert, a 7-2 center, was picked 17th overall by Toronto and came to the Pacers as part of a trade for Jermaine O'Neal.

"This is a great organization," Hibbert said. "We're in a rebuilding process right now, so hopefully I can be part of bringing them back."

Hibbert played four years at Georgetown, averaging 10.9 points and 5.9 rebounds during his career. Rush spent three seasons at Kansas, scoring 13.3 points per game last year as the Jayhawks won the NCAA championship.

Pacers swingman Danny Granger, a first round pick in 2005, believes the two rookies can contribute immediately.

"With some rookies, you have to wait a couple years for them to develop. I think Brandon and Roy are ready to play right now," Granger said. "They're willing to listen and take instruction from the older players and coaches, so that's always a good thing."

Even with their college experience, Granger said it could take some time for Hibbert and Rush to fully adjust to the NBA.

"It happens to all rookies, but they'll get there," Granger said.

With four days of training camp under his belt, Rush is feeling more confident.

"I think I'm fitting in well," he said. "There are still a lot of things I need to learn, but other than that, practice has been going good. I'm starting to get down the plays and understand the system coach O'Brien is trying to run."

Perhaps more important than their ability to score points, Hibbert and Rush were both effective defenders in college. The Pacers were one of the worst defensive teams last season.

"I want to be a defensive presence," said Hibbert, who finished college with 259 blocked shots. "My main job is to deter people away from the basket."

O'Brien expects Rush to be one of the team's best defenders.

"We drafted Brandon for the same reason we think Danny (Granger) is a heck of a player," O'Brien said. "They're going to put points on the board, and they have the capability of defending at a high level."

Will Galen
10-04-2008, 11:23 AM
Good find Dave, thank you for posting it!

10-04-2008, 12:18 PM
I still think that Rush will split the 8th or 9th Rotational Players with Marquis....with Marquis getting the nod more often then not in the beginning of the season over Rush. Hopefully, as the season goes.....hopefully Rush gets more of the minutes.

Major Cold
10-05-2008, 07:36 AM
I expect Rush to play and produce defensively no better than Corey BRewer last year. His offense should be better.

I want him to spark off and get great opportunities. It is an adjustment for rookie defenders in the NBA. The game is faster to say the least. He is coming off of the training wheels of college into the wobbly big boy world.

10-05-2008, 09:15 AM
Nice article....kinda confusing with all the "Brandon and Roy" references. (my feeble mind keeps deleting the "and").