Brandon Rush’s career changed with an injury. He gives advice to KU’s Elmarko Jackson

Former Kansas star Brandon Rush understands the mindset of current KU guard Elmarko Jackson as he navigates the recovery process from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee.

After all, an offseason injury once changed the course of Rush’s basketball career — and Kansas basketball history.

Rush tore his ACL during a 2007 predraft workout run by a scout of the New York Knicks. It caused Rush to withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to Kansas for his junior year.

Rush would play most of the 2007-08 season and help lead the Jayhawks to an NCAA title. He averaged 13.3 points and shot 41.9% from 3 while starting 30 games.

That said — Rush recalled what was a difficult recovery process.

“It sucks,” Rush told The Star. “You’ve got good doctors here and a good coaching staff, so I’m pretty sure they won’t pressure him to come in too soon. … They will let him recover just like they did with my injury. It just takes time. Once they see you back, they let you get the rock again.”

Rush admits he learned a lot about himself in the recovery process. He said he looked at basketball differently after the injury.

“This high can be taken away from you that fast,” Rush said. “Growing up, you would just be able to go out there and play. To sit on a bench and watch people play, it hurts a lot. You want to go out there and be contributing to the team.”

Some draft analysts saw Jackson as a one-and-done prospect before his freshman year. However, Jackson struggled in his first season at Kansas. He lost his starting position to fellow freshman Johnny Furphy, and Jackson finished the season averaging 4.7 points and 1.7 assists while playing 18.7 minutes a game.

Still, Jackson said he never envisioned himself as a one-and-done prospect.

“I came in with the (mindset of) whatever happens, happens,” Jackson told The Star in March. “This program under coach Self has a great history of developing players and teaching them the fundamentals. I feel that’s what I need.

“I’m not really looking at the NBA right now. ... I’m just focused on Kansas and contributing to winning.”

Rush believes Jackson has a “lot of talent,” and that his recovery could be a blessing in disguise.

“Work on your shot,” Rush said. “Work on coming off pin-downs. Work on coming off the dribble. … Once your athleticism is gone, that’s what you’ve got to rely on. That’s what most guys (focus on) when they are later in their career. Work on his shot and he will be better.”

Rush added: “If I was to give advice to him ... man, stay patient with it. Work hard and you will be back to normal.”