Many times young prospects make headlines because they put up huge numbers. In a sense that could be part of why 6-9 BF/C Isaiah Rusher from Bellaire (TX) High has drawn so much early attention. However, it isn’t big scoring numbers but impressive rebounding and shot blocking numbers that has Rusher earning attention.
Perhaps more impressive is that Rusher embraces his role as a shot blocker and rebounder. Sure he’s working to improve his offensive skills, but for now he’s happy with where he’s at.
“I’ll score when I need to, but I’m a defensive player,” said Rusher. “My offense is coming along as I work on it, but right now I’m more of a physical defensive player.”
Thanks to a fine sophomore season and a strong start to the spring/summer club circuit with the Houston Hoops, Rusher has drawn attention from the likes of Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas among others.
He knows that schools like his size, strong frame and the way that he runs the court. Chances are that they like his attitude as well.
“I’d rather block a shot to the win the game, than to dunk on somebody, score 30 and lose,” said Rusher. “I’d like to do both, but I always want to win.
While he’s matured as a player and as a prospect, Rusher has also developed a close relationship with one of his teammates. 5-9 PG Jai Lucas is a classmate at Bellaire and a teammate on the Houston Hoops, according to Rusher the plan right now is to go to college wherever it is that Lucas goes.
Early in the process, Kansas is a school that has made its pitch for Rusher and he likes what he’s heard during the infancy stages of his recruitment.
“I like their big men and I like their guards and the way they shoot,” said Rusher. “I like the plays they run and the way they get up the court. I’m a big man but I can get up and down the court and I think if I was there I could help their team out a little more.”
At this point in time Rusher is mostly worried about taking care of business in the classroom and improving as a player. Because of his Houston Roots and relationship with Lucas, he’s able to work out against college players and pros on a daily basis so he’s sure that the rest will come along.
“I like contact and playing with those guys is only going to get you better,” said Rusher. “Whatever you might think is physical doesn’t compare to what those guys do so if you put in the work with them you are going to succeed when you go out there (AAU) with smaller guys.”
In the end Rusher will look for most of the things that other kids look for in a school. He’d also like a chance to help build a program and is a team guy all the way.“I want a college that looks into their big men and plays as a team,” said Rusher. “I’d also like a college that is young so that we can build up with each other.”