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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

C.J. Henry commits to Memphis, says brother still undecided

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C.J. Henry, who orally committed to play basketball at Kansas University in the spring of 2005, only to sign a professional baseball contract as a first-round draft pick of the New York Yankees, has again decided to play hoops.

But this time it's at the University of Memphis, not KU.

Henry, the 22-year-old brother of No. 3-rated high school prospect Xavier Henry, on Tuesday announced he'd be enrolling at Memphis today and play this season for coach John Calipari's Tigers.

Henry chose Memphis over KU and informed Bill Self of his decision Monday night.

"It was the hardest phone call I ever had to make," said Henry, whose scholarship will be paid for by the Yankees, making him a walk-on at Memphis. "I committed to them (Jayhawks). I stayed in contact with them. I still love Kansas - the school, coaches, players.

"It was just that in high school (at Putnam City High in suburban Oklahoma City), that (KU) was the best place for me. Three years down the road, things change. Times change. You grow up and mature. Memphis is now the best fit for me."

Coincidentally, Xavier, a 6-6 guard from Putnam City High, is said to have co-leaders in Memphis and KU with Texas and UCLA also on his list. C.J. says his decision has nothing to do with Xavier, though many recruiting analysts now give the edge to Memphis.

"He'll still take his visit to Kansas. He'll be at Late Night, probably early," C.J. said of Xavier's official trip scheduled for the Oct. 17 Late Night in the Phog. Xavier also has said he'd made an unofficial visit to KU over Sept. 19-20.

"I asked him, 'What do you think about me playing college basketball?' He said, 'You do what you have to do. It's your life,''' C.J. related. "I told him where I'd like to go. I said, 'Do you have a problem with that?' He said, 'I don't care. It's you. Do what you want to do.'

"He will pick the best school for him. This is the best situation for me. If Kansas is the best spot for him, he'll be at Kansas. That's one thing he does not want to do ... ride behind me. He'll do what's best for him."

C.J. said he would play a fifth season in the Yankee organization next spring and summer. He hit .234 in 20 games for Class A Tampa in 2008, his play limited by injuries.

"I believe I am a professional athlete. I know what it takes to get there," C.J. Henry said. "I believe my talent is good enough to be at the next level (NBA). I don't know how long that'll take."

¢ KU freshmen Marcus and Markieff Morris still have not been ruled eligible by the NCAA, thus they've yet to practice in pre-Canada trip workouts. Minus the 6-10 Markieff and 6-81â2 Marcus, KU's big men in camp are Cole Aldrich (6-11), Matt Kleinmann (6-10) and Quintrell Thomas (6-7), meaning a four-guard lineup is likely during KU's three weekend exhibition games. Newcomer Mario Little (6-5) has some experience playing power forward. Freshman Travis Releford also stands 6-5 ... Junior guard Sherron Collins, who is coming off April 22 knee surgery, has been able to practice this week.

Comments

bryan123456789 11 years, 6 months ago

CJ wanted to be able to play right away and compete for a national championship next year, he wouldnt be a sure fire starter for us next year, and we wont be in the national title hunt. I dont give a crap about CJ or X, there are plenty of other good players available and from the looks of it we are going to need some scholorships available for big men cuz we already are stockpiled full of guards. Anyone with me in thinking the Morris twins are probably not going to get admitted? I would love to see us play 4 guards will cole in the middle, similar to Villanova a few years ago

kcphantom 11 years, 6 months ago

I've long said that they aren't worth the time and effort. They'd likely be one and done and that's just not the KU way. I'd rather see 3 or 4 3-star recruits blend as a team as opposed to a single 5-star recruitKU plays team basketball - not just get it to the superstar and let him create for himself.KSU was good last year because of Beasley - now that he's gone, what's going to happen?Since the Yankees are paying the scholarship, I'd be curious to know what kind of connections they are between Calapari and the head office.

cklarock 11 years, 6 months ago

I think Memphis snagged C.J. as part of their recruitment of Xavier -- it might backfire, but without knowing anything of the inner workings of the deal, I'd guess that Calapari is sweetening his position with X. If the brothers like each other, it surely can't hurt Memphis' chances.C'est la recruiting. Does Xavier's dad need a job? I hear there's one open in Lawrence.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

Regarding CJ and Xavier...If I am the Henry brothers, I go to different schools to optimize my chances of playing enough to allow both Henry's to get drafted high. I don't see CJ getting enough spotlight on a team with Xavier to really get a fair shot of going high in the draft. Look at what happened to Chris Douglas Roberts when Calipari brought in Derrick Rose. CDR, who was clearly the better player all season long, wound up getting relegated to the second round.I think Xavier is waiting, so he can make a confident assessment of how good each team will be when he shows up. He wants to play on the one that can take him to the promised land. CJ just needed to play for the best team he could find before the slots started filling up. Xavier doesn't have to worry about slots filling up. Coaches will empty slots for him.

KU 11 years, 6 months ago

There is a lot more nightlife in Memphis than Lawrence for a 21 or 22 year old kid that has been around the professional baseball scene for 3 years. That might be what he means when he says he has grown up and matured. Just a guess?

5DecadeHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

I watched Carl Henry play at Kansas. He was a special player. He had a very sweet midrange jumper. As I recall he loved the baseline shot and on out to the wing, particularly on the right hand side of the floor.With all the great players KU has had in it's history, many people don't realize how important Carl Henry was to KU Basketball.Carl Henry played at Kansas in perhaps the most tulmutous period in KU Basketball history.Ted Owens was struggling. Fans were restless.Carl was a bright light cutting through a very dark gloom.Chuck Woodling was writing articles stating that the days of KU Basketball greatness were over. Chuck was saying that KU Basketball would never be a consistent 20 game winner. Chuck was writing that Lawrence and the KU community simply didn't have the ability to support a good program, let alone a top program. He was calling boosters and supporters unrealistic in their desire to upgrade the program. Ted Owens had several great teams. I thank him for his efforts, but toward the end of his tenure, the game had passed him by. Like Chuck Woodling, he didn't keep up.Carl Henry was part of the transition out of the doldrums of the last of the Ted years that led to the Larry Brown rebirth of KU Basketball.KU has never looked back.Of the 3 basketball players. Carl, and his sons CJ and Xavier... KU got far more from Carl than any school could ever get out of CJ and Xavier combined. Given the choice of the three, KU got the best one, at a time when we needed him the most.I wish Carl's son CJ well in his efforts to get a college education and play basketball at the University of Memphis.I wish Xavier well no matter where he chooses to attend college. Of course, if Xavier decided to attend Kansas, he could be part of yet another KU Basketball transition from consistently good, to taking the supreme status of consistent multiple championship winner. Xavier has a right to reap the benefits of what his father helped build.Either way. Good luck and happiness to the Henry family.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

There's a case to be made that a perfect storm is brewing.Collins struggles and plays far less effectively.Releford struggles once the opponents decide to give him the trinity and take away his drive.Tyshawn is too skinny to play Self style defense.The Morris twins are ineligible until mid season, or not at all.Matt Kleinman is getting serious minutes backing up Aldrich.Aldrich takes three fourths of the season to learn to play for a full game.Little has to play power forward, barely holds his own defensively, and can't score much at all, because of playing out of position.One of the starters gets injured.One of the five remaining newcomers gets homesick and/or disillusioned and quits.The year that KU has no bigs and no good defensive players who can also shoot the trinity, the stripe gets moved out to really expose KU's lack of outside shooting.In turn, Self is forced to play Tyrel and Brady for significant minutes just so they can get SOMEONE that can shoot the trinity.A .500, or .600 season and the lack of an existing returning nucleus capable of competing for a ring causes all the currently interested one and doners to go elsewhere next year.Bill Self decides the short term that he is positive he will be at KU is over and moves on to the NBA.Fortunately, a case can also be made that Sherron sucks it up, the twins become eligible at mid season, Quintrell Thomas develops quickly as an enforcer, Kleinmann actually can play some back up, Aldrich blossoms quickly, the guard rich team takes Self's pressure defense to a new level, Teahan improves enough to play ten minutes a game and so score 3-5 trinities a game, Releford is so good he overcomes his weak outside game, and on the heals of a .700 season and a surprise run to the elite eight, Self recruits the blazes out of Xavier and Lance and lands them both, thus making KU almost certain to win another NC the following year!Such are the range of possibilities when a team has seven new comers, two of which are still ineligible, an injured, overweight star PG with a pending assault trial, a rack of untested guards, and three trey shooters who are not really good enough defenders to play Self's preferred style of ball.

Jim Sanders 11 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if Fed EX CEO was involved in the recruiting process again? Maybe Carl is getting an excutive job like the kids mom from Washington. I'm sure that pays better than video assistant or whatever. Do they realize Memphis is going to get place on probation? KU needs to hire dad to be an assistant coach right now.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like CJ is a bust in baseball and the Yankees know it. He's 22 and still in A-ball, and not doing much at all there.His basketball skills probably are limited as well since he could not have been focused on it the past few years.Hopefully Xavier will want to be his own man and go with KU.

Drew Bender 11 years, 6 months ago

What job would that be??? Hallmark??? K-Mart Distribution Center???

Joel Hood 11 years, 6 months ago

Xavier plans to be at the 2008 Late Night. If he can go to that event and then decide to NOT go to KU, then it's clear that a rich college basketball tradition is not important to him. Nothing wrong with that, just ask Charlie Villanueva. But, as a KU hoops fan I prefer to have kids on the team that crave playing in AFH and want something more than a fast track to the NBA.

Mike Crosbie 11 years, 6 months ago

If CJ's baseball career has been limited by injuries, it makes me wonder how he'll hold up playing basketball......??

canuckhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

I'm with jaybate on the CJ - Xavier situation.In regards to CJ and his hopes to be a professional BB player, I'm trying to think of players that have been drafted in both MLB and the NBA. Of course Jordan did his thing in the minor leagues but was he actually drafted by an MLB team? I think Danny Ainge was drafted by the Blue Jays. I'm probably missing some obvious ones.

justanotherfan 11 years, 6 months ago

Kenny Lofton was a D-1 player (Arizona I think). So was Tony Gwynn (San Diego St?). I'm not sure many guys were drafted by both, but several guys have been D-1 level players in both baseball and basketball. The overlap of the seasons makes it hard to pursue both long term.As for CJ and Xavier...Xavier is the type of player that could make us a contender for a national title next year. Even if he is a one and done, he could be the explosive scorer that takes us from solid team, Sweet Sixteen level to the Final Four, championship contender level.

FlaHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

It was pretty obvious that Xavier was going to go to Memphis. Caliparii s an ex-NBA coach and their style is much more wide open and translates to the NBA much easier,KU never had a change with CJ and I doubt with Xavier. They give KU lip service because of the Fatherly connection, but hat is all.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 11 years, 6 months ago

I personally think this doesn't tip the scales either way. I think Xavier wants to be his own man and not necessarily follow in the footsteps of his brother. However, I'm shocked that CJ committed to Memphis. Where did that come from? My impression was that IF (big if) he ever decided to go back to college it would be at KU. I didn't know he was being recruited by other schools.It will be interesting to see how his basketball career develops.

flipborder02 11 years, 6 months ago

Sorry on that last post I meant to say we would get one or possibly two of the three.

flipborder02 11 years, 6 months ago

It's fine if X wants to go to Memphis. Bill has three more SG he could get to commit.I think Lance is next in line and then Avery Bradly and Dominic Cheek.

ChicagoJHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

I hope we get Xavier but it's not the end of the world if we don't. Self has already more than proved he knows how to recruit so I am confident that he will find another top notch recruit, if necessary.I've notice a few people mention that Self doesn't go for 1 and done guys & that's not the KU way. That's a common misconception. Self has even said if he can get a guy like Beasley or Durant he would take them in a heartbeat! It just so happens that he hasn't got a top 5 recruit like that so far. It's great that he has got other 3 or 4 star recruits and developed them along the way but don't for a second think that he's going to turn down an NBA ready 1 and done player!

Drew Bender 11 years, 6 months ago

Im pretty sure they cant just open up a new spot for another assistant coach out of nowhere for him... Did you know that Russell Robinson was the highest ranked player from last years senior class at #27... Bill Self and Co. know how to spot out talent needed for their style of play... Everything worked out good last year... If Xavier decides to go elsewhere then Im sure they will find other highly ranked talent to take his spot (and maybe even stay a couple years)... Everything will work out in the end

yates33333 11 years, 6 months ago

Don't you think that the fact KU has so many excellent guards on its roster influenced his decision? If it didn't, it should have. He should have less competition as a starter at Memphis.

bryan123456789 11 years, 6 months ago

CJ is talkin like he thinks he is a one and done player, and if he thinks that he is a freakin idiot, because him signing with memphis didnt even make espn headlines, so i am doubting this kid is the next carmello anthony, i dont like CJ or X, seen X on tv and on the internet, and Lance Stephenson is probably better, but both want to be one and done so i dont particularly want them, i think we should go after players that will be here for atleast 2 years, many of these one and done players minus beasley and durant, dont really help their teams that much, derrick rose got dominated by sherron, and no number 1 pick should ever get dominated by a fat ass 6th man

brooksmd 11 years, 6 months ago

David Albert DeBusschere (October 16, 1940 May 14, 2003) was an American professional basketball player and coach in the NBA. In 1996, DeBusschere was named as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.DeBusschere was born in Detroit, Michigan, and was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame after a 12-year career (19621974) in which he averaged 16.1 points and eleven rebounds while being named to eight NBA All-Star teams. However, he was best known for his physical style of play and tenacious defense, as he was named to the NBA All-Defensive first team six times.In 1962 DeBusschere was signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent. He was pitcher for the Chicago White Sox from 1962-63. He pitched a complete game shutout on August 13, 1963 against the Cleveland Indians, giving up 6 hits, 1 walk and striking out 3. In 22 career at bats, he had only had 1 hit, a single off Bennie Daniels on July 17, 1963. He pitched in the White Sox minor leagues for two more seasons before giving up pitching to focus on both playing and coaching basketball.[1]He is one of only eleven athletes to have played in both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, or its predecessor the Basketball Association of America. The others are: Mark Hendrickson, Danny Ainge, Gene Conley, Ron Reed, Dick Groat, Steve Hamilton, Cotton Nash, Frank Baumholtz, Dick Ricketts and Chuck Connors.But he wasn't drafted by a MLB team.

smitty33 11 years, 6 months ago

I can't believe no one is mentioning this... Something Stinks at Memphis, and no, it's not the filthy town that it is. Why are they all of a sudden getting top notch recruits?? It it the're town??? NO. Is it their tradition? Certainly Not. Is it they're car salesman of a coach?? Possibly Are the players getting a sweet deal??? I think so.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

I am not convinced that Calipari's Princeton on Steroids, or what ever the offense is called, showcases pro talent any better than any other offense does. Guys doing a bunch of shuffles and programmed picks and screens 28 feet from the rack is not what the pros are about. No one in the pros runs it, as far as I can tell, or if they do, it does not look much like what Memphis on Princeton on Steroids runs. Memphis on Princeton on Steroids didn't do much for CDR in the eyes of the NBA pickers. And Rose did not cap stone the draft, because the offense show cased him either. He cap stoned, because he was talented, young, from Chi and Chi had the first pick in the draft and a need at the point. In short, Rose's selection was a freak convergence and not one driven by an offense.And what if Rose were to underperform in the NBA the way he did in the NCAA championship vs. KU? What if NBA starting guards hamstring him the way RR and Mario and BRush did? Do we say Memphis on Princeton on Steroids makes a player look better than he really is? If we say that, then we can speculate with confidence that NBA teams will begin to discount performances at Memphis and draft Memphis players lower than they do now. In turn, we can speculate with confidence that the Xaviers of this world will soon stop going to Memphis precisely because of the Memphis on Princeton on Steroids offense.Instead of an offense attracting "done and wonders," it has to be PT, the likelihood of being the top gun, and the likelihood that adding an Xavier to the mix will take the team to the Final Four.

Lin Rahardja 11 years, 6 months ago

It is obvious these siblings don't follow each other's foot step from their discussions. Let X make his own decision, he will most likely start for KU.Don't care about C.J. and don't think he will propel Memphis to any NCAA championships anytime soon. With the current format, no NCAA basketball team can completely rebuild and get to the final 2 years in a row with different set of core players.

Robert Brock 11 years, 6 months ago

This does not look good for KU's chances. If Xavier makes it to Late Night and his unofficial visit, that truly changes the dynamics. But even if he opts for Memphis, this is not the end of the world. It hurts, but KU will be ok. Xavier is gone after a year anyways and will be a lottery pick. If X doesn't come to KU, I would love to see Self get a commitment from Cheek, Stephenson or Hamilton, but those will be tough gets. Memphis has Evans coming in this year and he'll be gone after a year - in '09 X could walk right in and put up big numbers in that wild Memphis offense. It's just hard to compete with World Wide Wes, the player's-only mansion and a pro style offense. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and praying to Santa though.

CaramelMacchMan 11 years, 6 months ago

Yep we lost X.... i can him following C.J.Unless the whole AFH does X signs with crossing their hands during Late Night might give him a heart melt down... hahaha

DatBMe 11 years, 6 months ago

Its really hard tell if you guys are really the fans of the defending national champs.

brooksmd 11 years, 6 months ago

BTW, the above post was in response to canuckhawk and justanotherfan.

John Brown 11 years, 6 months ago

Xavier will come to KU. KU and Memphis will meet up again in the final 4. KU wins and Xavier gets the glory and satisfaction that he followed in his father's foot steps and beat his brother.

11 years, 6 months ago

Gotcha. Glad to see you weren't bitten by the Bug Eaters football craze while matriculating in the fine state of Nebraska :)

11 years, 6 months ago

Lebowski - very interesting about Marino! Had he decided to go the baseball route and stick with the Royals, he could have won a championship :) BTW, didn't you play a little baseball at KU? I seem to recall you mentioning it a while back.

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