Recruit Henry’s dad: KU in the mix

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Henry family is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. today in Oklahoma City to discuss the futures of basketball-playing brothers Xavier and C.J. Henry.

Former Kansas University guard Carl Henry — father of the Henry siblings — told the Journal-World late Wednesday afternoon he hopes Xavier and C.J. choose a school during their family get-together.

“I hope he comes in and says, ‘I want to go here,’’’ Carl Henry said of Xavier telling mom and dad exactly where he wants to land next season.

Xavier, a 6-foot-6 senior guard from Putnam City High who chose Memphis over KU last November, asked for his release from his Memphis letter of intent Wednesday in response to Tiger coach John Calipari taking the Kentucky job.

C.J., a 6-3 freshman walk-on at Memphis, will leave Memphis and likely will attend the same school as his brother. C.J. committed to KU his senior year of high school only to sign a pro baseball contract with the New York Yankees. As part of the deal, the Yankees are required to pay C.J.’s college tuition, so he will be a walk-on wherever he lands.

“Actually, I hope to know something Thursday night. One of my sons (Xavier) is in Miami at the McDonald’s game. The other (C.J.) is in school (at Memphis),” Carl Henry said.

“Both of them are upset (at Calipari leaving Memphis), but until we talk Thursday, I don’t know what they are thinking,” Carl Henry added.

He said KU was definitely “in the mix.” He said he didn’t know if Xavier and C.J. would consider Kentucky now that Calipari is there. Xavier told reporters after the McDonald’s game that he still could visit Kentucky and/or other schools or could make a quick decision during the family meeting, or shortly after.

Carl Henry said he was not miffed at Calipari for leaving Memphis for Kentucky.

“I’m not mad at him. It’s something he wants to do,” Carl said. “I figure Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA ... to me, you’ve got to go. Those are dream jobs.”

As far as his preference to his sons’ final destination, Carl said, “It makes no difference.”

He said he had not talked to KU coach Bill Self yet about this week’s developments. He just hopes his sons’ futures are decided soon. Xavier, who scored 14 points off 5-of-11 shooting (three of six threes) with five rebounds in Wednesday’s McDonald’s game, said after the game only one thing was for certain.

“I won’t be attending Memphis,” he said. “I have to open my eyes and find a new place, a new home.”

Stephenson still deciding: Lance Stephenson, a 6-5 guard from Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y., scored 12 points off 6-of-11 shooting with six assists, six turnovers and four rebounds in the McDonald’s game.

He originally had planned to announce for KU, St. John’s or Maryland on Tuesday, but now is uncertain when he’ll choose one of those three.

“Lance and his pops are saying they want to take their time, which is what they’ve told SLAM as well, though I have to believe the Coach Cal-to-Kentucky move is a big factor,” wrote Ben Osborne of SLAM Magazine. “Coach Cal’s defection could have all sorts of domino effects, recruiting wise, including our man Xavier maybe reconsidering Kansas, which would make Lance and Kansas reconsider each other.”

Lance Stephenson, Sr., told the New York Daily News overseas remains a possibility.

“I’m glad he has other options beside college and we’re going to evaluate everything," the elder Stephenson told the magazine.

Sonny Vaccaro, a former shoe-company executive, gave his take to the Daily News: “Things have happened so fast for Lance. I think he’s confused. He’s put himself in a box. There’s no prize for him doing it early. Wait till the bottom of the ninth.”