Memphis not hiring recruit’s father

Carl Henry says he will not be joining Pastner’s staff

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Carl Henry will not be hired by the University of Memphis as director of basketball operations, the former Kansas University basketball guard said Tuesday.

Henry told the Journal-World that the Sporting News report that said he’d likely join new U of M coach Josh Pastner’s staff, so that his son, Xavier, would remain committed to Memphis, was not true.

“I can’t work at Memphis. I don’t want to work at Memphis. If I took that job I couldn’t do what I do — work with kids,” said Henry, who coaches the Athletes First AAU team in Oklahoma City. “I am not going to coach my kids (in college). I’d rather watch my kids play. I’ve told the (college) coaches before, ‘I don’t want to coach them. It’s your job now.’’’

Carl Henry reported that both Xavier, who signed with Memphis in November, and C.J. Henry, a Memphis freshman walk-on, have officially been released from their letters-of-intent. Both KU and Kentucky have been sent the paperwork, so coaches from those schools can speak with Xavier and C.J., now.

Carl said Xavier and C.J. would decide whether to stay with Memphis or commit to KU or Kentucky in the next couple weeks.

“Xavier is leaving tomorrow for Oregon (and Nike Hoop Summit). After that he goes to New York (for Jordan Classic, April 18),” Carl Henry said. “The only way they could do it is if C.J. and Xavier talk (soon) and decide something between themselves. Our family likes to sit down and discuss things. That’s the way we do things and Xavier will be gone two weeks.

“I’d like them to get this over with. The school year is about over and they need to know where they are going to college. Whether they stay together (at Memphis) or go somewhere together or split up, they have to decide.”

Carl reiterated what he said last week in that Xavier would like to attend KU for a year, then enter the 2010 NBA Draft.

Meanwhile, C.J. Henry told Memphis TV Station FOX 13 that he felt the hiring of Pastner (to replace John Calipari) was “a good hire. I think he’ll do well on the job.”

C.J. Henry said he was in no hurry to finalize his plans for next season. He said he will wait and see who Pastner will be hiring to complete his staff. Xavier also is in no hurry.

“I guess he (Xavier) will wait and see who the assistant coaches are,” C.J. said. “It’s about player development and getting guys to the next level and preparing them, not only on the court, but off the court. It’s going to take a couple weeks. As of right now, he’s still signed here and he’s coming here (Memphis).”

C.J. was amused by the reports his dad might join Pastner’s staff.

“He doesn’t want to sit in a suit and sit on the bench. He’d rather be in the stands cheering us on, doing what he wants to do,” C.J. said of Carl.

Lance update: Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News told KC Radio 810 that one reason Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln High standout Lance Stephenson has not yet committed to KU is KU needs to know if Stephenson’s BornReady.TV Website violates any NCAA rules. Stephenson has been subject of a running Web documentary of his life. The series has also been shown on TV as well as the Internet. Ads appear on the Website.

Vitale likes KU: ESPN’s Dick Vitale has picked Kansas as his preseason No. 1 team for next season.

“Believing Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich will be back, Rock Chalk Jayhawk fans should be thrilled. Bill Self has a couple of recruits coming in plus transfer Jeff Withey will help. The Morris twins will get better and better,” Vitale wrote on

He ranks Duke No. 2, followed by Syracuse, Purdue and Michigan State.

More awards: KU coach Bill Self on Tuesday was named’s college coach of the year. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich was tapped most improved player in the country. ... KU’s Aldrich was named first-team all-NCAA Tournament by Others on the first team: North Carolina’s Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin and Michigan State’s Goran Suton. KU’s Sherron Collins was tapped second team with Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas, Pitt’s Sam Young, UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough and Villanova’s Dante Cunningham.

Tenth rated: KU finished 10th in the final USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll. North Carolina was tapped first, of course, followed by Michigan State, UConn, Villanova, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma, Missouri, Memphis and KU.

Smith speaks: Former KU player and North Carolina coach Dean Smith, 78, was interviewed by’s Larry Keith after the Tar Heels’ national title victory over Michigan State.

“This is coach Williams’ night,” he said of his former assistant, Roy Williams. “I’m very happy for him. I sent him to Kansas and got him back here, and everything's gone smoothly.”