Thursday, April 9, 2009

KU recruit Woolridge to play in Invite


Future Kansas University basketball player Royce Woolridge is scheduled to play in the 2009 Jayhawk Invitational basketball tournament, set for May 1-3 at various gyms around Lawrence.

Meet director Roger Morningstar and Kansas City Pump N Run coach L.J. Goolsby on Wednesday indicated Woolridge, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound junior shooting guard from Phoenix Sunnyslope High, would be playing for the Arizona Magic in the 17-and-under portion of the tourney.

Woolridge,’s No. 88-rated player, committed to KU last May 1. He chose the Jayhawks over UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, California and Georgetown.

Harrison Barnes, the No. 4-ranked player in the Class of 2010, is expected to compete for the All-Iowa Attack. The 6-foot-6, 206-pound junior shooting guard from Ames (Iowa) High, has a long list of schools, including KU, North Carolina, Duke, Iowa State, Kentucky and Texas.

Bradley Beal, a 6-3 sophomore shooting guard from St. Louis Chaminade High, will play for the St. Louis Eagles. He’s considering KU, Illinois, Missouri, Florida, Purdue, North Carolina, Texas and others.

Wichita Heights freshman sensation Perry Ellis likely will attend as a member of the Kansas Players. Ellis, a 6-8 forward who was recently named Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year, attended several games at Allen Fieldhouse this past season.

“It’s going to be a big-time event. The Atlanta Celtics will be back, the Compton (Calif.) Magic, several teams from Chicago, one from North Carolina will all be here,” said Morningstar, who will provide further details in coming weeks.

The tourney will not be held in Allen Fieldhouse or Horejsi Center this year because of construction. The bulk of the featured 17-and-under games will be at Haskell’s Coffin Complex.

Cousins to Kentucky: DeMarcus Cousins, who is’s No. 2-rated player, on Wednesday orally committed to Kentucky. The 6-foot-9 Cousins earlier had committed to Memphis, but has decided to follow coach John Calipari to UK.

There were rumors Wednesday that Kentucky signee Daniel Orton, a 6-10, 260-pound senior center from Oklahoma City’s McGuinness High, has asked out of his letter of intent.

Daniel’s dad, Larry, told WKYT TV 27 in Kentucky that reports Orton would not be willing to play on the same team as Cousins were untrue.

“I don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s all made up. Daniel has not asked for his release,” Larry Orton told the station. “As far as we know right now, Daniel is coming to UK.”

Henry update: Now that Xavier Henry has received his release from the University of Memphis, he and other family members are free to speak to college coaches about a possible transfer.

KU coach Bill Self and Kentucky’s Calipari spoke with Henry’s dad, former KU player Carl Henry, on Tuesday.

“Coach Self and coach Calipari both want to coach Xavier and C.J (Xavier’s brother who is freshman at Memphis). We just talked for a little bit, and that was it. Really, they were able to express how much they want my sons at their program,” Carl Henry told

Carl said Xavier and C.J. might visit KU and Kentucky. The family will meet, likely on April 19, after Xavier returns from the Nike Hoops Summit (Saturday in Portland) and the Jordan Brand Classic (April 18).

Carl told Tulsa TV station KOTV that “it would be the dream to have them play at Kansas, but if they choose something different, they choose it, not me.”

Carl repeatedly has said this week Xavier wants to play at KU. Carl Henry played for KU’s men’s team while Xavier’s mom, Barbara, and aunt, Vicky, played for KU’s women’s team.

“It’d be my mom, dad, aunt. If my brother can get out of his thing, it’d be my whole family going to KU,” Xavier told the TV station. “It’d be a big tradition, but I don’t know. It’s a big decision.”

C.J. Henry will have to sit out a season if he transfers to KU due to NCAA transfer rules, unless he wins an NCAA appeal.

Xavier and C.J. will not be updating the media on their decision-making process.

“When it comes to all the reporters and USA Today, all those people, we’ll leave them alone. We need to handle our business,” Xavier said.

Carl advised his sons to turn off their cell phones the next couple of weeks.

North Carolina staff members have KU ties: A pair of former KU players worked on Roy Williams’ North Carolina national championship staff this past season and earned their second NCAA title ring.

This year, it was C.B. McGrath’s turn to work as a full-time assistant coach and Jerod Haase’s to work as director of basketball operations. Next year Haase will be back on the bench as assistant coach, and McGrath will move to director of basketball.

Williams’ other full-time assistants this season were former KU aides Steve Robinson and Joe Holladay. Strength and conditioning coordinator Jonas Sahratian also worked at KU.


Eliott Reeder 10 years, 9 months ago

Well, at least we know Carl has got our back. And on top of it all, I totally respect the fact he is letting his sons decide for themselves and be men. Their dad has obviously urged them to continue the Henry family tradition of playing B-Ball at the University of Kansas. It is now up to them how much those family ties hold court, or if they want to start new paths.

Derek Conway 10 years, 9 months ago

Something just tells me that he really doesn't want to come and be a Jayhawk. I think there is a reason why he picked Memphis over us, whatever that may be and I don't think that reason just went away over a month or so. I really hope I am wrong though, because with him, and everyone else staying put, I love our chances to win another title. X is a true stud and would help KU do wonders wearing the Kansas jersey.

Jfanallways 10 years, 9 months ago

how bout an update on the collins aldrich situation? they only have 2 weeks to decide or is it a month and 2 weeks as far as henry . . . "ku is where he wants to go" "ku is a big tradition" "henrys first choice was ku" then what's standing in the way? is it old slick the used car salesman of kentucky? calipari has not done anything yet. any decent coach could win in conf usa. i know he got to the title game but somehow he inked rose before that. whats the appeal? i guess we will see if he is the real deal this year.

lv_jhwk 10 years, 9 months ago

Living in Sin City now, I must say that the continual recruiting efforts of Self and staff reminds me of air traffic coming into McCarran...nothing but big planes lining up to land. I know that partly comes with the tradition of KU basketball, but it never gets old. Even makes it a little easier to get through the StepHenry saga: better to be part of the game than watching it.

Btw, if true, do Self's comments all but shut the door on Lance's arrival?

Bill Skeet 10 years, 9 months ago

The way I read it, Xavier seems to be influenced more by his relationship with CJ than the KU tradition in the family. I can appreciate his desire to play with his brother -- given that it likely will be only one year -- more than anything else.

I don't think KU fans should consider his decision as a slight against the school, tradition, etc. It's just his view of the world... his priorities.

I reverse-engineered his priorities based on the comments: 1) play with his brother, 2) work with a coach that can improve his lottery rank for NBA, 3) university environment/tradition.

He clearly has narrowed his coaching preference to Self and Calipari. Now, if CJ were to 1) win his appeal to play next year and 2) choose to come to KU, then I believe X would follow.

I have to say that I am still really intrigued by this story because Carl Henry was my first Favorite Jayhawk (so many since then). I remember going to games in high school and my first year of college and listening to games on the radio. He was exciting and clutch.

When I heard his son might come to KU, it brought back all those memories. Plus, it was intriguing to consider the possibility of another former KU player's son following in the tradition... Add to that the excitement that he's considered the top recruit in the nation. Then I heard X had opted for Memphis and I was disappointed. This recent wrinkle has brought back the intrigue, excitement and memories. I can't deny it.

Robert Brock 10 years, 9 months ago

We never hear Xavier talking positively about KU. It is Carl talking up KU. I think that Xavier wants to play for Coach Calipari rather than Coach Self; therefore, I think that X goes with Kentucky in this case. Good luck to him. KU will be fine.

AAU/Traveling Team ball cranks up again on the 17th. I hope that the Hawks can get Barnes and McCallum out of the Class of 2010.

fansincewilt 10 years, 9 months ago

Whoever Self gets, he will coach them to a final four and maybe a championship. While some coaches need the top recruits, Self develops them into top recruits. I think it will be interesting to watch him develop these twins.

Timmay97 10 years, 9 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't C.J. in the same predicament whether he chooses KU or UK? He commited to Memphis (the school), not Calipari. Therefore, he's going to have to sit out a year regardless of which school he goes to. Based on this knowledge, it's hard not to be "somewhat" bitter about them both not commiting immediately to KU. If he really wanted to play here, this would be done and over with.

Also, so far I have heard from all these media sources that KU has been tabbed #1 in the nation to begin next year assuming Collins and Aldrich return. How in sam hell could you not want to come to a university that's already got stars and is an immediate Final Four contender BEFORE you even play your first game. Regardless of their recruits (who haven't played together) UK is not like that. Xavier insists he's a one and done.....well, if you care about winning a national championship, your best bet is with KU...........NOT UK.

At this rate.....lets all be wishful thinkers......Quintrell transfers, Appleton quits basketball and Reed (or someone taking a scholly that's not playing much) redshirts......bring on Xavier, C.J. and Lance. Can you freakin' imagine!

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm with you on the Morris' development. Marcus made huge gains on both sides of the ball as the season progressed. I'm sure he has a better understanding of what it will take to be a consistent contributing player in college ball as compared to what he thought coming in as a freshman.

I think the proverbial "light" came on for Marcus toward the end of the season and he got a taste of success he liked. I look forward to seeing his progress next season. As for Markieff, I didn't see as much progress but I don't see him letting his twin brother get all the glory. I hope Markieff will pick up his off season work as well so they can progress together.

The Morris twins will be two players we depend on heavily in the near future. It will be fun to watch them go from green to mean.

Tribehawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Brock. X sounds like he's only considering KU out of respect to his family. With all that pressure from Dad, Mom, and Aunt, if X really wanted to play for KU for himself, he would have inked with us the first time around or at least would have decided for KU at this point. My gut says he goes to UK. Perhaps for the best. If he signed with us and his heart wasn't in Lawrence, that could lead to big problems.

Unfortunately, I don't think we're going to get Lance either. If his heart was in KU, he would have jumped on us as soon as he heard that Cal was leaving Memphis to preclude X from taking the scholoraship HCBS was offering him.

I harbor no ill-will towards either. With this type of talent, this is all a business decision. Good luck to both wherever they go. If we keep Sherron and Cole, we'll be more than fine next year with the other 2 recruits we've locked up.

Fred Davis 10 years, 9 months ago

I've grown extremely tired of this Xavier saga... Get the web site fiasco with Lance straightened out and get that kid to Lawrence... It's only a matter of time before Joe Dooley gets a head coaching gig and so we'll need something or someone to keep that east coast pipeline open - bringing in Lance and provided he has a positive experience at KU, suddenly KU becomes a huge player in NYC because the city kids realize Lawrence Kansas isn't the hick town everybody on the east coast thinks it is... I feel the short and long-term benefits of Lance far outweigh bringing in the Henry brood... Rock Chalk Baby.

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm confident in Coach Self's ability to handle the X/Lance/Wall situation...he won't sell his soul, unlike Coach Cal.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 9 months ago

"Carl said Xavier and C.J. might visit KU and Kentucky."

"Carl repeatedly has said this week Xavier wants to play at KU."

Was Carl a public relations major? While Xavier may want to play at KU there must be something else he wants more. The way he seams glued to C.J. I have to believe there are some Yankee dollars getting into Xavier's pocket.

Regardless, who needs a soap opra. I would be very content with 7 players that recognize they each have a weakness, but that when on the floor the other 4 can cover for each others weakness.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I think everyone is overracting. Carl knows his son better than a bunch of anonymous posters that have a few choice quotes to go on. If he says he believes X wants to go to KU I believe him. I also understand that he wants to play with CJ, but if CJ transfers, he isn't gonna play with him unless the NCAA overrules him sitting out. This is the interesting quote:

"It’d be my mom, dad, aunt. If my brother can get out of his thing, it’d be my whole family going to KU,” Xavier told the TV station. “It’d be a big tradition, but I don’t know. It’s a big decision.”

"It would be my whole family going to KU". Does that mean, he sees himself going anyway? Kind of an ambigous statement.

I agree that this is a tiring situation for us because we all want to know right now, but it is a huge decision for him and we should be classy and respect that.

prusso25 10 years, 9 months ago

am i reading this wrong... or does it seem like we have X in the bag as long as we can muster up a schol?

vegas_hawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I agree with "bskeet". His family being KU alumni is important, but if X is only gonna be around for 1 year, then tradition is the last thing on his mind. It sounds like CJ is determining X's decision. If tradition was first and foremost, then CJ would bite the bullet and deal with sitting out a year and they would both come to KU. The most important thing to the both of them is they want to play together. Since they'll only play for 1 year together (assuming X jumps to the NBA) then they are going to play at Memphis if CJ doesn't win the appeal from the NCAA.

trader 10 years, 9 months ago

I assume that CJ can transfer to KU and practice and be with X on campus. I do not really see him being an impact player and being part of the 10-12 rotation. So, no big deal on him getting a release to play on this upcoming season.

Ervin O'Neal 10 years, 9 months ago

I see only two scenarios. One, X chooses to play with his brother on a non-contending team at Memphis in a joke of a conference. Or X, CJ and the entire Henry family enjoy a year together at KU on a Nat'l Championship team while CJ is only alowed to practice with the team next year. I like our chances.

Ervin O'Neal 10 years, 9 months ago

Actually I see a third scenario. If Cole and/or Collins opt for the NBA, X may not view KU's chances to win a championship as very strong. In that scenario, playing for Calipari may win out.

TexasHawk44 10 years, 9 months ago

trader: CJ is a decent player. He was a three star recruit coming out of high school. Not off the charts, but solid. KU offered him a scholarship before he signed with the Yankees to play baseball. And based on who is brother is, calling him "no big deal" is probably pretty off base. As for cracking the "10-12" player rotation, Self doesn't typically have a 10-12 player rotation after December, so being the tenth or twelfth guy in the depth rotation does not matter much-except to determine who gets the most mop up minutes. What matters is that CJ coming to KU would likely ensure that X comes. The whole point of CJ coming isn't that he is going to start or be fantastic. It is so that X comes so he can play on the same team with his brother. That is pretty obvious to anyone who has been following this saga...

Steve Gantz 10 years, 9 months ago

Someone said it well. Xavier is a One and Done player. Since they started making kids go to college for at least a year name a team that's won a championship with one of these future multimillionaires. Ohio State came close with Oden, but here at KU close isn't good enough. A team that develops talent for two or three years wins championships.

TexasHawk44 10 years, 9 months ago

wissoxfan83: If all you have is a OAD and not much else, I would agree that you are right. An OAD alone won't do anything. But put that player on a team like KU (especially if Cole and Collins return) and they could have a huge short term impact. BTW, Rose was OAD and came very close to helping Memphis win a title - without a heroic KU comeback and huge Tiger meltdown, they might have done it with an OAD. Of course, they had a lot of other talent on that team too. That is my point. If we can fill a need (and 3 is certainly a need) it just helps our team become stronger. Self is a builder of teams and is very good at putting parts together. Whether is X or Lance or none of the above, Self will piece together a contending team. I do believe that if Cole and Collins return that we could make a run at the National Championship next season. If we add X or Lance, it only improves our odds because we have filled a void. Brady is good player but he is not the answer at that position. Just my opinion.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 9 months ago

One scenario no one has discussed,,albeit not Nat.Ch.-friendly:

Cole and Sherron go pro. Henry chooses to stay with his brother in Memphis. Lance goes back east. Wall ends up in the ACC.

2009-2010 Jayhawks:

Point guard: Taylor, Appleton, Shooting guard: Johnson, Reed, Teahan Swing Man; Little, Morningstar, Releford Power Forward: Marcus M., Robinson, Q.Thomas Center: Markieff M, Withey

!3 Scholarshipw, 13 players..Talented, multi-dimensional...

SMALL - Taylor, Johnson, Little, Releford, Marcus 6th man Reed

BIG - Taylor, Johnson, Robinson, Withey, Marcus 6th man Little

SHOOTING - Johnson, Reed, Morningstar, Teahan, Little 6th man Taylor

I am not saying it's going to happen and I'm not saying I want it to happen but...... You never know!!!

Lance Hobson 10 years, 9 months ago

Geez, Roy's entire staff is from Kansas. We should get part of the trophy.

Cal is pretty sleezy for talking to these players and trying to get them to follow him. It's bad enough that he left Memphis high and dry, but to steal their recruits is really low.

Robert Buckles 10 years, 9 months ago

Oakville I agree I think that your scenario is very likely there is no doubt in my mind that Cole is gone Sherron im not so sure about I guess what bothers me the most about this whole thing is even if we get X and CJ or even Lance we are still short a Big till Withey cant play till Dec I think Robinson is going to get the starting spot over Marcus but at 6'8 and 6'9 nether Morris is a true center and I dont see any bigs 6'11 or over on our recruiting list we are just to guard heavy

100 10 years, 9 months ago

In case anyone hasn't seen it, check out the YouTube highlights of Wall.

This kid is incredible. He's like Jacque Vaughn, although twice as fast, with a great shot (unlike Jacque), a better passer than Jacque (if that's at all possible) & can LEAP (crazy dunking ability)!!!!!

Although he's only 6'1", if there's only one scholarship to give (which we all know three will open up without a problem), I would take John Wall before anybody else...

He's that good.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 9 months ago

drgnslayr: First, I haven't had much time over the last couple weeks to post as much as I wanted, but I completely agree with everything you've said over that span. I too would like to have to lance for the very reason you stated in your last post. Also, and I'm not saying X is anywhere near Lebron James talent level, but this Henry/Lance situation reminds me a lot of that Lebron/Luol Deng dual back in 2003. You have to remember, back in 2003 there was a pretty heated dual for bragging rights between those two individuals. Obviously, Lebron has turned out to be the better player and just a Super World MegaStar, but at that time there wasn't all whole lot of difference between those two. The same might be said in this case between X and Lance that X might be the better overall player in the future, but Lance might stick around in college for at least an extra year to fine tune some of his minor flaws (defense mentality, mindset, and overall mental capacity for the game. I also don't think there will be that much separation between X and Lance overall in the future of the league like there was with Lebron and Luol Deng.

I don't know why I was reminded of that, but maybe because one is 6'6 and the other is on the cusp of 6'5/6'6. Lebron and Deng were both 6'8 and 6'9 and could handle the rock so this is the closest to that pair that I could remember. Lebron was built and stacked and immediately ready. X is definitely physically ready like Lebron, but Lance is a little more raw like Deng. I just don't want to lose out on either player and I hope we're not in a situation like the one oakvillejhawk mentioned above. I don't like scenario at all. We need one more year with Aldrich and Collins to help ease the transition for the new guys. Now that Self has completely gotten into the flow of his program, hopefully, his "Down Years" are like this one and only last a year rather than lasting 2/3 years to regain the true form of being "Elite".

Chris Shaw 10 years, 9 months ago

Am I the only one who completely disagrees with the information being said about Appleton. I don't know if I watched an entirely different season and was completely watching a different player, but I did not see "Fast" or "Quick" in the description that I see towards Appleton. I just don't see it! The kid seriously looks like he has concrete blocks on his feet. Maybe that has to do with not getting a lot of minutes or positioning yourself in the correct manner on defense, but I thought he was always consistently the slowest guy on the court whenever he was out there. I think he's a good player and am not trying to knock down Appleton, but I just don't see any type of acceleration from him. You can still do well without those components, but it's hard to compete at the highest level with those limiations.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I am definitley intrigued by Royce Wooldridge. From the scouting reports I have read, he has a deadly jumper and he is a scoring machine. I hope he has an outstanding senior year. I think a lot of "experts" are sleeping on this kid.

Robert Buckles 10 years, 9 months ago

Kushaw I would have to agree with you on Appleton I just didnt see it. But then on the other hand I didn't see were every body keep saying that Moringstar was good ever time you turn around someone was making a Hinrich reference just didn't see that. As for what we have coming back I think we have seen the best that Appleton, Teahan, Moringstar and Little have to offer I hope Im wrong because I think they are all great kids. I just hope that this summer that Releford , Thomas , and the Morris twins make leaps and bounds. I think that this years team was only missing one thing and that was a Langford type of player someone who could get his own shoot drive and slash to the basket or kick it out. I hope that Releford can be that Guy.

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 9 months ago

Through all this I keep remembering the Memphis interloper who kept popping in here to spout how Memphis was THE program in the nation now and KU was a has-been. One coaching change later and the walls come tumbling down for the Tigers. That doesn’t happen at a real program.

TexasHawk44 10 years, 9 months ago

Let's hope that Appleton is not seeing the floor too much next season. I don't know how anyone could say that they want to see more of him. I thought he was a major disappointment. I don't know if he was fast or slow. To be honest my only memories of him were that he was mistake-prone and not very good. He hardly played any minutes. Let's hope that if he is a Jayhawk, that he is buried deep in the fictional 12-man rotation that trader was posting about earlier. You know how Self likes to head into the meat of the Big 12 with his 12-man rotation. You know the one he rolls out when we are giving Mizzou "40 minutes of Hell" to counter Mike Anderson's High-Lo, right?

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 9 months ago


You are spot on. As Self said in his book great programs are great beyond who the coach is.

TexasHawk44 10 years, 9 months ago

Primer cheat sheet on the subject of Johnny C./Memphis/Kentucky

Payola + Grease = Cal Cal = sucks. Cal + Memphis = Memphis sucked. Memphis - Cal = Meaningless Cal + UK = Payola + Grease + Wildcats suck.

KU + HCBS = KU Freakin' Rules! *

Cousins: Write that on your sneaker for the test. Oops, I forgot you will never see the inside of the classroom in Lexington.

  • Admittedly "Homer" Hawk

wolfy 10 years, 9 months ago

There is a "breaking news" headline on the Web site that reads, "En Route to Memphis." I can't read beyond the teaser, though. Does anyone know what is happening?

TexasHawk44 10 years, 9 months ago

i don't know anything about "breaking news" on but nothing is posted on the Commercial Appeal in Memphis. Here is part of a story on their site that was posted today:

"...With their departures, that leaves just the two junior college players, forward Will Coleman and wing Darnell Dodson, as Memphis signees. Shooting guard Xavier Henry was also part of the recruiting class, but he has been released from his letter-of-intent and is unlikely to attend Memphis."

Beyond X, I am concerned about the web site/video for Lance. If he is a hazard with NCAA problems, there goes our other option...

In the end though, I wish we knew more about Cole and Collins. All things in good time, but I think their return is more important than X or Lance...

Chris Shaw 10 years, 9 months ago

Well, I hope my comments didn't cause Appleton to transfer. I just hope he finds a good fit in a good quality program. Maybe he'll transfer to Missouri so we can light him up! I feel bad for QT! I wish he could have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I think he would have had an opportunity his junior and senior year. Most kids forget that part, but then again KU basketball is a "Cut-Throat" business that most of us don't want to admit. Good luck to both Appleton and QT!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.