Wednesday, August 19, 2009


C.J.’s impact a mystery


We know what Carl Henry thinks of his son C.J.’s game. Carl said he thinks Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor are good basketball players, but not any better than C.J.

“You said my dad said that?” C.J. asked Tuesday afternoon.


“Oh, my dad’s a little outspoken sometimes,” C.J. said. “If you get him riled up the right way, he’ll probably say anything. I think that was just him. He was seeing how hard we were working. We were in there four hours a day, in a gym with no air conditioning, about to pass out.”

OK, so was Carl right?

“Shoot, I hope we’re all on the same level,” C.J. said. “We’re all on the same team. I hope we can all work together and win a national championship.”

He didn’t run from sharing his father’s opinion, which is fine. Confidence is not a bad thing. The truth is, though, nobody knows how good C.J. Henry will be this year. He’s 23 and hasn’t played competitive basketball since high school. He signed with the New York Yankees as a first-round bonus baby, battled injuries and strikeout woes, attended Memphis for a season with the intention of playing basketball, but was too injured to suit up.

He hasn’t played college basketball, but he saw enough in practice at Memphis to form an opinion.

“College talent is really down to me, really,” C.J. said. “It’s you have a couple guys that can do one thing, but their basic skills aren’t there. You’ve got a guy who can shoot, but he can’t dribble. Or he can dribble, but he can’t shoot. There are holes in people’s games. I’ve been surprised since I’ve been in college how much kids — excuse me, kids (laughs at his use of that term) — how much players don’t work on their games. In college, there are only a few who work on their games and try to improve themselves, and that’s why there are only a few who make it. That’s why you have to approach it as a business and be professional about it if you want to play at the highest level.”

And what holes must C.J. work on?

“I can do all the basics, the fundamentals,” he said. “I have those. I can shoot, pass, dribble. There won’t be any big holes. You won’t be able to point the finger and say, ‘He can’t do this, he can’t do that.’ Just expect somebody to play hard, get some buckets, have some fun, get some wins.”

Surely, though, rust must be removed.

“I think it would be just getting back into the rhythm, coming off screens and shooting,” he said. “... Just conditioning would be the main thing.”

As for the social adjustment, C.J. might not face some of the same insecurities as new students in town for the first time. He signed a $1.6 million bonus, drives a Range Rover and lives in an off-campus apartment. I asked if he worries he will have trouble getting a date.

“No, I don’t need any,” he said. “My place has a garage so I’m parking on the inside so nobody will know where I stay. I’m going to be friendly and open with the people, so if you see me, say hello. I’m a friendly guy, social. But I’m here just to play basketball. ... I’m 23 now. I’m an adult, so I’m only here for one thing. Win games. That’s it and then take care of school work. Everything else is nothing to me. I’m here to go to school, play basketball. That’s it.”


100 10 years, 5 months ago

Nicely handled, CJ -- welcome to Lawrence.

alisher 10 years, 5 months ago

exactly...the verdict's still out. i doubt he does anything besides contribute to a really good practice squad. it takes a while for Mcd's All-Americans that play ball every day to adjust to the speed of the college game, much less someone who hasn't played organized ball in 5 years. i like his confidence but we're too stacked with players that have been actually playing the game at a high level.

...still think we got him only because we wanted X. oh well, i can deal with a little C.J. for a year's worth of Xavier's highlights.

waywardJay 10 years, 5 months ago

Alisher.... do you think it's just brotherly love that x's talking about... these two have been playing together.... if anybody knows what he's capable it's the kid who's been guarding him.....

If there's one thing that we have learned ....Age and Failure can morph a person into an incredible leader. Case in Point, Russell Robinson. Sasha Kaun. Darnell Jackson. None were immediately successful for us, but all ended champions. Cj's struggle in baseball will aid us, not in just helping us land his Brother. I'm convinced of this much....

Interesting quote from Rivals.....

"C.J. can shoot the deep ball, has a nice mid-range game, and can take it all the way to the rim. C.J. is like having three players in one. The only problem with that is when he gets in foul trouble it is like losing three players.” " — Putnam City Head Coach A.D. Burtschi

That doesn't sound like a practice Squad player to me. That sounds more Darren Hancock than Tj Whatley.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 5 months ago

Darren Hancock? Out of all the Jayhawks, you bring up Darren Hancock? Just thought it was an interesting choice. "Age" is about all the similarities Hancock and CJ have in common. However, with that said, I never saw any leadership qualities possessed by "Leaping and Grabbing the Quarter" Hancock.

You can definitely see that CJ is full of confidence. That is good in the end I think! If he was 18 years old saying those things, I think that would raise red flags, but considering what this kid has already been through, I liked his answers. I liked how he put his Dad and his remarks into perspective. I agree and I think "Rhythm" will be the biggest "Key" in CJ's develpment.

Robert Brock 10 years, 5 months ago

CJ needs to work extra-hard to make up for his lack of talent. I hope that he has the desire to do so...

rawkhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

It will be interesting to see how the season plays out, but I see CJ playing a significant role. As KU fans (assuming we all are?), I think we need to put faith in the coach and team and enjoy watching the upcoming season. Welcome to KU CJ!

KUFan90 10 years, 5 months ago

Geez...Alisher and Brock...lighten up. Very mature comments from CJ here. When Coach Self is making comments like "I think CJ will challenge for significant minutes on this team" he sees something he likes. You can tell CJ is driven for success. I think he will surprise a lot of people...and I'm glad we have him!

Jeremy LeMaster 10 years, 5 months ago

Ignorance: Bunch of idiots ona message board thinking they know everything (Lack of Talent... doubt he does anything besides contribute to a really good practice squad)

Welcome to KU CJ. We are ALL interested to see you contribute to this team in whatever capacity you are capable of.

Joe Baker 10 years, 5 months ago

OK Keegan the story is done! Also, enough with Carl! The bros are on campus, ready for school and leave them alone and report something a bit more positive.

I’m 23 now. I’m an adult, so I’m only here for one thing. Win games. That’s it and then take care of school work. Everything else is nothing to me. I’m here to go to school, play basketball. That’s it.”

Glad to have the Henrys in Lawrence! GEEEZ

d_prowess 10 years, 5 months ago

Personally, I am glad that Keegan mentioned his dad's comments to CJ. And I think it is telling that he didn't know anything about them. At the time, a lot of people took the father's comments and made the leap that those sentiments were the same ones that the boys had. Obviously from CJ's response, they are not.
I like CJ's attitude here, with the exception of only mentioning school at the very end, almost like he realized how the sentence before made it sound like he was only here for basketball and knew he needed to correct that. And regardless if that is a true feeling or not, it shows a lot of maturity and poise to realize that and put on a good public face.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 5 months ago

Dprowess: I also agree with you and stand behind Keegan about him asking CJ what he thought about his father's comments. We've already assumed too much about the Henry Kids based on their fathers quotes, so it's great to see some actual quotes from the boys about what their father stated. Good journalism and interesting info.

mjlindsm 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm glad to have CJ and hope to see him play some good ball here.

With that said, why is it such a sin to mention the possibility that he really won't contribute this year? He hasn't played basketball in years. He's had more injuries than Ken Griffey Jr and Penny Hardaway combined (hyperbole), and he was less highly regarded out of high school than any other player we have signed since Brady Morningstar (who has far exceeded expectations). CJ was not a top 100 recruit. And that's before the injuries and the layoff.

Those are the facts. Stop ripping off peoples' heads for making logical inductions from those facts.

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

Will CJ and Brady be poster boys for AARP?

treidy 10 years, 5 months ago

I can't wait for both of these chumps to NOT be a part of KU baseketball anymore!

KanKu 10 years, 5 months ago

“I can do all the basics, the fundamentals,” he said. “I have those. I can shoot, pass, dribble. There won’t be any big holes.

He didn't mention it, but I hope he can play defense. If not, Self probably won't let him see much court time.

treidy....that's a bit harsh dude. What if their daddy reads that.....

Blake Post 10 years, 5 months ago

kill mildcats and tigers, dunk on their heads. And treidy?...she sounds suspiciously like a tiger lily hillbilly. No Hawks will listen to her,

Killer Kansas

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