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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Warrior mentalities

Henry brothers, molded by family, eager to start at KU

Incoming Kansas university basketball players Xavier Henry, left, and older brother C.J. Henry.

Incoming Kansas university basketball players Xavier Henry, left, and older brother C.J. Henry.

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Henry brothers on KU campus

After a long summer wait for Kansas University Basketball fans, the Henry brothers arrived on the KU campus. The two hope to contribute to the Jayhawks' upcoming season.

Wherever Xavier Henry goes, so does one of his most prized possessions — his wooden necklace.

“It’s a warrior necklace. I got one for me and my brother. It just represents us. Me and my brother are warriors,” Henry, Kansas University’s 6-foot-6, 220-pound freshman basketball guard from Oklahoma City said Tuesday.

He slipped on the jewelry — which he bought in Hawaii — as soon as he finished lifting weights with his brother, KU freshman guard C.J., and the rest of his new teammates Tuesday afternoon in KU’s Anderson Family Strength and Conditioning Center.

“We usually wear them every day. Every day I think of my brother. I think of my whole family,” Xavier said of the close-knit group.

Family definitely matters to the Henrys.

Xavier said mom, Barbara, and dad, Carl, both soon will be moving to Lawrence for the 2009-10 season — one that may or may not be Xavier’s only campaign at KU.

Remember, he’s Rivals.com’s No. 8-rated player in the Class of 2009 who is expected to be a first-round NBA Draft pick next June.

“Like I said before, I think I’m a one-and-done capable player, but it’s about the holes in my game that people say I have,” Xavier Henry said.

“It’s why I chose Kansas because I think coach (Bill) Self can help fill those holes with his practices and playing. I think at the end of the year if he’s done his job and I do my job, I think I’m a capable one-and-done player. I’m not saying right now I’m a one-and-done player. I want to come in and work hard. I think if he (Self) fills those holes and I fill the holes, there’s no discretion.”

Xavier is coming off an eventful summer in which he worked out hard with C.J. and a personal trainer back home.

“We went there and did a whole bunch of exercises, probably three hours a day,” Xavier said. “We got treatment at the end, went home and hit the gym later. There were a couple NBA players (in town), like Kyle Weaver from the (OKC) Thunder. It was a good run.”

The Henrys had drawn some criticism from KU fans on Internet message boards for not attending summer school at KU like the rest of the Jayhawks.

“I had to stay home. I had to get my braces off,” Xavier said. C.J., who is a red-shirt freshman walk-on, would have had to pay his own way to summer school, since his contract with the New York Yankees only pays for two semesters per calendar year.

“I had to get two root canals and all four wisdom teeth taken out. People thought we were skipping these workouts (at KU). I had to do stuff at home and was still working out.”

He moved into a Jayhawker Towers apartment with roommate Chase Buford on Monday. Brother C.J. has his own place off campus since he’s an older-than-usual, 23-year-old rookie.

“Chase had everything in the room. He has all the game systems, the Wii, the Nintendos, the Playstations. It’s like he brought his whole home in the room,” Xavier said with a laugh. “I’m fine with it, because I barely packed anything to come up here because I don’t have that much. When I walked in, I saw TV, couches. Then I looked in Chase’s room and it was filled up with stuff. He packed heavy.”

Henry, who will immediately join his teammates in daily pick-up games, says he has set no limits on his play.

“My experience is I’m trying to set the highest standards for myself,” Henry said, asked if he’d like to be Big 12 rookie of the year.

“If you have high standards, there’s no limit to what you can do. I’m going to work hard and anything can happen.”

It was recently “reported” by some fan on the Internet that Xavier guaranteed KU would win the national title this season. He chuckled when informed of that Web site post.

“I don’t think I guaranteed one. I wish I could,” Henry said. “It’s going to take hard work. If the whole team works hard, there’s no telling how far we can go.”

The team will be led by senior Sherron Collins and junior Cole Aldrich.

“Every day I can learn something. With those two staying, that’s the biggest thing. That puts us right back on top,” Xavier said. “They have all the experience. All they can do is teach us and all I can do is learn from them.”

Aldrich likes what he’s seen of Xavier and C.J.

“They are great people. The guys on the team are really excited to have them on campus,” Aldrich said. “We are excited for them to be here and really be one as a team. They are hard workers. They were lifting with us today. They got in the grind with us and everything is going great so far.”

Xavier seconds that notion.

“I had my mind set after I made my decision on Kansas (that) it has to be the place,” Henry said. “Even if it’s not the place, this is the place so it has to be the place. I love it so far. Nothing’s happened to tell me it’s not the place.”

Cole’s status

Aldrich, who considered turning pro after his soph season, was asked his current stance on the NBA. Self has said nobody should expect Aldrich to return for a fourth season.

“Sherron and I ... we had our thoughts about it (leaving). It’s a whole new year. You never can say, ‘I’m for sure doing this; I’m for sure doing that,’’’ Aldrich said. “I’m just going to take it day by day and try to put myself and our team in the best position I can.”

How many years?

C.J. Henry was asked how many years he’ll remain at KU. He’s listed as a redshirt freshman, but Self believes he has three years of eligibility because the NCAA starts a player’s clock once the player turns 21. Henry, 23, had four years left to play once he turned 21 and one of those four years was spent recovering from a broken foot while he attended Memphis.

“I’ll just take it by the horns and don’t look back. I’ll go out there and leave it all on the floor. Who knows, it may be one year, it may be four. I’m still going to get a college education,” C.J. said.

This, that

KU’s game at Kansas State on Jan. 30, will be part of ESPN’s College Gameday, the Big 12 announced Tuesday. ... The KU-Cornell game, originally set for Jan. 5, has been moved to 7 p.m., Jan. 6. ...

Comments

waywardJay 10 years, 5 months ago

Cj looks like he could strap on pads and stand along side Quigley in the 4-2-5.... this looks promising.... all signs point to good !

overseashawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm a bit puzzled by this statement:

“Even if it’s not the place, this is the place so it has to be the place. I love it so far. Nothing’s happened to tell me it’s not the place.”

All in all I'm extremely excited about this years group. Out of everything I'm most curious to see how CJ will fit in. I would imagine that his body would be much more physically mature than alot of other guys on the team. Surely he had some sort of strict weightlifting regime when he was playing minor league baseball. I know baseball and basketball muscles are different though...

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

no need for puzzles. It's good to hear the focus the Henry's have on this year; bonding with the team, working hard, contributing all they have, high expectations for the team.

Welcome to Lawrence.

eastTXjayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I continue to hope that necklace didn't come from Peter Brady, bad things happened with that one. Oh well, back to the pork chops and applesauce....

Chris Shaw 10 years, 5 months ago

easttxjayhawk: Ahhhhhhhhh, I was about the same thing about Greg Brady! Damn you! That is too funny! Let's hope that Xavier and CJ don't fall off any surf boards or have any trantula's crawling in their beds. LOL

NH_JHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Gary, thank you for the update on the Henry brothers. Can we finally put to rest all of the negative feelings/comments that many people spewed so fluently over the past several months? Looks like these 2 kids are firmly committed to the task at hand and will undoubtedly have a significant positive impact on our beloved basketball program. I bet nobody has higher expectations for the Henry brothers than themselves. Welcome to KU guys!

rawkhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm excited for the Henry brothers and the KU team this year. Should be a great season!

KUbsee69 10 years, 5 months ago

Xavier says Carl's moving to Lawrence too! I believe that they previously said that Carl would be staying in OKC, and only Barbara was planning to move to Lawrence.

I think that's great. As close as this family seems to be, that can only be a positive.

Sally Presson 10 years, 5 months ago

For goodness sake, leave the brothers alone and stop asking them if they're one & done. Let's enjoy them for however long they're here. The KU faithful are really looking forward to the coming season. As always we have a great team, lead by the greatest coach on this earth.

Rock Chalk!!!

KUFan90 10 years, 5 months ago

LOL eastTX - nice Brady drop there.

Great to see the Henry's joining the team. Welcome aboard...can't wait for the season to begin.

Richard Fischer 10 years, 5 months ago

"Me and my brother are Warriors" hopefully he will be taking basket weaving and not Comp 1.

Other then that welcome to KU.

Rock Chalk!!!

Joel Hood 10 years, 5 months ago

After watching the videos of CJ & X, it sure looks like they are happy to be here and ready to go. This will be a great year. 8 weeks and 2 days until Late Night... I wonder when the line to get in will start - Columbus Day perhaps?

Joe Baker 10 years, 5 months ago

jayhawkerjoel- You make it sound sooo close! One of the most anticipated days in KU b-ball history!! "8 weeks and 2 days"? dang...can't wait!

RCJHKU

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 5 months ago

overseashawk, I'm betting he's alluding to the struggle to pick a school. He believes he picked the right school but even if he didn't, he's committed to being here and making the best of it. That's what I took from it. I do think he picked the right place and will come to realize that in time.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

STARTING 5

Collins Taylor Morris Morris Aldrich

I know you're thinking "no way" with both Morris', but that's my prediction. The Morris twins are going to dominate this year if they keep their noses clean.

Nick Adams 10 years, 5 months ago

fatcletus- Please take your negativity somewhere else.

knayte 10 years, 5 months ago

Using the vast amounts of no-doubt completely accurate and comprehensive information I’ve gleaned from one KC Star article and this LJWorld write-up (enough to qualify me to post my expert opinion on the internet), I conclude that the Henry boys are somewhat more level-headed than their father.

That, or they’re just trying to make up for all the bad vibes he created last month.

finestack 10 years, 5 months ago

eastTXjayhawk -

Hilarious! Exactly my first thought about the wooden necklaces.

Someone should ask X or CJ if the origin was underneath any new construction projects in the Aloha state. Ole Droopy Dog would throw those things right in the Kaw, given how superstitious he was / is. Glad HCBS just lets these kids be who they are. Rainbow Warriors.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago

Great news...Barbara, Xavier and C.J are in town......not so great news...Carl is coming too!! :}

I wonder if Carl will sit behind the bench and give coaching pointers to HCBS. :}

I think everyone on the team should wear a headband, have a warrior necklace and grow a beard!! :}

Let's see, 40 minutes times 5 players equals 200 minutes divided by 15 players equals 13 minutes/20 seconds per player must be played. The NCAA may just have to put this handicap on KU this year { And I think we'd still win a whole bunch of games!!} :}

Maybe the whole team should wear wristbands, have mood rings and shave their heads!! :}

Maybe I took a little too much medication this morning!!!! :} :} :}

route66 10 years, 5 months ago

fatcletus....who stepped on your tail.... Just relax and enjoy life a little.....geez

Dirk Medema 10 years, 5 months ago

fat - If you don't like the article, go listen to the interview. It's basically the same info.

The good news is that the Henrys are not nearly as dramatic as the media has portraited them to be - imagine that.

The cool comment from the Self interview/article is that they are in as good of shape as anyone on the team, well, anyone other than Tyrel - the guy must be a workout animal to completely seperate himself from the rest of the team.

Blake Post 10 years, 5 months ago

They better move that KSU game to Africa and invite Beasley. Even that won't help. I don't make predictions out loud, but you can hear what I'm thinking. I want our team to be Jack the basketball ripper. Probably will be.

Blake Post 10 years, 5 months ago

Remember, Carl Henry was a great KU player. He was not known for saying anything while he played here, as far as I remember. He was known for shooting the ball. Remember also that Missouri clowns comment in the KC and other papers, pretending to be Jayhawks, and that was what made Carl angry. Glad to have his sons here and Carl is welcome any day.
In the big 8 tournament in 1984, KU played OSU and Carl had 23. Bill Self had 9 rebounds for OSU though, but we killed them.
You commenters don't bag on parents of players for any reason. We want future parents of top players to feel comfortable here. Understand yet?

Kent Wells 10 years, 5 months ago

But if the Henrys start the season and roll an ankle in the first game, or go 0 for 28, them warrior necklaces have to be burned and the ashes returned to Hawaii to satisfy the Brady curse.

Kevin Long 10 years, 5 months ago

Glad they are finally here. As long as they keep their mouths shut and play hard they will be fine.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago

hawkman1031

Relax, Bro..no one makes more fun of Carl Henry than Carl himself. Of course it will be great to have the second generation of a true Jayhawk family here on the Hill and Carl is a true blue Jayhawk.

Frankly, I was surprised when he announced he was staying in Oklahoma awhile ago.

What I find fascinating is the range of opinions on CJ..... everything from practice fodder/garbage time guy to key starter or at least the first man off the bench!!!

I find his age, size and professional training thrilling!!!! I find his history of injuries chilling!!!

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 5 months ago

Soobawls!!! Admit it, you're anthonyzal in disguise.

kw11b2p 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm gonna get some heat for this, but I just do not like the attitude of either one of these young men. It is the height of arrogance to state that you believe you are a one and done type player before you have ever set foot on D1 hardwood, not to mention Phog Allen.........absolutedly ridiculous. That being said the best thing that these two can do is shut up, stop doing interviews, and show me (don't tell me) that you are an elite prospect who can also be a team player. Xavier's focus obviously is on Xavier's game.....not Ku, not the opportunity to play for one of the greatest programs in existence, and not his teamates. I'm sorry but that is what I see.

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

"Me and my brother are warriors.”

The Henry's are about to find out the difference between saying such things and doing such things. Sherron was already a warrior by last year but Cole could only "say" he was one. The difference between Cole at the beginning of last year and after the Nebraska game was the difference between saying one is a warrior and finally having to live as a warrior. Being a warrior is ultimately not pretty. It is brutal. And it is not about talent. It is about courage and ferocity when everything is against you in an important battle. Neither Henry has been in this position yet. High school does not count. Neither do all-star games where you're performing for scouts and coaches. Perhaps the Henry's have what it takes. Perhaps they do not. The only thing for certain is that Self requires warriors, and some time during this season we will all know whether or not the Henry's are Warriors, or persons who talk about being warriors.

"Even if it’s not the place, this is the place so it has to be the place. I love it so far. Nothing’s happened to tell me it’s not the place.”

By the end of this season, if the Henry's are warriors, there will be no more quotes like this. Persons tempered into steel by fire do not talk in unnecessary ambiguities.

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

Nick Krug is back and the pics are already magnifique!

gardenjay 10 years, 5 months ago

I like how NBA Danny Manning stayed and got his 4-year degree, and how the LJW has been reporting on the academics of our beloved football players. Rock Chalk!

Philip Garver 10 years, 5 months ago

Quoting Kellen Winslow Jr.(idiot).....I'm an F'n soldier!!!!!!!!

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