Originally published May 19, 2009 at 07:26p.m., updated May 19, 2009 at 10:15p.m.

Self expects C.J. Henry to push for major minutes

KU recruit Xavier Henry, right, and brother C.J. take in the Late Night festivities in this 2005 file photo. C.J. was admitted to KU on Tuesday.

KU recruit Xavier Henry, right, and brother C.J. take in the Late Night festivities in this 2005 file photo. C.J. was admitted to KU on Tuesday.


C.J. Henry might not be overshadowed by his brother, Xavier, much longer.

“I see him as a guy that’s going to challenge to play a ton of minutes,” Kansas coach Bill Self said Tuesday after C.J. was officially admitted to Kansas University.

C.J., a 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard, will be eligible to play for KU in the 2009-10 season alongside his brother. He was a non-scholarship freshman at Memphis last season.

Though C.J. hasn’t gathered the same headlines as his talented brother Xavier, Self said KU was getting a much better player than many people realized.

“Xavier, deservedly so, gets a lot of credit,” Self said. “And the reason C.J. hasn’t gotten the credit is because he’s kind of been out of sight the last several years. But out of sight doesn’t mean that he can’t play.

“I really believe we’re going to be pleasantly surprised with the impact he’ll have on our program.”

C.J. orally committed to play basketball for KU in 2005 before choosing to play professional baseball. He was selected 17th overall in the 2005 MLB Draft and played three years in the minor leagues before deciding to attend Memphis.

“One thing that people may forget: This is a professional athlete that’s been trained,” Self said. “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s mature, and he can really shoot the basketball. I think that he could certainly add to our perimeter game.”

Former Memphis coach John Calipari (now with Kentucky) told Self that C.J. had developed into one of the team leaders in the guard’s one season at Memphis.

“That’s hard to do when you don’t even play,” Self said. “He’ll be good for our guys.”

C.J. sat out all of last season with a broken bone in his foot. Self said that the guard was about 90 percent healthy now, and the hope was that he would be fully recovered by the early summer months.

Though he hasn’t officially played organized basketball in four years, C.J. has continued to keep himself around the game by shooting and playing pickup games. He also spent some of the summers working out with Xavier and his father, Carl.

Self said C.J. hadn’t decided if he was going to room with his brother at Jayhawker Towers on the KU campus.

C.J., who will be a sophomore next season, will not have to sit out a year for transferring because he was a non-recruited athlete at Memphis. After deciding to give up on baseball, he called Calipari to see if there was an open spot for him at the school, meaning the Tigers didn’t pursue him.

During his senior season at Putnam City (Okla.) High School in 2005, C.J. averaged 23.2 points, 4.1 assists and 2.4 steals. He also earned all-state honors.

“He’s a guy that can play point guard and can shoot,” Self said. “We’ve got some guys that certainly have played college minutes and performed well. But he’s a guy that will come in and he’ll challenge for significant minutes right off the bat.”


TwinCitiesJHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Great news! Congrats CJ! We can't wait to see you and X on the court. Rock Chalk!!!

100 11 years, 6 months ago


I'd take CJ over Wall-eye any day of the week.

Welcome to KU, CJ !!!!

Mo Golany 11 years, 6 months ago

yea boy!!! Welcome to KU home of the 2010 and 2011 National Champs!!!! I got a feeling X stays and all our other guys will still be here to dominate!

X Tyshawn CJ Tyrel Brady Elijah Royce Marcus Kieff T Rob Withey

That's a pretty good team plus other recruits!!!!

Eurekahwk 11 years, 6 months ago

That really is a good group even without Sherron and Cole IF the Henry's come back. A couple of serious 3 bombers coming off the bench with the explosive players in EJ and Royce. That combined with a solid frontline of Morris2, TRob and Withey keeps us formidable. If Releford gets a jumpshot, I see good things from him. Being a Jayhawk has never been so glorious as it is now.

JayhawkPurist 11 years, 6 months ago

Sleep on C.J. Henry at your own risk. He's older and therefore more physically mature, he has the tools, and most importantly, he's hungry. Love it.

panalytic 11 years, 6 months ago

Interesting how Coach Self jumps in with the statement CJ may challenge for a ton of minutes. Seems like he is anticipating CJ playing quite a bit this year. Got to wonder how that will look and what other players it will impact. Will it impact Taylor's minutes? Reed's or Morningstar's minutes? I could wonder about a few other player's minutes too. It will be interesting to see team chemistry is affected. It sounds like competition will be tough on some people this year.

Brian Skelly 11 years, 6 months ago

Im sure Self is saying that to push some of the other players. Which is fine and good.

The reality is, and as we've all been drooling about since all this "X-Man cometh" stuff has been going around, this team is going to be eFn loaded. It should be fun.

People forget the C.J. was highly recruited as well. Not "X-Man" hype, but well sought after... if im not mistaken including by Self.

Let's just keep everyone healthy and eligible.

Max Ledom 11 years, 6 months ago

100, cmon now. That was kinda stupid. Wall is a number 1 draft pick. And lets face it, CJ is not. but im glad to have him! But i would take Elijah over Wall anyday

Robert Brock 11 years, 6 months ago

C.J. will add some quality depth at the PG position this season and in future seasons. Hopefully, Self will sign Ray McCallum in November to guarantee the Jayhawks will have a top-notch PG when Collins leaves.

FairgroveJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Glad to hear you'll be able to play CJ. Lets see what you've got.

I find it entertaining to hear predictions on who will get minutes next year. I can't wait to find out who actually will earn the greatest amount of playing time. It is a great time to be a Jayhawk.

LJW - great stories, keep them coming.

100 11 years, 6 months ago


Whether or not you think it's stupid,

On a college basketball court (next year), specifically in Self's tough guy system, I'd take CJ (6'4" and strong) over Wall (6'4" thin, can dunk on highschoolers & bringing possible recruiting infractions to the school he chooses).

Again, for the purposes of KU, I would take CJ, a man, over Wall, a kid, any day.

Unless I'm an NBA coach -- and it's 3 years in the future.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 6 months ago

Any player will be talked up by Self. That is why he recruited him. Not a big deal.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

CJ should fit right into the Bill Self "combo-guard" style of play, which is one reason why he should see the floor at least a bit next season. I'm definitely excited to see what he can do.

However, I wouldn't read too much into Self's quote. Of course he's going to talk him up because a) he believes in him (which is why he recruited him in the first place), b) he wants CJ to get excited about the possibilities and push himself (and probably help alleviate the lack of attention he's been getting due to his little brother), and c) it will motivate other guys.

I do definitely think these guys will push each other the next several months, and we'll be a better team for it. There's a lot of talent on that squad.

A lot.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

"Former Memphis coach John Calipari (now with Kentucky) told Self that C.J. had developed into one of the team leaders in the guard’s one season at Memphis."


John Calipari is now at Kentucky? Huh. Was that in the news?

trich424 11 years, 6 months ago

Alright, Wall is better than CJ. Let's not be naive just because he is at KU. Wall is a freak of an athlete, and as played basketball in the last 4 years. 100, how do you know how strong CJ is on the bball court? And do you really think Wall wouldn't learn from Self and play the team game? Get real man, take off the Hawk shades for a second. With that said, Rock Chalk!

Joe Baker 11 years, 6 months ago

I think CJ will bring some great leadership, maturity and wisdom to a young team that will need someone to step up with Collins leaving in a year. I love it!! Both CJ and X are intelligent players. I think they will have a blast playing with each other and will make the most of their time. I'm really impressed with all our guys because Self didn't just settle for the Wall or Lance, but went for discipline and talent. I am completely pleased with Self and how this coaching staff is performing. Also it wouldn't surprise me if we lose Coach Dooley. I'd say that when we win our next championship, Dooley will continue the rich KU coaching tradition at another Div I school. I don't know about Danny's ambition to coach, but schools are going to court these guys big time after our next championship!! Rock Chalk

David Hall 11 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

David Hall 11 years, 6 months ago

i think that ku and coach self will have a good year next year

easyfive 11 years, 6 months ago

I don't know why everybody acts like this is news. X said, he only beat his brother CJ once in his life. Am i the only one that listens?

Just as long all the newbes know, that Sherron is the captain of the ship and Cole too. As we all got to know that Turnover Talyor thinks Sherron was just picking on him all the time. So, he never got it until late in the season.
Bill needs to tell all the guys the first day that Sherron is the inside Coach on the floor and off.

KGphoto 11 years, 6 months ago

I'm glad to see CJ at Kansas. But how is it that a professional baseball player can come back and play college sports? Doesn't this seem terribly inconsistent with the NCAA's moral prancing. Inconsistent with their position that players shouldn't receive any benefits from the brimming stadiums? Inconsistent with their claimed ideals, that college is pure, and should remain so.

Chris Wenke at Florida St. came back from a pro baseball career. The dude was 28 years old and he won the damn Heisman! That's a 28 year old professional athlete, competing against 18 year old kids in dorms.

The NCAA is shaping and manipulating it's own corruption in plain sight. If Calipari's cheating ass can land a top job, and top talent. And the New York Yankees are contractually obligated to pay a 23 year old man's tuition. Why can't Jeremy Bloom receive training sponsorship for an amateur Olympic endeavor?

I'm not a purist. Just pick a side.

CJ, this isn't your fault. You didn't make or break the rules. So please don't take this as a jab at you. I'm glad to have you and your brother at Kansas.

I would just love to see the NCAA make a decision and commit to it. Either the kids can get paid, or they can't.

hawksince51 11 years, 6 months ago

KGPhoto--Happy to see your Jeremy Bloom reference and the obvious hypocrisy of the NCAA in comparing his case to CJ and Wenke. Here in CO ski country even KU fans felt Jeremy was treated very unfairly. Had he been allowed to finish his football career at CU he could well be catching long bombs and returning punts in the NFL. So far as this article, there is going to be heated competition for minutes not only at PG but also at the 3 and 4 spots. IMHO we have never been as loaded as deep as we will be next season.

lonestarjayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

This may put the squeeze on Reeds minutes. If you are going to be a major contender both Brady and Reed can not play major minutes. This may also pull minutes from others who would have played combo guard minutes. The one concern I have is guys who have foot injuries may see re-occurances. In that case the depth we have is a great thing.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 6 months ago

One factor all of you are forgetting is CJ's injury history. Part of the reason his baseball career died was because of injuries. The reason he didn't play at Memphis was because of injuries. One thing all of us must keep in mind is injuries.

We saw how a foot injury pretty much negated the Juco Player of the Year last season and what does CJ have.....a foot injury.

Do not misread me, I feel CJ, if healthy is going to be a HUGE factor for our Hawks...much more than any of us realize even now. However, there is that big IF staring us in the face. Luckily he has another five months to make up that last 10% toward full health.

I think CJ, Condor, Sherron and Mario give KU a gigantic leadership advantage that no other team in America can touch!!!


Greg Lux 11 years, 6 months ago

I am with many who believe HCBS is trying to light a fire under his players to get them to understand that there position is NOT guaranteed and they have some tough recruits who want some of there time. It's a great strategy to get his team hyped up for the summer to work harder then they normally might work. I love the move and also believe he is being 100% honest about the minutes.

Rock Chalk

RockChalkGuy 11 years, 6 months ago

  • CJ: Please drink your daily dose of milk and make those bones strong and healthy.

  • I just thought I'd make a comment responding to what some people have been saying in previous posts about how this is a great time to be a Jayhawk. I graduated from KU in 2000, but didn't make it to a basketball game until years later. I first got basketball season tickets during the '07-'08 season, which yielded a National Championship. In all the games I've seen in AFH since becoming a season ticket holder, I have yet to experience what it feels like to walk out of there after a defeat and certainly hope that I never have to. (I don't count that lackluster game against Temple @ Sprint Center last year). Since everyone is saying that this is a great time to be a Jayhawk, that implies that there was a time when it wasn't so great. I'm glad I missed those times. I just thought I'd echo those comments about it being a great time to be a Jayhawk and extend my sincere gratitude to the KU Athletic Dept, Coaching Staff, and most importantly to the fine young athletes that choose to represent the great institution that is the University of Kansas. Welcome CJ, X, Johnson, Robinson, and Withey. May your time at KU be as fruitful to you as it has been for me.

Rock Chalk!

jayhawkinnc 11 years, 6 months ago

We beat Temple last year in AFH. We lost to UMASS at Sprint Center.

Joe Baker 11 years, 6 months ago

OakvilleJHawk- I see your point and well taken. However, CJ has access to the best sports medicine in the world with KU and the Yankee doctors involved. We've had Simien, Rush and Little who all played well with "injuries". Little was probably a little premature, but CJ is completely healed. Let's just say he will impact the team and play his best ball ever as a Hawk!!

Rock Chalk

LAJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Sherron Collins was called "injury prone" before last year as well.

Chris Teegarden 11 years, 6 months ago

I don't think Littles situation is comprable to CJs. Little was no wear near healed by this time of the year. They didn't really start working on getting him healthy till after Late Night. Now w/ CJ he's had an entire season of recovery and is now very close to 100%

LTownie 11 years, 6 months ago

What ever happened to Lance Stevenson? Did he commit somewhere yet?

Tony Bandle 11 years, 6 months ago

Lance Stephenson will shortly commit to U of K and pledge to name his first born male child, Cal!!!

Bentleybook 11 years, 6 months ago

Here is how I see it, if CJ and X can come in and be contstant scoring threats X from the starting 2-3 and CJ as a back up guard. I think they both can earn alot of mins, I mean last year we were looking for that third scoring threat, at the beginning of the year it looked like that would be Taylor , but he went thur the Freshman slump, then when Little came back it looked like he would fill the position, but I dont know if he was a 100 %, so that didnt work out. but X gives us that B. Rush type( i said Type of player and we didnt have that on last years team ) and if CJ is the type of leader, I keep hearing then i feel comfortable with the 2nd team in his hands, the lets Taylor move to the two and not have to handle the ball as much. and I hope that all the new guys buy in to what coach self is saying and mesh with the rest of the guys, it could be a great year for the Hawks

Tony Bandle 11 years, 6 months ago

Technically speaking, CJ Henry has the potential and opportunity to become the greatest "walk-on" in the history of Kansas University!!!

It's like KU will have fourteen scholarship players for the next two or three years. Now that is an advantage that nobody else in D1 has!!!

Rick Arnoldy 11 years, 6 months ago

The "not so good days" were the last few years of Ted Owens tenure. He accomplished much but was inconsistent and by the end it was clear a change was needed. Records like 1-12 vs UK didn't help his cause.

82-83 Kansas 13 16
81-82 Kansas 13 14
80-81 Kansas 24 8
79-80 Kansas 15 14
78-79 Kansas 18 11
77-78 Kansas 24 5
76-77 Kansas 18 10
75-76 Kansas 13 13
74-75 Kansas 19 8
73-74 Kansas 23 7
72-73 Kansas 8 18
71-72 Kansas 11 15
70-71 Kansas 27 3
69-70 Kansas 17 9
68-69 Kansas 20 7
67-68 Kansas 22 8
66-67 Kansas 23 4
65-66 Kansas 23 4
64-65 Kansas 17 8

trich424 11 years, 6 months ago

Next task for LJ World: Get new picture of CJ and X

BCRavenJHawkfan 11 years, 6 months ago


Are you suggesting C.J. will surpass Moody as best "walk-on"?

Joe Ross 11 years, 6 months ago

ralster. I gotta disagree with an earlier comment of yours, that Wall is NO fit for our program. why was Coach Self recruiting him? I dont care if I get stones thrown at me. Id take Wall over CJ any day of the week. Thats not a knock on CJ either. But, you know...duh! LOL.

trich424...agree. New picture of the brothers would be very nice.

yovoy 11 years, 6 months ago

lots of good points and considerations taken in the posts above.

the thing i'm looking for out of cj is to be able to pick up lots of minutes by 'taking' them from (in order from most to least) taylor, reed, morningstar, and sherron. i don't know how you feel about sherron trying out for/making the nat'l team, but he's had some 'durability issues', and i'm of 2 minds on this. i DO think that his conditioning had a bit to do w/ it, so then, playing more hoops might address that, but it also opens the door to other types of injury due to his style of play. i'm looking at cj as a utility player that can come in and just pick up anyone's slack. it's my guess that when these BOYS play with this MAN they'll realize quickly that they're going to have to step their game up. he will be good for this team in a multitude of ways: maturity/leadership, ability to be a stopgap (which if some players have matured, we shouldn't need), to push the others, and to relieve sherron should he need it.

i'm wondering if sherron can dial it back this year, and i'd guess he can only if he feels he's got the right complimentary players around him. we stood around and waited for him to do something too often, imo. if he doesn't demand the ball and take (and often make, to his credit) sooo many shots, we should avg nearly 90 ppg, and we should hold teams WAAAY down.

will reed take a shirt? might not be a bad idea.

has tyshawn grown up any? i mean physically AND emotionally. he showed what he's capable of, but not enough for my liking. i WANT to like this kid, and he reminds me of russrob a bit, he's just not as "cool" yet - or is he too cool? he did save our bacon a couple of times, so thanks for that tyshawn.

will our size just let us muscle teams when we need to? having the twins (over-sized guards, really, and avg sized forwards that should be physically different this yr), the big kid from 'zona, and cole (who'm i forgetting?) beating up on each other in practice, in ourSelf's system reminds me of chacha, darrell, and d-jack.

i guess it's going to be exciting to watch it all unfold again. just like most other years around here.

btw, is it fb season yet?

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

Everyone overlooks the most important aspect to CJ being added: Brady will now have someone old enough to talk with him as a peer regarding life issues. :-)

Seriously, every coach yearns to be two or three deep everywhere. It ends nervous stomach worries about injuries and fouling. It allows the coach to ask the players to play full tilt boogie and know that the minute they tire, he can continue the momentum with a substitution, or he can end slumping chemistry, or mismatches, by subbing without fear of having to resort to cautious play.

CJ's size and strength and gun help us enormously at the 1 and 2 spots. Taylor is no longer going to be splitting time with just Tyrel. He's going to be splitting time with an impact animal. If CJ's foot heals, there just are going to be lots of times when having a wide body 2 guard that can trifectate and handle the ball as well as Sherron, mean Tyshawn sits. Tyshawn is a potentially great player, who, as of the end of his frosh season, could not yet dribble well and could not get physical either on defense, or on offensive penetration, and his trey was suspect. CJ's rep is that he can dribble like mercury in a paint shaker, he is an inch taller and a lot stronger than Taylor and can put a body on an offensive guard, and he's gives good trifectation. If CJ lives up to his rep, and if he can figure out how to complement Sherron, this means ass meets bench in Tyshawn's case. Since an inexperienced Tyrel was able to steal 20-25 minutes from Tyshawn, because he could trifectate and dribble, CJ spells serious trouble for Quantum T. Of course, Quantum T can stem the tide of CJ by shooting 40% from trey and getting more comfortable with contact. There is still no substitute for the kind of speed Quantum T possesses, if his skills are equal.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

CJ also gets relief minutes from Sherron. He also makes it very clear to Sherron that Sherron has to do more than just try as hard as he can at defense if Sherron wants to stay a 30-35 minute man and be a first round draft choice. Sherron has to actually improve his defensive technique, which is really the only part of his game that is not yet NBA ready. I believe Sherron absolutely will do this. Sherronatron is an absolute man with a lot of pride.

One more thing CJ does for us at the point: he gives Self a counter move to the opposing coaches putting a big guard on Sherron.

One big question to be answered about CJ is can he play low-error ball at D1 level competition? He was a speed ball PG in high school with a lot more tools and size than most anyone he faced. Can he do what he likes, when he is no longer faster, just stronger than most at his position? Can he make the passes and catches and shots, when thugs are on him? Some big guys are tough against other big guys, but some are only tough against smaller guys. Time and play will tell.

There seems not much to worry about regarding his decision making on the wood (though his early choice in colleges and coaches leaves room for doubt). A PG that makes good decisions in high school will make good decisions in D1--just look at Tyrel and Sherron. Guys who weren't PGs in high school were not PGs for a reason--consider QT. CJ was a high school PG.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

Where will Tyrel shake out in all of this? It depends on how much muscle mass he can develop in his upper body in the off season. He knows how to play D1 defense now. He has proven he can trifectate at the magic 40%. He is an adequate dribbler at either the PG, or the 2. What he can't do is be much quicker footed. What he might be able to become is much stronger and heavier. If you can't be faster, it is best to be heavier and stronger. It is best to put a body on opponents. Because of KU's depth this coming season, it doesn't matter if Tyrel fouls more than last year, as he increases muscle, weight and aggression. What matters is if he takes opponents out of their comfort zones with physical play on defense. If he can do that, the rest of his game will make him very hard to keep out of the games as the season drags on. Short of an injury, he will not be a starter. But...every year it is the same. The physical specimens start the season, or very quickly get their chance to prove their physical prowess can be harnessed into the scheme, but as the season progresses, and the assist/TO numbers accrue, coaches inevitably begin to favor the old reliables for more and more minutes at the ass ends of both halves. Pretty soon, you look up in late February and the old reliables are playing 20-25 minutes, even if they aren't pretty.

CJ has Coach Self jazzed, by what he might do. But unless CJ proves a low error guy able to trifectate at 40%, and Tyshawn learns to dribble and trifectate at 40%, old reliable Tyrel, especially if he gets strong, is going to claw his way back into minutes that everyone swore at the beginning of the season that he couldn't possibly get.

Put it this way: coaches believe in the hope of athletic ability the first half of the season, then the reality of performance and execution the second half of the season.

No one hates a TO from a complementary player to his anchors more than Bill Self.

K_Easthouse 11 years, 6 months ago

I know CJ, X and our other freshman are getting quite a bit of attention, but I'd like to know how chemistry and competition will be once Whithey becomes eligible in the Spring semester.

We all assume he's going to compete well and compliment Cole's sheer mass down low. But between Marcus and Markieff, Cole, Whithey and T. Robinson, seems we're as deep as we were for the '08 championship team minus a bit of experience.

I know we're excited about our guards and swingmen, but what's the scoop on our bigs?

emillasap 11 years, 6 months ago

Why have I not read one comment about EJ taking minutes did everyone forget he was coming next season?

Ervin O'Neal 11 years, 6 months ago

All our guards better be hitting the gym and the weight room this summer. It is going to be quite a battle for playing time. CJ improves the level competition and depth for the guard opposite of Collins. In gaining a great wing player in X, we also impoved our guard positions. I can't wait for next year.

On a side note, Sporting News has KU Football ranked #25 for next year. Has KU ever been ranked in the preseason for both basketball and football in the same school year (much less #1 in basketball)? Can't imagine how fun the atmosphere on campus will be this year.


FairgroveJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Coach Self being the superior coaching master he is will have a lot of ego to deal with but I feel confident he will mold another excellent team. I can't wait. I bet this team will have some a&& kicking practices.

emillasap 11 years, 6 months ago

Just to vent quickly, I swear the college basketball media lays down rugs toward John Calapari's house, bows down and prays to him. It is ridiculous.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago


The bigs are the key. We proved last year that when the bigs can handle their turf, you can win with the likes of Tyshawn, Tyrel, and Brady complementing a Sherron. And now we are vastly stronger, taller, and more athletic on the perimeter.

We also learned last year that when the bigs could not handle their turf, unless you are shooting the lights out from three, you are about to get an L. Let's go one by one.

Cole can rebound with anyone on either end of the floor, and block shots, too. But he had a lot of trouble with NBA body bigs, who could defend the post and were active scorers on the blocks. But he progressed a huge amount until he was able to hold his own against these types, but could not control them. The last 5 weeks, though, his progress stopped because of injuries. I look for him to make one more big step up in play by February. He has to get a lot stronger in the off season to do that and he has to get a couple of reliable moves off the block. Despite his funky form, he has a good shooting touch facing the basket, but he does not have a money move that he and the team can count on. He and Manning need to find a money move for him. It is apparently not the jump hook. He just doesn't shoot it comfortably. If he goes Bill Russell, and foregoes the offense, he'll be very tough. But if he finds that money move, look out! Regardless, I'm comfortable with Cole vs. anyone next year, if we can find a serious 4. You read it here first. A ring this season requires KU developing a really fine 4.

Kieff is probably going to be a nice surprise this year. I think he will become the ideal back up for Cole this year--what he was not last year. His intensity of play was rising down the stretch and he has some touch. He sets real picks and is quick to spots, when he is not overwhelmed. He is a guy who could come in this year and bang and defend without us losing too much on the defensive end, when Cole takes a blow. But his lack of springs and rebounding instinct do not suggest he will become a serious board man this coming season, though we can hope.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

Marcus Morris played 4 last season as a freshman. It was horrendous to watch his slow and fitful development last year into a serviceable garbage man, and it must have been very difficult for him to weather, as well. But he made it and was instrumental in the chemistry of our team. He was the glue inside that Brady was outside. Marcus Morris had never been a garbage man in his life. He had always been an anchor player, a star. What he became was, as I said, a serviceable three--a glue type 3. Self spent most of the season trying to hide him from the harsh realities of D1 and masking his weaknesses. He can't jump. He can't put the ball on the floor very well. He has almost no instinct for rebounding. But surprisingly, he became a pretty good defender--not a dominant one, and certainly not a lock down capable of containing an excellent 4, but a decent one for a freshman playing out of position. It is why he played. Little could easily out rebound him at the 4, but Little could not defend the four as well, because of lack of size (and injury). I think Marcus is better than he has looked. I think glue guys are always better than they look. But I don't know how much better; that is what we have to find out this season. Marcus, as the saying goes, is 6'8" tall at the beginning of the game and at the end, too. His height, not his hops, keep him there. But Marcus is really a three in my book; not a very fast or good jumping three, but rather a player with the personality and self image and shooting range of a 3. But with X Henry, Morningstar and Mario Little at the 3, Marcus will not be getting his shot at the 3 yet this coming season (if ever), though I think he might the following season if X were to jump as forecast and the recruiting cat does not drag in a stellar 3.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

So: Marcus is going to be playing 4 this year. Well, KU will need his D to improve (to the point that he really can handle a top 4 on his own) and a lot more rebounding from him than last year, as well. And he too needs to develop one or two money moves on the block. Why? Because Cole is going to see double and triple teaming on offense, and Marcus has to become enough of a threat to squelch that strategy, and teams are going to play away from Cole on offense, until Marcus proves he can impact defensively from the 4. To make Cole reach his potential, KU needs a four like Julian, or Darnell, someone with the athleticism and skills that can impact a game, whether they are used frequently, as with Julian, or occassionally, as with Darnell. KU has to have impact play out of the 4 this year. Frankly, developing impact play out of the 4 is as big of a need as developing impact play out of the 3 was. X hopefully provides impact play at the 3, when he is in, but can Marcus provide impact play, after a year of trial by fire. We have to keep our fingers crossed that he can, because I for one do not want to go through another freshman starting at the four. They just don't have the skill and strength needed most of the time, even if they can make big plays at times.

Thomas Robinson seems, at least, a true 4. But he also seems a classic case of a guy who can help some, but who is a season away from being ready to really carry the mail. If Marcus can't begin to impact games, then Robinson may get half the PT at the 4. But from what I've read and seen, he's no more ready to step in and play like seasoned veteran than Marcus was last year. Still, Robinson does seem a guy who can sub for Marcus without costing us too much, or requiring us to play Kieff at the 4.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

Jeff Withey seems like the ace in the hole to me; the guy who could change this from an excellent team to one of the all time KU teams. But at present, it seems like a long shot that he can live up to what would be required. Limb time. Here goes. I see Jeff Withey as a 4. He's 6'10" tall and 220 lbs. Even after Hudy gets done with him he's only going to be 240 or so at the most by the end of next season. I don't see the guy as a post at all. I see him vying for time at the 4 and filling occasionally at the 5, if Kieff is not up to snuff. Withey has the exact game that Cole needs to complement him. Withey is a scorer. He supposedly has excellent moves and touch on the offensive end. Since Cole is going to be seeing a lot of double and triple teams, Withey, if he can guard 4s on the defensive end, and even though he's skinny, may be the perfect complement for Cole to dish to. How much he plays will be determined by his defense and rebounding. If the guy can defend and rebound about equal to Marcus and Robinson, then his offense--his ability to take the dish from Cole and score--is going to put him on the floor most of the time. Just as Marcus and Robinson will be 6'8" at the end of the game, Withey will be 6'10." Size matters.

Will we see any more Mario Little at the 4? Maybe if some team goes very small at the 4, but not otherwise. And the moment KU landed X Henry, Mario Little was wishing he had red shirted. Can a juco player red shirt? I hope so for his sake.

The long and the short of this is:

5 Cole will probably play 20-25 minutes early and Kieff will get some extra work to let him develop, but come conference time, Cole is a 30 minute man and then Kieff and Withey split 5 a piece filling for Cole depending on match ups.

4 Marcus and Robinson split 25 and 15, till semester and then Withey is slowly integrated until he's playing up to 20 minutes at the 4 by late February, unless either Marcus blossoms, or Robinson has a lot more offense than anyone has reason to expect.

waywardJay 11 years, 6 months ago


One would think Robinson's game would also compliment Cole's as well.... It's very VERY rare for a guy to be a very accomplished REBOUNDER witout having superior defensive skills.... and that too me is more the Key at the 4.....

If it comes to Trob, He will impact where Bill cares about most...... Boards and Put backs.... what i believe we need most..... IS stability there...... not necessarily offense....

I said in an earlier post.....

if we can reasonably find 80 points.... in every game we cannot be stopped..... I don't see anyone in the nation who we cannot hold below 80..... ( with the possible exception of the tiggers in Methzoo...... due to their offense and style of pressure D )

we can assume totals for two of our players.... neither cole nor sherron will get worse.....

figure cole and sherron for 40 points...... a game.... even if defenses can collapse on them i still see them getting this number if not significantly more.....

figure X for 10-15 ( this is an incredibly conservative statistic )

that's 55 there..... that means we need 25 more points....

if the twins average a double double between them..... and that seems likely as they will be in shape ( barring injury ) that leaves our three pointers....

MOrninstar, Brady and CJ to hit 15 points a game.....

Not to mention our atletic wings who have yet to develop a shot...... tyshawn and travis are possible 20 point a game players..... i see it.... just not this year......

I am very comfortable with the idea of finding 15 points from those kids...... VERY comfortable...... and that's without a serviceable 4 on the offensive end.....

figure withey when he gets back can play DIrk to Cole's dampier.... or that consistant shooting of the Twins doesn't get lost as we try to increase bulk..... or that thomas robinson cannot just BULLY his way to 10 points a game...... we have enough styles to throw at people from that position to negate any question....

To me.... we have a serviceable 4 already in the 4 heaeded monster we COULD throw out there......

Te ebst thing about Freshman... is they become Sophomores... here's to playing marcus, Kieff alot last year... there mistakes will hopefully be altered by a year of better training....

Otherwise.... excellent post as usual Jay

waywardJay 11 years, 6 months ago

PS..... jay after the UNC game was it not you that said.....

This is the future of self's basketball strategy and how he will carve his own face... Just like the great innovators of the game...... Interchangability....... the fact we can push teams aggressively with top notch defense and just consistantly out bang them with any lineup that seems to fit....

This is THAT team... IT is the EXACT THING you mentioned...... deep enough to PLAY 14 not just put uniforms on them,....

LAJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago


Both the football team and the basketball team were ranked preseason last year. Football was 13th in USA Today and 14th in the AP. Basketball was 23rd in the USA and 24th in AP.

Before that, I have no idea.

Ryan Mullen 11 years, 6 months ago


I'm sure this is something that posters comment on often. Only a select few are actually reading your posts. They are like books dude. Especially when you write what it seems to be 10 novels on one subject.

waywardJay 11 years, 6 months ago


I respectively say... Jaybate's one of the main reason i started commenting on here.... I have often thought his ( or hers ) are more insightful commentaries than the ACTUAL articles.... There is alot of talent there, I just disagree on the joe's in question.... Not the Jimmies.... and definetely not the X's or O's.....

Joe Baker 11 years, 6 months ago

jaybate (anonymous) says... One big question to be answered about CJ is can he play low-error ball at D1 level competition?

X is 6-6? These guys played together and against each other growing up. You know they played against other big guys throughout their life. CJ is a beast of a PG. I feel completely comfortable with him at the point. He's big, strong, quick and can shoot! He has mental maturity and physical ability to take control of a game. He's a big version of Sherron!! I'm stoked at this team's potential and they have the complete package.

jaybate (anonymous) says... Will we see any more Mario Little at the 4?

We have enough size inside that Little will be that versatile big/little man. He will now work that swing when needed. He will be the one coaches will not contain with his inside/outside game! Self tried to work him in that small post and it never worked effectively. Mario just couldn't make that transition the entire season. Let him in his element and watch out!!

Our size and firepower will be unstoppable!

mjlindsm 11 years, 6 months ago

Jaybate, you think Taylor avoids contact? I disagree. He often seemed to look for a guy in the paint with his feet set and aim right at that guy's chest! If he could avoid that kind of contact it would be better; that way he doesn't get called for a charge every game.

It would also be nice to see the big guys learn how to set screens and the guards figure out they need to wait until the screen is set to make their move. Perhaps we could cut the turnovers/offensive fouls for moving screens to only one a game (ideally less, but it would still be an improvement).

I don't know what to think of Self's comments regarding CJ. I think he says the line about expecting the newcomer to see significant minutes about everyone. I'm not saying CJ won't get real minutes, but I wouldn't be surprised if he only plays mop-up minutes with the occasional everyone-else-is-playing-horribly-so-I'll-try-this-guy minutes, such as those Connor Teahan played early last season when Self couldn't trust the twins in crunch time, like in the UMass game.

Joe Baker 11 years, 6 months ago

mjlindsm (anonymous) says... I'm not saying CJ won't get real minutes, but I wouldn't be surprised if he only plays mop-up minutes with the occasional everyone-else-is-playing-horribly-so-I'll-try-this-guy minutes, such as those Connor Teahan

I know you addressed this to Jaybate, but there's no comparing Teahan to CJ. " I wouldn't be surprised if he only plays mop-up minutes with the occasional everyone-else-is-playing-horribly-so-I'll-try-this-guy minutes

CJ has really been overshadowed by X and sat out a year. Did you read what Ted Owens said about CJ? As you know, Owens knows the Henrys and followed them living in Tulsa. Owens spoke more about CJ than X. I really don't think CJ will be your "mop" kind of player for Self. CS speaks highly of both brothers upon their commitment and CS constantly speaks praises for CJ. I guarantee you CJ will be the next Sherron, only CJ will be much better at making decisions. Sherron tends to overplay and play well, but CJ is a solid player that will give Sherron some well deserved rest. CJ will simply have to learn the system and I expect him to learn it quickly. I think CJ will be a lot like Carl and possibly better. X is in a world of his own!! I think Sherron and CJ point guard duo will give CS a nice 1-2 punch.

I agree with you on Taylor's driving. I freaked everytime he drove the lane and fifty percent of the time he would charge. I hope it was simply freshman mistakes. He shows some promise, but his outside shot needs some work this off season.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago


I write some short ones and some long ones and some in between ones; though I am generally known for the long ones. As I've said before, this is my gym, where I work out. I try to write most every day, so over time, I hope you will occasionally find a post that is the right length for you and skip the rest. Some days I am toast and want to read short things. Some days I on the stick and want to read long things. I never read some posters and always read some posters and am intermittent about reading others.

Since I am not in this for the money, I am not concerned with total readers. I am pleased when someone likes something, but not out to build a following. I am just working out here with other board rats. It is a writers equivalent of pick-up games on the playground. There are guys you respect. Guys you think are jerks. Guys you know have played seriously. Guys you know that haven't, but could have. And guys you know could never play anywhere but here. I enjoy the diversity of talent and insights and swagger and some trash talking, as much as I used to on the play grounds, so long as it is not crossing the boundary into ad homming.

Some of our posters here are quite succinct and keenly knowledgeable and straight to the point. I enjoy them. But I also enjoy all kinds of writing. We have some posters who are very funny. Some who write longer, some shorter. Some who write very business like. Some who affect street accents. Some who talk about the game as though they've lived it for 5 or 6 decades, and some who seem to have just discovered the greatest game in the history of human beings (ah, those lucky kids, to be young again and to have a shot at another 5 decades of loving this game; what I wouldn't give for that!). Some who are rather awkward in their writing, but who it turns out have important insights I learn a lot from. Some who frankly are not dealing off full decks. But I like them, too. Basketball has always been a democratic sport. On the play grounds, sooner or later, you meet every kind of person. I like that about basketball.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

I like that we have posters in Europe, posters all over America, and the cornerstone persons, the Kansans who staid in Kansas and kept Lawrence both what it was and helped make it into what it could now be.

Don't worry about how long I write. Or about how anyone else writes. Get from us what you can. Ignore what doesn't suit you. This banquet has not yet been turned into processed food by a conglomerate. This is a real cornucopia here. It is the closest thing to a free market left in America. Most persons are sharing what they really think here. How many other places can you go and say that? It is not important that you eat everything on your plate here. This is not RuthKris Steakhouse, or McDonalds, where everything is standardized. This is like the uneven quality Smorgasboards my parents used to take me to in small Kansas towns when I was very young. A lot of things I passed on, but every time I went I found something I liked. And sometimes, my brother and I had eating contests!

Maybe not Nobel, or Pulitzer faire here, but then most of the Nobel and Pulitizer work is dressed up crap too! Here, we offer hearty faire, free and authentic and always worth a visit in my experience.

Rock Chalk!

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago


Re Taylor: is soft by temperment. He will toughen with age.

We agree bigs need to be more manly in their screens, but I saw some of that emerging down the stretch. And coaching always has something to do with the way screens are set. And, despite being a huge fan of Danny Manning, he was always a finesse player and he appears to be a finesse coach. Hence, I reckon some of last year's gentle screening techniques we saw reflected: a) his finesse temperment; and b) the need to keep our green bigs from picking up a lot of wasted fouls. We weren't very deep at the bigs last year; this year we will be. Screening should get more forceful with maturity, and depth.

Regarding Self's pronouncements: he generally means what he says. If he thinks a guy could be an impact player, he says so and gives them enough rope quickly to either prove it, or fail. He has said this sort of thing about many players.

Based on Teahan's 50% trey shooting as a frosh, he quite reasonably suspected that this kid could be a great weapon, if he could do it in prime time, instead of the butt end of games. Self gave Teahan more chances than almost any other guy I have seen, because Self rightly realized that a true 50% trinitizer could change the nature of the game--be something unprecendented--add impact never seen before. So Teahan got waaaaay more chances than his play merited. He bombed badly. And at a certain point he disappeared, as is Self's way. But also as is Self's way with guys with impact potential, he might get another shot at some point. There is one thing nooooooooo other team KU plays this year will have: a 50% trinitizer. Self can and probably will afford to at least give him one more shot this year in some game or other, unless Teahan has completely lost his touch in practice too.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

Mario Little was given this same treatment. He was going to be a savior for the team in Self's opinion. And he gave this guy, injured though he was, tons of chances in the middle of the season to break out, but Little couldn't meet expectations and wound up marginalized.

Every year Self has a few guys he does this to. He did it to David Padgett, who failed. He did it to some others I can't recall right now.

What people often forget is that he does it to other guys who succeed. He basically did this to Sherron Collins at the beginning of last season. He put this enormous expectation on Sherron. He said how big are your gametes? Sherron labored at times, but fulfilled expectations.

Self put an enormous public expectation on Brandon Rush his first season about a month into the year. He basically said Brandon is our guy and he has to carry the load even though he's just frosh. Brandon struggled when the found out he couldn't go left, but he rose to the challenge. He carried the load!

People have a tendency to view the guys who succeeded as guys who couldn't miss anyway, and so underestimate the risk Self took in putting the burden on the player. But there was a huge chance that Brandon and Sherron would not perform; that they would wilt under the pressure.

Frankly, if you look back to Mario Chalmers frosh year, Self put some expectations on him at PG that he just could not fulfill. Mario proved to be that unusual guy who recovered from the setback and actually became a star inspite of it. But do you remember how much button pushing Self had to do till late in Chalmers' junior year to toughen him up enough to actually be a load carrier. He had Chalmers ready to fight him in one huddle in a January or February game that season. Self sticks the needle way into these guys sometimes, if he thinks they are not tough enough mentally. Some times it works, sometimes it doesn't. But at the end of the trail with Self, you are either mentally tough, or you are not playing.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago


Playing your 6'6" kid brother is not the same as playing for high stakes against thug ballers, who are willing to end your career for a W.

No one can be assumed to be able to play low error ball in D1 until they do it.

ku_foaf 11 years, 6 months ago


I had the "luck" to be there the last 4 years with Ted Owens. I admit I was pretty ignorant of college basketball then, and of the KU tradition. I kept thinking, "Why does everyone around talk about KU like we are some kind of powerhouse? We lose all the time!" Missouri was very good at that time (Stipo, Sunvold) and K-State was better also (Ed Neely, and I think Tim Jankovich was during that era) I didn't really start paying real attention until 83-84.

Kind of surprising that Owens only had 8 of the bellwether 20 win seasons in 19 years, though of course they didn't play as many games. Fortunately, I was a grad student in 85 and 86, so I got to see some good ball as a student.

Joe Baker 11 years, 6 months ago

point made...I don't think X is your typical "kid brother." I just think your underestimating CJ. I know you mean absolutely nothing negative, but just think it odd that you would write him off that way. I'm "assuming" that he also played many of those thugs at Memphis from time to time too. Maybe it's just my bias, but I think he's a pretty big PG and will be as physical. Also, it doesn't hurt that you play your dad, which just happens to be an older, more mature man too. I think Carl has his boys ready for the big time. You think X is as feeble or prone to losing the ball or Carl is a crippled old man hardly able to walk?
I don't see too many "thug ballers willing to end your career" at the collegiate level. You're speaking of a totally different kind of ball, perhaps playground ! I was an early supporter of Lance b/c of his physical play and toughness, but he had better things to do in life. I don't think you have to be that "tough" to play PG in the NCAA. I know what it takes to play tough collegiate b-ball, but you don't play "career ending" opponents. But again, your point is taken! :)

Rock Chalk

Tony Bandle 11 years, 6 months ago

Jaybate, my friend...your posts are taking on an almost melancholy musing of life as KU Nation. You aren't dying, are you??

Let me cheer you up...a Haiku in your honor:

jaybate omniscient

mind and soul internet bound

always a true Hawk

mjlindsm 11 years, 6 months ago

Truehawk93 Only the first paragraph was addressing Jaybate; the rest addressed the other fine posters and readers such as yourself.

Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily think CJ will just play mop-up minutes, I just wouldn't be shocked because I've never seen CJ play and I know we have so much talent. I guess I'm just saying that Self saying he will get minutes doesn't 100% guarantee he will. I wouldn't be surprised if he plays 20 minutes a game either. In short, I'm ignorant in regards to CJ's ability.

Ryan Mullen 11 years, 6 months ago


Are you sure you don't get paid to post. You write on this site all day long. I guess you are just living in your moms basement. Cause I know you don't work, any employer would have fired your a@- s by now for just posting all day. I do you hear you though this is one of the last places we can give our real opinions. Unless you have good friends and family members to talk to, which obvioulsy you do not. Rock Chalk

Ryan Mullen 11 years, 6 months ago


I apologize for the above comment. That was childish and stupid. I was mostly trying to get a rise out of you but took it to far. Sorry man

mjlindsm 11 years, 6 months ago

Jayhawkinmullen I hope you aren't planning on being a politician. That whole apologizing-for-your-wrongs thing doesn't fly in that field.

Sam Burns 11 years, 6 months ago

This is one of, if not, the very best collection of posts I've ever read on this site. You have outdone yourselves.

I don't post on here too often, but I read it almost daily. I am extremely excited about this coming year. I actually feel bad about the playing time. We have players on this team that could have started on many of the previous teams, but will only get to play limited minutes on this one.

I was never angry about Roy leaving, but I was thankful for the great years he gave us before returning to his home. I was also very happy to have coach Self. Now, I am very happy to have the excellence that coach Self has surrounded himself with. I knew coach Self was an excellent recruiter, and a very good practice coach. He has also improved a great deal in game strategy and adjustments in the past two years. The collection of coaches have done all the right things, and could not have done a better job over the last two years. Most of the job of being a great leader is surrounding yourself with great people. Let's try our best to hold on to what we have.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 6 months ago


Don't feel like the Lone Ranger on trying to evaluate CJ's potential impact....away from basketball for a number of years saddled with injuries versus tremendous physical tools, history and bball legacy makes for a puzzling equation that only time will tell the answer.

However, one proven constant appears to be his leadership qualities and the fact that, as the oldest player on the team, with professional sports experience, he may assume the mantle of command rather quickly.

I will reiterate, I have a very strong feeling that CJ may, in the long run, end up being the most prized recruit of all.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago


Oh, no! Are you that wacko from the Metroplex who sits naked in his studio oggling the composite poster of Rick Barnes head pasted to the late Heath Ledger's body? Are you lurking under another alias?

Help me, help me, help me, I think I'm going insane. You are! You are! You've finally cracked and turned into a multiple net identity. Oh, lord, help this person. He is in deep diddle-de-doodoo. :-)

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago


Muchas gracias, My Architect!

Not so much dying as testing the form.

Never fear. :-)

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago


There are a few appro, though modified, lines from T.S. Eliot's Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

And would it have been worth it, after all, After the ducks, the trifectates, the slams, Among the fieldhouse walls, among some talk of you and me, Would it have been worth while, 90 To have bitten off the matter with a smile, To have squeezed the universe into a ball To bounce it toward some overwhelming question, To say: "I am jaybater, come from the dead, Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all" If I, settling a pillow by my head, Should say, "That is not what I meant at all. That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all, Would it have been worth while, 100 After the windmills and alleyoops and the sneakered feet, After the post ups, after the back-ups, after the sweat that falls on Naismith floor— And this, and so much more?— It is impossible to say just what I mean! But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on an arena screen: Would it have been worth while If I, settling a pillow or throwing down a ball, And turning toward the window, should say: "That is not it at all, That is not what I meant, at all."


I love CJ Henry and I want you to love him, too.

I meant him no disrespect.

I was just trying to be prudent and note that everyone has to prove themselves. Certainly CJ. Yes, even X Man. And playing low error ball is the Bill Self litmus test for all complementary players. I have to assume the CJ is going to be a complementary player and not the big enchilada this season, don't you?

Frankly, I am jazzed about having a wide body in the back court to go with Sherron. I really didn't like getting outmuscled at the two twice in one season by Cheegan State Ratso Izzo thuggers.

Sam Burns 11 years, 6 months ago

I take back anything good I said about the quality of these posts!!! lol

FairgroveJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

We have approximately 21 weeks before the almighty Late Night. That's really not that far off. I'm certain I have more raw anticiaption for our beloved mid October Late Night than an unnamed NFL qb had to see daylight 21 weeks ago. But why get impatient, Self's wine must age while mizzou's concoction festers.

Joe Baker 11 years, 6 months ago

jaybate (anonymous) says...

Frankly, I am jazzed about having a wide body in the back court to go with Sherron. I really didn't like getting outmuscled at the two twice in one season by Cheegan State Ratso Izzo thuggers.

Exactly! ME TOO!!

Lance Hobson 11 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone know what CJ was ranked coming out of HS? Was he on the McDonald's team?

I find it very hard to believe that there was absolutely no recruitment of CJ by Memphis. He had commited to KU, so all of the sudden after three years in baseball he just calls Memphis? Out of every school he could have called? Somebody planted a seed...

emillasap 11 years, 6 months ago


Since Cal and Carl Sr. are friends and CJ saw a chance to play immediately@ Memphis, I believe it is well within reason to say he may have called and inquired.

KGphoto 11 years, 6 months ago


Jesse. You should get a commission per post. I think this may be a record. But please do find another photo, any photo, of the Henry boys. I know Krug must have something archived.

Glad I'm in Denver. Summer isn't here yet for the Nuggets. Any other Denver locals going to tailgate at Pepsi Center Sat. night?

Let's gather at the Raef LaFrentz booth.

KGphoto 11 years, 6 months ago

Anybody see D. Jackson's reaction after Lebron hit the gamewinner?

Been there. Done that.

Love ya D.J. You're a big part of any Cleveland success this year.

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