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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

C.J. familiar with Tigers

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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C.J. Henry, who played basketball at Memphis last season, remains good buddies with several of the Tigers.

“There’s been some smack talk this week,” said Henry, Kansas University’s 6-foot-4 freshman combo guard.

“It’ll be a fun game since I know some of the players,” Henry added of today’s KU-Memphis Hall of Fame Showcase clash (9 p.m., Scottrade Center). “It’s just like playing AAU ball, you know most of the guys on the other team. It makes it more competitive since you have a personal relationship with the other team.”

Henry transferred to KU last spring to remain a teammate of his brother, Xavier, who signed a letter-of-intent with Memphis, but was granted a release in response to Tiger coach John Calipari taking the Kentucky job.

“I help the (KU) coaching staff a little bit, let them know some of their strengths and weaknesses,” Henry said of the Tiger players. “Obviously their players got better (over offseason). And there are new guys there. They’ve got a good team. I know they like to push the tempo.”

Henry, who has practiced the past few days after missing two weeks because of a swollen right knee, on Monday was cleared by doctors to play tonight.

“It’s all up to coach (Bill) Self. If we need me, I’ll be in there, but my first game back ... nationally televised game ... I’m not expecting to get major minutes because that wouldn’t be right. It wouldn’t be fair to my teammates. I may not be ready, just conditioning wise. I think I’m fairly ready.”

KU coach Self said Henry likely would not play today.

“I would probably guess, ‘No,’’’ Self said. “He’s feeling a little bit better. I don’t know if I’ll put him out there unless I feel he’s close to being 100 percent.”

Henry said he’s tried to “stay positive” while battling his sore knee.

“I try to support my other teammates, help them do well if I’m not able to be out there,” Henry said. “Stuff happens for a reason. It’s kind of ironic I’m cleared to play coming back against Memphis, the school I went to last year, but I’m taking it day by day.”

Memphis senior Willie Kemp says it’ll be fun seeing Henry tonight.

“C.J was a very quiet guy when he was here, but he was very funny,” Kemp said. “I know C.J. wishes he could be out there, but he will be a help to the team if he is playing or on the bench.”

Kemp said the Tigers held no animosity toward Henry for transferring.

“C.J. is a great player. He had a decision to make to be with his brother. I can’t blame him for that,” Kemp said.

X’s take: Xavier Henry said playing a school he signed with, “is not a big thing to me. We (he and C.J.) haven’t talked about it at all. We look at it as another game. We have to go out and play hard.”

Of his decision to ask out of his letter, Xavier said: “I like coach ‘Cal.’ He’s the reason I went to Memphis and my brother. Once he (Calipari) left, we re-evaluated everything and changed schools.”

Xavier said he’s friends with “pretty much all the guys who didn’t leave. Big Pierre (Henderson-Niles), (Doneal) Mack and (Roburt) Sallie — all of them. They are all right.”

Self said it would not be a “huge deal” for the Henrys to go against Memphis.

“It’ll be a high incentive game, just because it’s a big game,” Self said.

Morris’ signed with Memphis: Marcus Morris and his brother, Markieff, initially signed with Memphis before asking out of their letters of intent. They chose KU over Villanova and St. John’s.

“I didn’t feel as though I had a strong bond with the coaches. I felt if I was going to college I should be talking to the coaches more, having a conversation about playing. Us (twins) and Calipari never really talked. As soon as I opened my recruitment and was allowed to talk to coach Self, whenever we were allowed to talk, we did. Even after I committed, we talked almost every day. That went a long way for me and my brother.”

Robinson liked Memphis, too: KU freshman Thomas Robinson chose KU over Memphis in recruiting.

“Real close,” Robinson said, asked how close he came to choosing the Conference USA school. “I thought it was a great place. When it came down to the end, I felt more comfortable here.”

Recruiting battles: Self admitted it’s wacky that so many Jayhawks considered attending Memphis.

“It’s a crazy world. We’ve gone head to head with coach Calipari and his staff many times and will continue to go head to head with Kentucky,” Self said. “Now that Josh (Pastner) and Cyp (U of M assistant Glynn Cyprien) and the staff are all in place, they’ll recruit a very national level also.”

Releford speaks: KU sophomore Travis Releford commented Monday for the first time on his decision to red-shirt.

“It was a very tough decision to make,” said Releford, who said he made the decision last Tuesday, waiting until Friday to announce. “I sat down, talked to my family and coaches. I figured it’d be the best decision for me this year. I have another year to get better and improve on my game.”

He said one of his teammates helped in the process.

“I talked with Brady Morningstar. He said it was one of the best decisions he’s made,” Releford said of Morningstar, who red-shirted in 2007-08. “A lot of people have made me feel comfortable about this decision. I think I’ll make an impact on the team next year for sure.”

Releford said he and fellow red-shirt Mario Little would attend all games this season.

“I’ll cheer my team on, try to make the players better,” Releford said. “I’ll be at every game, having another year to work on my game.”

Recruit attending: Brad Beal, a 6-3 junior from Chaminade High in St. Louis, will attend tonight’s game. He’s considering KU, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio State.

Comments

Dirk Medema 10 years, 2 months ago

"Henry, Kansas University’s 6-foot-4 freshman combo guard."

Doesn't CJ only have 3 years left b/c of his age? Wouldn't that make a player a soph?

"Henry transferred to KU last spring to remain a teammate of his brother, Xavier"

I thought he transfered in order to finally become a teammate of his brother. I seem to recall reading that they had never been teammates before. Letter of INTENT would seem to indicate future condition, otherwise it mean that Xavier has been a Memphis Tiger - not.

Brian Elm 10 years, 2 months ago

I would think that it is because he is actually a college freshman.....it doesn't mean he has 4 years of athletic eligibility left though.

KUFan90 10 years, 2 months ago

bmelm - traditional usage of year in school with respect to college athletes is to quote their class based on eligibility. If a player redshirts 1st year, plays his 2nd year, in his third year he is referenced as a "Sophomore" even though it's his third year at the school.

The continued references to CJ as a freshman are confusing, since there was a lot of press on how the "clock starts ticking" at a certain age regardless of if you have used eligibility or not, and those articles indicated he was considered a sophomore this year. Recently all the articles call him freshman CJ Henry.

Posters have asked for clarification but of course none ever comes as unlike some of the other writers I don't think Gary ever reads these comments.

chalmers2wright 10 years, 2 months ago

Regardless of the traditional usage (though I agree with you) didn't C.J. attend a year of classes at Memphis. That would make him a sophomore both gradewise and in reference to his eligibility. We need to just look at his one year at Memphis as his "freshman" year, it'll be much easier that way.

ParisHawk 10 years, 2 months ago

"The University of Kansas Official Athletic Site" has the roster on it. CJ is referred to as a "redshirt freshman". I take that to mean that a) he has redshirted b) this is the first year he is actually playing.

That doesn't imply he has four years of eligibility left. They are counting forwards, not backwards.

Nothing to do with academics either: Brady is a "redshirt junior" even though he's already spent 3 years in school.

I agree that it would be easier to call CJ a sophomore, but officially he's a redshirt freshman with 3 years of eligibility.

By the way, Jeff Withey is also a "redshirt freshman". I assume he can play spring semester plus the following 3 seasons, is that right?

100 10 years, 2 months ago

CJ has 3 years of eligibility left.

Amazing how this game has 99% less hype without Coach Greaseyhair.

It's still a big game like all others, but the only thing that resembles the Memphis we played two years ago is the name on their shirt.

If Cal doesn't get held out of the NCAA tourney (for whatever reasons), perhaps we can truly rekindle the 2008 memories...

It's all about Cal -- Memphis doesn't do it for me.

Perhaps it's time, now that Pitino is gone to rekindle the series between UK & KU. As most of us recall, it was Rick (after flipping off Roy) who decided to end the yearly series after Roy got it going again. For nearly 20 years it was something the entire basketball world looked forward to, started by because of Phog & Rupp's connectionto Naismith (just as the current Carolina-Kentucky match was started due to Phog's connection with Rupp & Dean Smith).

Now to be honest, when we agreed to that yearly series, we didn't exactly plan properly -- Rupp was about to begin his assault on the record books while the State of Kansas was about to force Phog to retire. We were left with Harp to attempt to win those games, followed by Allen's decent teams, some OK, some really good.

What we were left with is a bunch of 2 point losses & a few 10 point losses & a few stupid losses (Darnell calling TO when we had none left in Rupp). Thankfully Larry Brown, Danny Manning, Roy Williams & Bill Self have changed the outcome of the occassional meetings we have with those guys for the last 25 years, except for an occassional tough loss (OT loss to Tubby in '99 Tourney).

All that aside, it would benefit Self & Cal greatly to restart this yearly series again. It's the connection to Naismith. It's the fact that both recruit the exact same athletes. It's Rupp Arena against Allen Fieldhouse.

The two biggest fanbases in the world chomping at the bit.

A yearly series like this would be better for fan moral & preparing for the tourney than a hot dog eating contest between....

Ashley Judd

versus...

Kirstey Alley...

Brian Stratman 10 years, 2 months ago

Where can I get Hi Res versions of the game photos?? I want to create a walpaper for the season.

Scott MacWilliams 10 years, 2 months ago

Okay all you (almostMemphis) Jayhawks,

Now the real season begins, your first real measurement against a team that will have some firepower. LIving out here on the Left Coast, I'm really glad that this early-season game is on ESPN. Just hope they don't let Dickie Blohard have the mike....

Maybe dumb questions here, but do walkons count against the scholarship total of players? I was a little confused about the possibility of Teahan, etc. as redshirts, since I thought they didn't count against the total scholarships...

Also, don't the redshirts continue practicing with the team and developing full-time during the year?

Another silly one here, do the twins look enough alike that they could be used, switched out on the sly, wearing very similar numbers, to really mess with some poor opposing player that needs to really be shut down???

RockChalkJayhawk!!!

ginger2015 10 years, 2 months ago

"Posters have asked for clarification but of course none ever comes as unlike some of the other writers I don't think Gary ever reads these comments"

Who can blame him?

Lonnie Ross Dillon 10 years, 2 months ago

"Maybe dumb questions here, but do walkons count against the scholarship total of players? I was a little confused about the possibility of Teahan, etc. as redshirts, since I thought they didn't count against the total scholarships..."

Walkons do not have athletic scholarships and do not count towards the total. Thay are subject to the same rules regarding eligibility. Therefore, they can redshirt and retain that year of eligibility.

"Also, don't the redshirts continue practicing with the team and developing full-time during the year?"

Absolutely. That's THE major benefit of redshirting, to give a player an extra year of development. Also means that they get rings if the teams wins championships.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 2 months ago

Kristie Alley???? ..no contest, she'd just sit on Ashley and squash her!!!

VancouverJHawkr 10 years, 2 months ago

Kirstie Alley only went to KU for what, like one year? (and she went to KSU as well). I guess we could claim Don Johnson as well, since he went to KU for a couple of years.. What other (non-athlete) celebs are KU alums, and actually have degrees from KU?

100 10 years, 2 months ago

All I know is if Kirstie Alley had liposuction, breast implants, gastrobipas surgery & plastic surgery as often as Ashley Judd she'd look pretty hot too.

Although, pretty as Kirstie might be after her makeover, it might hurt her overall score in a hotdog eating/ graduate chic squashing contest.

So is the hotdog eating contest first or the squashing contest? Seems that's an important factor in the overall strategy for Team Alley.

Might need a moderator too -- perhaps Don Johnson would do a fair job. If the local Networks pick it up, I really feel like Max Faulkenstein would do a great job bringing this contest(s) to life. Piper is OK, but at times I feel like he's too stuck in the box of reality & routine, although if he's been hiding his cards, this event indeed would be a superb coming out party for Chris (one must take into account the difficulty of always being cautious of what one says due to the lead voice of Bob Davis being the ringleader). Chris very well could have a fourth dimension/ fifth gear we don't know about.

Might be a good bet to roll the dice with Piper for the first episode & if he falls flat on his face, we'll call up the Multidimensional Grande Wilt Chamberlain Voice Cannon of Max Faulkenstein -- would cost twice as much money, but the game 7 Walk-off voice & fluidity of the Wild Thing is well worth it.

Overall this idea could fashion well as an ESPN marketing campaign to get Coach SlimeyHair to face Coach Self on a yearly basis.

Both athletes would have to be in tip top shape -- my money is on the slightly overplump dropdead hot-ish ex-employee of Cheers -- I just get the feeling with two events she'll have a little more gas in her tank as the final buzzer sounds.

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