Friday, October 2, 2009

Henry brothers weigh in on Boot Camp

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.


C.J. Henry, who as a professional baseball player attended spring training camps of both the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, now finds himself in preseason Boot Camp basketball drills at Kansas University.

So which is more grueling, C.J.: baseball or basketball?

“Spring training is pretty tough. So is this,” a noncommittal Henry said of 6 to 7 a.m., workouts this week and next in KU’s new hoops practice facility.

“Baseball is a skill game. So is this. You have to be well conditioned to play this, and baseball too. It’s just a different type of strength. Some of those guys (baseball sluggers) are so strong. They put in different type of work in the weight room that basketball players don’t do because they (basketball players) want to be lean, run fast and jump high,” Henry added.

The 23-year-old Henry, who gave up baseball after 31⁄2 seasons, sat out last basketball season at the University of Memphis because of knee and foot injuries. Now 100 percent healthy after transferring to KU ... he’s had a smooth transition back to hoops.

“I don’t think you ever forget how to do something or forget how to shoot,” said Henry. The 6-foot-4 freshman guard averaged 23.2 points and 5.2 rebounds a game his senior season at Oklahoma City’s Putnam City High before being tapped in the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft.

“You have to get a lot of reps in. That’s what I’ve been trying to do every day. The more reps you do, the better you will get at it, the better shape you’ll be in. Everything works together.”

Henry — he worked out last summer with his brother, KU freshman Xavier Henry, and a personal trainer back in the Henry’s hometown of Oklahoma City — is more than holding his own during Boot Camp sprints.

“Tyrel Reed pretty much leads it every day. He’s in front on the sprints,” Henry said of the KU junior from Burlington. “I don’t think he’s ever gotten out of shape. I think that’s why he stays in front. The last couple days I’ve been right behind Tyrel. I’m just trying to stay with him, maybe pass him. I doubt it, but I try to keep up with Tyrel and have him push me.

“I’m in pretty good shape. I don’t know if it’s the best I’ve ever been. It’s good basketball weight. I’m probably 200, 205 now.”

He said all of KU’s first-year players have had productive Boot Camp sessions.

“Everybody is working hard,” Henry said. “It’ll take time for all the newcomers to get used to the system. It’s tough when you are learning brand new plays. It’s a whole different philosophy of playing the game (from high school).”

The Henry brothers are taking Boot Camp seriously. C.J. said he rolls out of bed at “about 5 (a.m.) so I can get up there about 5:15 for treatment and get on the court.”

Xavier has been answering his cell-phone alarm at 4 a.m., 4:15 and again at 4:25 a.m., when he gets up for good. He’s been cooking himself a breakfast of bacon and eggs — “no cereal because I don’t want milk to sit in my stomach” — then after banging on the door of Jayhawker Tower roommate Chase Buford to awaken him — heads to KU about 5 a.m., to get ready for an hour of sprints and defensive slides.

“They (teammates) say I’m weird because I get up that early. By the time I’m at the gym, I’m wide awake and ready for Boot Camp. I don’t want to be in there sluggish,” 6-foot-6, 220-pound Xavier Henry said. “For some reason I’m naturally energetic all the time. I’m never tired.”

The players will rest Saturday and Sunday, then return to the gym next Monday through Friday. After that, coach Bill Self will reward his troops with a week off prior to the Oct. 16 season-opening Late Night in the Phog.

“Mentally it’s not that hard for me just to get in there and do the work and get it done and do it the right way the first time so we don’t have to keep going over the same thing,” C.J. Henry said. “Physically, as much stuff as we do, at the end of the two weeks my body will be ready to say, ‘Let’s take a little break.’’’


Xavier and C.J. said preseason pick-up basketball has been fast and furious.

“The games are different from high school. It’s not like back home with buddies and all that. Our pick-up games are high level,” Xavier said.

“Everybody is getting used to each other. It’s been real competitive when we’ve been out there,” C.J. said. “When we come close to the season, I think guys will start to separate themselves.”


Terrence Jones, a 6-8 senior forward from Portland’s Jefferson High, has sliced KU from his list of schools, reports. He has a final list of UCLA, Oklahoma, Arizona, Washington, Kentucky and Oregon.


suttonku 10 years, 3 months ago

I knew we wouldnt get Jones but thats OK nobody freak out...The more important big man is Payne because we will need another center after this season...Good article I really enjoy hearing these guys talk about the season...This ought to ease the nerves and get people excited about the Henry brothers...I have said all along to watch out for CJ and that he would be a good player for us and it seems like he is coming along...Xavier is incredible and we all know what he will bring to the table...I am excited for this season.

K_Easthouse 10 years, 3 months ago

Xavier has his eye on the prize and understands what it takes to compete at this level. How many freshman college athletes understand enough about body chemistry enough to know not to drink milk before a strenuous workout? Well, at least until the first day...

It's great to see CJ pushing everyone, too. Tyrel has been the consensus conditioning king from the reports so far, and aiming to be the best and pushing himself is what I like hearing out of him.

These guys have their heads on straight. Now lets hope Buford doesn't make them run any more gassers.

Andy Hess 10 years, 3 months ago

that's Rivals for you. Jones absolutely HAS NOT cut KU from his list. The Shiver reported a text from Terrence Jones himself saying that KU is still in the running.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 3 months ago

What's wrong Nick Krug, couldn't get these guys to smile?

Another great photo though!

Joel Hood 10 years, 3 months ago

K_East - FYI, not drinking milk before a workout has been well known for long time - just sayin'.

From this story, it sounds like CJ is showing maturity and respect. Also sounds like X is far from being a prima donna - sounds like both guys are fitting in quite well. Late Night is only 2 weeks & about 12 hours away (not that I'm stoked or anything...)

KUFan90 10 years, 3 months ago

This article put a smile on my face. What great attitudes...these guys are winners. So glad to have them part of the team.

Let's get it on!!

rawkhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Great article about the Henry brothers. Can't wait for the season and to see the entire team come together. This could be a historical year!

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Friday with Bacon and Eggs Odyssey:

} Eggs Odyssey is just some celery salt on an egg fried in a little butter, yet is one of the reasons I keep getting up in the mornings. Putting dried celery flakes on a fried egg allegedly dates back to ancient Greece. Though memory is faulty this morning, I vaguely recall that Homer mentioned eggs eaten this way. Regardless, celery salt makes an egg worth eating through out a life. Try it. Especially during our current odyssey through the Fed's oil wars.

} Xavier sounds like that rarest of the rare--a great talent with a great motor.

} CJ says spring training is as tough as Bill Self's boot camp? Baseball training is as tough as training for basketball? Baseball is tough? Oh, my, the natural order in America is in danger my fellow patriots. Reformed Alchie Glenn "I'm fearing everything. so I can up my ratings" Beck will probably burst a hemmorhoid over this. I'm not over-burdened with fear, the way Glen is, but this observation of CJ's got to me. Baseball has always been the game that a few 45 year olds could hang on in and play if they could throw a knuckler, or load a spitter. Baseball has always been the game that smokers with beer guts could play into their late 30s. It has always been a game you could load up with a pinch between cheek and gum and enjoy the dizziness of dermal absorpiton of nicotene and still play. Baseball has always been the game that you could eat pizza in the dug out between innings and still go out and play your position. What have steroids and other performance enhancing substance abuse done to baseball? Baseball was always the game for guys who didn't have great motors, but who had snap in an arm, or great eye sight, or great wrists, or some upper body strength with leg drive to yank one out in old Ewing's fountains. I mean how good of shape do you have to be in to play right field, anyway?

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Friday with Bacon and Eggs Odyssey: continued...

} CJ needs treatment? Now this is intriguing. CJ's only a week into a boot camp that is no tougher than spring training and he needs treatment? For what? Is CJ even older than we know? Everyone has said he has a green light to play from prior injuries. Does he have new ones? C'mon, CJ, you are a man in need of some luck to go with your wonderful talent. You need an injury free stretch to get you untracked. Or better yet, you need to study Sherron. Bum knee? So what? I play through it. Bad back? So what? I play through it. Hyper-extended elbow? So what? I play through it. Sherron is a man you can study and emulate about what it takes to play with pain. My recollection is that Sherron has been at KU for three full seasons without ever mentioning getting treatment. Even mentioning treatment would be an admission of weakness to Sherron. Sherron has the kind of toughness you need to study and learn and make your own. Talking treatment in the first week of boot camp? I'm not sure I've ever heard of one of Self's players mention treatment during any boot camp. My advice is this: have your masseuse and accupuncturist and herbalist and physical therapist come to your off-campus apartment, not to the locker room. These things are not going to earn you the respect of your buddies in boot camp.

} Terrence "Basketball" Jones. Come to KU!

} The glorious gifts of the gods are not to be cast aside. --Homer, The Iliad

By anyone.

Joe Baker 10 years, 3 months ago

Terrence Jones, a 6-8 senior forward from Portland’s Jefferson High, has sliced KU from his list of schools, reports.

WOW! Why? Is this an indicator that KU may be getting another player that is considering KU, say Harrison Barnes? What does Jones know that would have him cut KU completely from his list so early? This is interesting! I at least admire him for making a firm decision and hopefully will stick to it. But, we all know b-ball recruiting is the strangest of events in college sports. I hope this a real good sign!!

Good for you Mr. Jones! Beware, be very aware of where you go, especially UK. At least go to a respectable program like OU!!

Kevin Long 10 years, 3 months ago

I went to check out the odds on the Hawks winning the title again this year. I guess Vegas thinks they will. It's only 4 to 1 on the Hawks. The only other even close is UK at around 5 to 1. Most everybody else is like 20 to 1. I hope they are right!

imnotpaulpierce 10 years, 3 months ago

Could someone give me the cliff notes for Jaybate's posts?

JHWKNMIZRY 10 years, 3 months ago

It sounds like he has a pretty good attitude at this point. I think he is going to be better than expected(which is already very good).

Joe Baker 10 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate- The Henry brothers are tough. They are competitors. CJ will play, compete and be one of the fiercest players on the team. The Henrys are the real deal. Get all the junky memories out of your head and enjoy the fact that we have two of the best players in college b-ball in Lawrence.

It's GO time!


Joel Hood 10 years, 3 months ago

jaybate - treatment is no big deal. Most of the guys get some kind of prep work before practice to prevent injury or reinjury. They don't talk about it because it's so routine. CJ had a stress fracture - I'm sure there's a prescribed prep to help keep him healthy.

BTW - Brevity is the soul of wit.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 3 months ago

Jayhawkerjoel: I also agree with you! I don't think CJ was talking about "Getting Treatment" in a bad way. I think it's all precautionary! I was a trainer for the football team in college in my offseason and guys would always come in early and get "Treatment" for little bangs and bruises. It's a common practice for athletes. I think CJ was saying it in jest like it's a normal thing among "Professional" athletes. Hence, he really only being our only true professional athlete. LOL! Apparently, CJ has been a good role model for X because I think he seems about as focused as there is on the team so far in this preseason. They both are taking care of business and apparently doing it the right way, by staying out of the newspapers from a negative perspective.

100 10 years, 3 months ago

According to the Shiver, Terrence Jones is still considering Kansas with the others -- there would be no reason for him to cut the Preseason #1 off his list so early -- it's free national TV game publicity for him all year ("and rumor has it Terrence Jones is considering playing with Coach Self & Danny Manning next year") no matter where he ends up signing.

Probably a legitimate mistake by Rivals.

eddiesuttonschoolofdriving 10 years, 3 months ago

IMNOTPAULPIERCE - now THAT is some funny s**t!!!

Love ya Jaybate - not always in the mood to read the whole treatise, but appreciate the effort and historical/literary references - you're kind of our own hoops Michener.

There are some really finely conditioned athletes in baseball, but Spring training seems only to be hard if you haven't worked out in three months and have been eating at Hooters every day. Steve Balboni seemed to make it through it every year after all.

Getting really itchy to see Mizzou get drubbed - let the season begin already!

mjlindsm 10 years, 3 months ago

Crap, I just played basketball for a couple hours right after cereal and milk.

On the bright side, I guess this gives me an excuse for not being any good.

I wouldn't be surprised if power forwards like Jones aren't too interested in KU. We'll have plenty of them next year, though they are unproven at this point. I would think we would have more interest from combo guards (Selby, Knight), small forwards (Barnes), and to a lesser extent centers (Payne).

kennethst 10 years, 3 months ago


Do you expect Mario Little to be a big factor this year? How much playing time will he get in the beginning?

I ask because I think he could be the nost overlooked player......he has such a different style and pace that I think he could come off the bench and really change up the style and cause opposing teams fits.

He was not really himself last year with the injuries....I think we only saw glimpses of what he can do.

Curious about your thought......

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago


I have tried Unzip to expand your posts for meaning, but it doesn't work. Please expand them before posting. They are too short! :-)

Chris Shaw 10 years, 3 months ago

100: I can't find anything anywhere on this about Jones? Is this all the "Insiders" info that you pay for on rivals, scout, and etc that you all are finding this info? If so, understood, but it seems to me a lot of people are rushing a little prematurely here. I hope you are right because quite frankly, I like the Terrence Jones kid. It seemed a little odd to me initially because that would leave Barnes as the only "Rush Spot" that we need to fill that position and I would hate to be left out all completely if Barnes went elsewhere. I have now named the Small Forward/3 spot in honor of Brandon Rush called the "Rush Spot". X has now filled the "Rush Spot" so let's only hope Barnes and or Jones can continue the legacy.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago


Mario Little is the most interesting question mark on the team.

Self asked Little to make a huge sacrifice in not red shirting.

There are two ways to interpret Self's non-redshirting of Little:

a) Little was so good that Self thought he could win a ring with him; and

b) Self knew Little was never going to be a starter and he needed him for depth last year.

Because of Little's nagging injury and modest performance last year--he fouled too much on defense and had trouble fitting into the flow of the offense with his mid-range game, it is difficult to tell which interpretation was/is correct.

Based on the fact that Little went to juco and most top not players do not, I reckon Ockham's Razor requires we conclude that Little is going to be a sub this season, because of all the straight-to-D1 talent ahead of him, at the positions he might play.

But there did seem something potentially exceptional about Little and he did seem like Self's kind of player--very tough, very athletic and capable of making impact plays in the right scheme.

But will Self change a scheme that worked so well last year, or will he just plug Xavier into it and repeat it with more size and athleticism at the 3, and more depth everywhere else?

Again getting out the strop and giving Ockham's Razor a couple of preparatory strokes, it seems the Self's least complicated move is to repeat last year's formula with Xavier at the three and more depth everywhere. This pretty much relegates Little to a reserve roll.

But if Self re-schemes, if Mario mastered the trey, if his injury is fully healed, and if he can defend without fouling, I reckon Little would split time at the three with Xavier.

But these are very big ifs.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Regardless, I really hope Self moves Brady to the two and lets Mario and Xavier share the three, rather than giving the three entirely to Xavier, even if Xavier proves a great one. If Self splits their time at the three for the first half of the season, maybe for the whole season, down the stretch there will come a time when Xavier will get in foul trouble, or get mauled out of his game by a prison body, and Mario might well pay huuuuuge dividends.

My fondest dream (next to a ring) would be Mario Little having a hugely productive season, maybe even being the starter ahead of Xaiver, the way RR started ahead of Sherron, that served as payback for Mario's willingness to forego a red shirt last season. But the world of D1 is often not fair in these sorts of situations. Supply of players is large and competition is fierce beyond imagining this year and highly desirable players like Xavier often live up to their hypes.

And none of the above even considers Brady's roll at the three. The guy started every game and shot 43% from trey. Self has to get his gun and defense in the game again some how. Again, I hope he is moved to the two to create a better one-two punch at the two than we had last year. But Tyrel has matured, so he himself might be the most logical guy to provide it. CJ is on hand, and Elijah is also gunning for PT at the two. Very tough calls.

Self's problem will not be the starting line-up this year. It will be deciding who get, and how many, get the back-up minutes...unless Self reschemes to play much faster than he has ever played before and plays everyone.

No one in Eddy-ball has ever done this.

But Self is at that time in in career development, when he may be ready to take an order of magnitude leap beyond Eddy Ball.

There is some real mystery here, presently.

The suspense will only start when Self reveals this year's scheme and we can see the strengths and weaknesses of it clearly.

Mystery hinges on unknowns, suspense on knowns.

Rock chalk!

suttonku 10 years, 3 months ago


Knight actually cut Duke from his list.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 3 months ago

I like how focused and mature these guys seem to be.

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 3 months ago

memhawk, I'm pretty sure that's a recycled photo from over the summer.

Joe Baker 10 years, 3 months ago

I can only hope 100 is right! This Jones thing has to be a rumor. I don't see any player cutting any team this early from his list.

100- Give us an update if you can!


Paul Mitten 10 years, 3 months ago

Jesus, why do cough some people cough insist on putting down other sports instead of enjoying theirs? C.J. Henry played a VERY tough position in baseball. You try being a shortstop for a day at a professional level and tell me if it's a tough or not. You try not looking like a flailing idiot when you see a 95 mph fastball up and in. Basketball is my favorite sport and it's great and all, but please, don't diss baseball just because you don't like it. Shortstops are some of the best athletes in the country.

suttonku 10 years, 3 months ago

Zagsblog is saying that we are still in the jones campaign...Didnt see anything on shiver but definitely on zagsblog.

kennethst 10 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate.....thanks and well usual your insight and knowledge is exceptional to say the least.

Only about a month until the fisrt game and I can't wait. Seems like it has been a long time coming for some reason.

Thanks again!

lee3022 10 years, 3 months ago

Nice article on Xavier and C.J. Both should be significant factors this year and I also loved their tone.

KUShaw - good article link on Jones. I would think Aaron Miles might be of recruiting help with him. If he thinks 25 family members come to watch him with love is special (and it is) wait until he hears the Allen Fieldhouse love! With a couple million fans watching every game on TV around the world he will never lack love here. Of course Aaron can tell him that as well.

It is unfortunate that LJW likely went to press with this story before reading Zagsblog. I like KU's chances with any recruit that Coach Self visits in his home.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 3 months ago

lee3022: I am going out on a limb here so don't get all excited if you don't agree. I can actually see Miles and Lee as a negative impact for Jones to attend KU. Miles is trying and trying to get into the NBA and Lee didn't pan out overseas. Being that both are from Jones hometown, that could look like from the outside that KU didn't produce on the talent it was given. Maybe Jones' Mom is looking at that way since her family did produce Damon and Salim Stoudamire (SP?). Pretty powerful basketball family and I can be rest assured Jones is getting advice from those two on which is the best path. I just don't think it looks good for KU. Just my thoughts and they may be pretty crazy, but we shall see.

Clydecito 10 years, 3 months ago

I read that Miles recently signed a free agent contract with Atlanta, so I disagree with kushaw's analysis that Jones is lost to the hometown, non-NBA experience of two former KU homies. By joining this program, Jones gets much better pro exposure by the amount of games televised by a national championship quality program, even with the Coastal bias, plus the fact of Manning bigman coaching. Jaybate, I think Mario Little's value to this team is his perhaps his attitude, character, sense of humor (noted in many articles) and the fact he is talented. We did see flashes of that talent before he got injured and dropped out of the play-ready rotation mix. I imagine (don't know) he has as much value to the team as a non-playing teammate and 'position coach' to help X with learning the system/program as he does actually playing. I do see him moving to primarily a 3, and pressuring X throughout the year. Just my two cents worth, and I know everyone will expect change.

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