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Thursday, April 8, 2010

C.J. Henry expected back at KU

Kansas guard C.J. Henry drives past Central Arkansas guard Imad Qahwash during the first half, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard C.J. Henry drives past Central Arkansas guard Imad Qahwash during the first half, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas University freshman walk-on guard C.J. Henry declined comment on his future on Wednesday.

“I’m not here to discuss anything about me. I’m just here to support Xavier as family,” C.J. said, seated next to his NBA-bound brother at a media gathering in Allen Fieldhouse.

Indeed, C.J. provided much-needed support. He wrapped his arm around a tearful Xavier at one point at the emotional news conference called to announce Xavier’s plans to enter the NBA Draft.

After the media session, both coach Bill Self in person — and Carl Henry on the phone — reported that C.J. would be a Jayhawk again for at least another year.

“C.J. is staying to play at Kansas,” the Henry brothers’ dad, Carl, told the Journal-World. “He didn’t get to play much this year because of his injuries. He’s going all out. He talked to coach Self and told coach his goals. He’s committed to work hard in the offseason and play at KU.”

Self said he was “a little surprised he (C.J.) didn’t touch on it (his future plans)” at the news conference. “But he’s excited about next year. I think he thought that this would just be a day to talk about X.

“And things can always change. But he’s certainly excited about what’s going on with our program. We’ve talked a lot. He’s out there busting his butt, trying to get 100-percent healthy and get his rhythm so we can see where he stands. It’s hard for him right now to see exactly where he stands in relationship to everybody else because we haven’t seem him be 100-percent healthy over an extended period of time.

“I’ve said all along he’s a talent. He just needs to have a good spring and good summer to get back healthy and to get his rhythm back.”

Two is enough

Self, who has seen both Cole Aldrich (junior) and Xavier Henry declare for the NBA Draft in successive weeks, said there’d be no more press conferences. Nobody else is turning pro.

“I don’t anticipate anything else. I won’t come (to another),” he said with a smile.

Self on Johnson rumor

There’s a rumor on the Internet that Self has decided to remove freshman guard Elijah Johnson from the basketball team, possibly for disciplinary reasons. Self addressed the rumor:

“There are rumors out there about a lot of things. Most of them play out not to be true. I’m not going to say anything about that,” Self said.

Recruiting

KU, which has received a commitment from 6-foot-3 Phoenix native Royce Woolridge, currently has two scholarships to give. KU is in the running for No. 4-ranked Josh Selby, No. 21 Doron Lamb, and for No. 1 Brandon Knight (expected to sign with Kentucky).

“We’ve got two to give on paper. I guess that could change. I would anticipate more than likely signing one with a chance of signing two,” Self said.

Woolridge excels

Woolridge scored 17 points in the United States’ 91-81 victory over Spain on Wednesday at the Schweitzer Tournament in Germany. He hit four of seven threes. The U.S. will meet Australia tonight with a spot in the semifinals at stake.

One-and-done talk

Xavier Henry is Self’s first “one-and-done” player.

“One thing that has been used against us from other schools (in recruiting) is: ‘Self’s never had a one-and-done. Why would you want to go there? They’ll hold you back there,’ that kind of stuff, which is ridiculous talk,” Self said. “You guys (media) know me well enough to know, if a guy can help us win games, I could care less (if he’s one and done). I do think there will be one thing people can’t use against us because of that. I don’t know if that will help or not. If a kid bases his decision on whether or not a young man leaves after one year, that’s ridiculous.”

Self said he wishes high school players could enter the NBA Draft after their senior year in high school and if they go to college be required to stay two or three seasons.

“One-and-done has been good for college basketball. There have been some really good guys come into school and been great ambassadors for their programs,” Self said. “The problem is it’s a time bomb in that it won’t always be that way. That’s why the rule needs to change. Whatever the rule change is, it’ll be a positive one. Whether you go out of high school or have to stay two years, it’ll be more positive than what the rule is now. We’re fortunate. We signed a four-year kid the way I look at it, that performed well enough to leave (after one).”

Next year

Self said he had high hopes for next year’s team. “I think Marcus Morris may be the best player in our league coming back,” Self said.

Comments

JayhawkRock 9 years, 7 months ago

Kinda scary that Self didnt deny the rumors about Elijah being released from the team...I dont think the rumors are true but where theres smoke theres fire and I think EJ may have done something wrong but I havent heard anything from anyone in Lawrence yet.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 7 months ago

What is up with the EJ rumor? Where did that come from?

David Hall 9 years, 7 months ago

I HOPE CJ SAY WITH THE KU BASKETBALL TEAM HE IS A GOOD PLAYER

John Beck 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree, once healthy, let's see him pop the rock from three range and add to our zone buster arsenal.

Don Everett 9 years, 7 months ago

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

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Wow! That EJ rumor, along with CS not denying it, along with the statement "“We’ve got two to give on paper. I guess that could change" regarding our scholarship situation...that is pretty scary indeed.

The rumor was started on a rivals.com message board by someone from Henderson, KY who claims to have "connections" that know coach Self. The guys says that EJ failed a second drug test. Then there's a guy responding on there saying "considering i saw him today and he was hanging out with some members of the team and in good spirits, and considering this thread is coming form a guy from henderson, kentucky, i seriously doubt this is true." Then there's another guy saying "I doubt it's true, I live in Lawrence and have alright connections with the team and athletic department and this is the first I have heard about it from a guy in Kentucky, and it hasn't been on the slant....so I doubt it but we'll see."

Anyway, right now it is exactly as the article states - an internet rumor. Complete with anonymous posters citing their "sources" and touting their "connections". The comment by Coach Self does give me cause for concern though.

mojayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Don't underestimate kentucky fan when it comes to spreading rumors in the rumor mill. It falls in line with their reputation. Enough said.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

I guess I should say "anonymous posters citing unnamed sources"

Andrew Ralls 9 years, 7 months ago

that same guy, when asked where Selby and Lamb were going to commit, then said his connections to Self didn't extend to recruiting. these allegations aren't even worth addressing at this point.

FairgroveJayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

There's nothing there about EJ worth mentioning. Self can't address the nonexistent.

What kind of promise will CJ offer if he improves his health and defense in the off season. Oh, the possibilities.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Fairgrove - you don't think Self could have said "I don't know where these rumors come from. To suggest that I have decided to remove EJ from the team is ridiculous."? Just saying he can't address the nonexistent...it's not nonexistent. The rumors are there. Either they are true or they are false. I mean, he commented on the nonexistent press conferences for more Jayhawks declaring for the NBA draft this year. I have no idea if the rumors are true, but I would feel a lot better about things if he had denied it.

Ben Kane 9 years, 7 months ago

I have to agree that Self's response is odd.

I haven't heard anything about this rumor and I live in KY. If it had any legs, I'm sure somebody would have said something about it to me, just to try and get under my skin.

My guess is something happened and Self has dealt with it on his own. 'Nuff said.

John Brown 9 years, 7 months ago

Has anyone on this post ever been through Kentucky. It rest just above Tennessee. The people have great resemblence to those from Missouri. My sources tell me that there is a great deal of inbreeding occuring in KY.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 7 months ago

"Most of them play out not to be true. I'm not going to say anything about that"

It just sounds cryptic to me... It sounds as there's something going on that isn't a done deal, so coach can't comment on it.

Then there's the comment about having two scholarships to offer but it "could change". It sounds almost as though someone is going to be leaving the program. I can't imagine that Coach would be encouraging anyone to transfer this year. Last year he helped Quintrell Thomas and Tyrone Appleton transfer because he needed their scholarships, but this year we already have the scholarships. I wonder if someone is unhappy and is thinking about leaving... maybe Tyshawn?

meremy 9 years, 7 months ago

I've met two people from Kentucky (that I know of). The first said his favorite foods are fried squirrel and bologna gravy. The second carried a Bowie knife on his belt every day to work.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

plasticJHawk - Yes a failure to outright deny the rumors suggests there is atleast something in play. The comment about the two scholarships could be tied to the EJ situation as well. If the rumors turn out to be true his scholarship would become available. REALLY hope there's nothing to it.

Joe Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

EJ and CJ stay at KU!

Woolridge scored 17 points in the United States’ 91-81 victory over Spain on Wednesday at the Schweitzer Tournament in Germany. He hit four of seven threes. The U.S. will meet Australia tonight with a spot in the semifinals at stake.

I love Woolridge and how he's flying under the radar. I can't wait till we release that little weapon on opponents!!

Rock Chalk

dynamitehawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Breaking News!!! John Calipari is getting a sex change and is trying out for the UConn women's basketball team next season. I have friends in Massachusetts who have driven through Connecticut. They said that now that is going to be a woman, his NCAA eligibility has refreshed. This should be exciting to see unfold...

Jarod DeLozier 9 years, 7 months ago

The comment about available scholarships could just as easily mean that one of the current walk-ons could be granted a scholarship and doesn't necessarily mean that one more is opening up.

quigley 9 years, 7 months ago

It's great to have all these talented guards but, I think I would give up 3 of em at least for 1 Cole back. We need another big that is ready NOW.

Robert Brock 9 years, 7 months ago

In the last month I have seen some online rumors about a couple of possible transfers, namely EJ, but you never know how much truth there is to those. I hope this is bogus.

Sally Presson 9 years, 7 months ago

Oh, my consider the source on EJ. Gossip is an awful thing, let's rise above it. UK must be worried about KU as well they should. Our team, including EJ, is going to be outstanding next year and having CJ back is a bonus.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

sallyp - the rumor in and of itself doesn't bother me as much as CS's response to it. If I had stumbled upon that bit of gossip on a message board I would not give it a second thought, but coupled with the bizarre response...it gives it atleast a small amount of credibility. You have to admit, it didn't help to dispell the rumor at all. He addressed it, but he didn't provide any answers or clarity. It may turn out to be nothing. I'm excited to see what EJ can do next year. He seemed to have a great attitude considering he was a top 25 recruit and ended up on the bench most of the year. I am hoping there is no truth to the rumor.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Another possibility regarding the recruiting comment is that the investigation into the ticket office & Williams Fund could result in a loss of scholarship(s), although an email sent out a week ago told donors that KU was not in trouble with the NCAA (officials also said that no actions regarding personnel would be taken until the investigation was complete, and then fundraising chief "resigned").

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 7 months ago

Kentucky fans are still angry that he wore a KU shirt this time last year warming up for an AAU game in their home state.

He really did seem to maintain a good attitude all year despite not playing, and he always said that right things to the media. I never got the feeling that he didn't want to be at KU. I can't see him leaving KU on his own, hopefully the rumors are false and he sticks with it. He'll be an integral part of the team next year. I like the way he plays the game. He's a slasher and a finisher. He reminds me a little of Kieth Langford, the way he can get into the paint and get to the rim, only with better vision and point-guard skills (doesn't Kieth's size either). I wonder if he's afraid that Coach bringing in Josh Selby could mean that he's on the bench again this year...

Tim Bingaman 9 years, 7 months ago

Self made that comment about replacing Collins with a signee should tick off EJ. Hopefully it was just recruiting talk, but you have to question why EJ didn't see the floor this year. IMHO we should have gotten EJ and TRob some serious minutes.

I can only guess that EJ didn't impress in practice.

JayhawkCasey 9 years, 7 months ago

He didn't just wear the KU shirt. He came into the arena and started waving it around above his head. I love it

KULongrtimer 9 years, 7 months ago

I thing HCBS handled the situation the way a good coach should. He protects and disciplines his team as any good and caring coach should, without exposing any rumormill fodder. EJ may have done something that required some attention, and now it is over. CS believes everyone on his team should expend effort to pass classes, and in the past, has not allowed players much prime time unless they were keeping the grades up.

Next season should be great. If CJ gets to play point, we haven't lost the maturity needed to lead this great group of athletes. With anyone else at point, we may lack good halfcourt offense.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm curious what makes you think CJ playing the point is what is best for the team. You'd expressed your excitement about him on another thread, and I had responded:

I'm real skeptical about the possibility of CJ having a big impact on this team. Your statement "if CJ is healthy..." is the biggest "if" for him. He hasn't been able to stay healthy the past two seasons, so he's pretty unreliable. He hasn't played a significant amount of organized basketball since high school, which was over 5 years ago. I think he'll get a look, but my guess is he'll have to be significantly better - not marginally better; not better in some aspects & worse in others - than our other options because with such a crowded field competing for minutes next year it is risky (due to his injury history) to give him significant minutes, thus putting someone else on the bench.

In limited minutes he had a sweet stroke, but nothing else about him dazzled me. It'd be great if he did come in and wow the staff, if for no other reason than maybe he could overtake Christian Moody for the "best walk-on ever" title.

KULongrtimer 9 years, 7 months ago

In a nutshell, several things come to mind:

  1. Maturity - we lack it from all the other possible PG candidates. I don't see any leaders stepping up. My term for a leader is one that can elevate the play of the rest of the team, not just feel comfortable shooting the last shot.
  2. Ball handling in the paint - no fear what-so-ever
  3. Equally at ease going to his left or right on the first step and at the hoop
  4. Cross over move that I watched in HS that he only showed once this year in his limited minutes.
  5. He has mastered the floater, doesn't need to rely on the refs to give him FTs for challenging the bigs all the time.
  6. Did I mention speed with the ball, and passing speed. The bigs better be ready for the incoming missles.
  7. A cleaner version of his brother's shooting stroke. Carl didn't teach Xavier the stroke, he was emulating big brother. CJ will still have a great bunch of 3 ballers on the team so he can be comfortable with the assist, or step up and knock down a quick 3.

Of course this all depends on him staying healthy and being hungry for the opportunity. Now that he isn't stealing Xavier's limelight, we might see the CJ that I am familiar with.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Well I hope you're right and that he is healthy enough to show those skills. Other than noticing he has a sweet shooting stroke I don't have any recollection of seeing the things you mentioned. From a maturity standpoint...he's older, but I don't know what would lead you to believe he displays maturity on the court, or that he will be a leader. If we on-court maturity & leadership simply carried over from high school, Tyshawn should have been a great leader. He was a leader for one of the more famous high school (as well as on the USA u-19 team)

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 7 months ago

The best way to give a rumor credibility is to respond to it, so Self wisely didn't. If there is anything, I would think it is most likely an in-house thing that Self has no intention of discussing with the press. Why do we always look for the worst on this board?

Matt Kenton 9 years, 7 months ago

If I was as talented as EJ and forced to watch Tyshawn from the bench all season, I'd be getting high too.

Theutus 9 years, 7 months ago

KUMatt, reply to your comment isn't working in firefox or ie (figures)....

That being said, that comment is gold. Tyshawn got away with a TON of crap last year, and still played every game. Hell, he even made a comment about transferring and then got a starting position the next week.

Maybe EJ is just going with what works..... /sarcasm

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 7 months ago

The poster saying something about losing a scholarship due to the ticket scandal is way, way, way, way, way off base.

There is absolutely no correlation nor will there ever be. That is the most stretching of the the mind (or in this case mindless) that's ever been posted, IMO. Get a grip on reality and stop making stupid statements. Wow.

RockChalk26 9 years, 7 months ago

I am really high on EJ (Haha) I really wish he would get some more playing time. If not he will have no choice but to go elsewhere, and I don't blame him.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Keithmiles - I posted it as a possibility, although I did include that officials in the athletic department said that the situation did not put KU in trouble with the NCAA. Maybe consider reading the entire post, especially before calling people mindless and stupid, lest you look stupid yourself.

Nick Cole 9 years, 7 months ago

I truly think EJ will be an important part of this team next year. We may be losing Cole, Collins, and X, but look at the talent we still have:

Mario, Travis, Twins, Ty, T-Rob, EJ, CJ, Jeff, Brady, Tyrel, and Royce.

We are already going to be stacked. Plus, if we get one (or two) more recruit(s), we are gonna be stacked again next year. I really think we need another 7 footer in there with Jeff. I don't know where we are going to get him, bet we need it. Maybe Sasha Kaun knows someone ;)

Fred Davis 9 years, 7 months ago

Why should Self give any credence to an internet rumor...? Chances are, Self knows about the rumor and would only add more fuel to the fire by acknowledging it... He doesn't need to say anything about it, he didn't, end of story, move on and let's grab Selby and Lamb...

Aligned 9 years, 7 months ago

Exactly. The best way to ensure that ten more rumors are propagated is to respond to this one. Bill Self handled it correctly.

FairgroveJayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

ict- nah, not concerned. I see it as Self being tired of these mini fires being started on the internet and blown into something bigger.

Basically I don't see EJ as having the capacity to show detrimental behavior that would get him kicked off the team. If there were any legal concerns, the great Jesse Fray would have picked it up and ran with it as he did with Morningstar's DUI.

I did read something very interesting online earlier... if I may quote...

"Breaking News!!! John Calipari is getting a sex change and is trying out for the UConn women's basketball team next season. I have friends in Massachusetts who have driven through Connecticut. They said that now that is going to be a woman, his NCAA eligibility has refreshed. This should be exciting to see unfold...

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

"Thursday Is the Greatest: I Hate Thursday:"

} This story triggering this thread gets my vote for best psy-op paradox in recent memory.

Headline: "C.J. Henry expected back at KU"

"Lead: Kansas University freshman walk-on guard C.J. Henry declined comment on his future on Wednesday."

Later we get Self saying he assumes CJ is coming back, as if he really hasn't been told definitively, and Carl Henry saying CJ certainly is coming back, and we know that what Carl says about his sons often indicates exactly opposite of what they will do.

Regardless, it is the near perfect symmetry of paradox between headline and lead that intrigue me. I cannot help but wonder about intent here and about whether someone, either headline writer, or other editor, was trained in the intel branch of the Army Signal Corp. Nice paradox guys. You can do psy-ops copy for your country anytime. :-)

} Self unwilling to deny a rumor about disciplinary problems with The Prophet? This situation suggests one of two things:

a) Self and KU are furious with apparent UK sympathizers doing apparent psy-ops-style hatchet jobs on Self and KU the past season and are contemplating legal action; or

b) The Prophet's tenure at KU is shaky, either because of disciplinary issues, or something else.

} “We’ve got two to give on paper. I guess that could change."--Bill Self

How exactly could that change? Does Self mean there could be more players leave the team, like Appleton and Thomas left last season, when scholarships needed to be freed up for more desirable players? The combination of rumors about The Prophet having disciplinary problems, Self being unwilling to deny there is a problem with The Prophet, and this comment that "two to give on paper" could change appears significant.

} "I do think there will be one thing [Self finally having had an OAD in Xavier] people can’t use against us because of that."--Bill Self

From this quote, Self sounds relieved X is jumping OAD. Self just implied clearly that he thinks other schools are going hard negative on him, Self increasingly sounds like a coach who feels mistreated and very defensive about it. This is odd coming from a coach with a ten year contract and security equivalent to the friends of the Federal Reserve.

} “I think Marcus Morris may be the best player in our league coming back."--Bill Self

Translation: We're playing through Marcus next year and he will get 15-18 shots a game the way Sherron got them 2 seasons ago.

Implication: Withey better put on a ton of weight, or he's going to be the world's tallest footnote in KU basketball.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

ralster - that is indeed an awesome quote. Considering UK couldn't make the Final Four with the #1, #2, #22, #23, & #40 ranked recruits in a year where the field was the weakest in recent memory, I don't think there's any doubt that building a whole team with OADs doesn't work. I don't even think you can build around one or two. I think KU had the right idea this year (although it didn't pan out) and that's you can add a OAD as a missing piece to an already good team. Carmelo & the '03 Syracuse team is still the only Championship team to win it all featuring a OAD.

Robert Brock 9 years, 7 months ago

I still can't believe Self was asked at a press conference about some random rumor on an internet chat board. Ridiculous.

Hank Cross 9 years, 7 months ago

The most effective way to have dealt with the EJ rumor is to state unequivocally that it is not true. Self didn't do that, which I think is a mistake if there is a chance that the story might grow legs. You don't want to give the impression that EJ is twisting in the wind if there is no basis to this rumor.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree to an extent that you need a mix of OAD's and players with experience. However, saying that, I think that if Self could get three OAD's each year, he would do it. The comment, "we don't just want OAD's" is simple enough to say, but really doesn't make much sense when examined more closely.

First, coaches start recruiting most of these kids when they are sophomores or juniors in high school, if not earlier. No one knows if they are going to be a OAD that early.

Second, the net is cast wide, because you never know which ones you are going to get. If you get one of the top 10 recruits in a year, it's a good year. If you get two, it's a great year. Look at it this way: Self is recruiting both Selby and Knight, and I guarantee you if they both said they wanted to come to KU, he would find room for them. I also guarantee you that everyone on this board would be stoked, myself included.

Third, even when players sign, you never know if they will really be a OAD or not. BRush was supposed to be a OAD but he ended up staying three years (two if he had not had the knee injury). I'm sure we are all glad he chose KU. Those examples are numerous.

Finally, if you don't want the OAD's, who do you recruit? The players just below that level? How do you know they are going to be below that level? Why would you want to limit your recruiting? As fans (and coaches) don't we want the best players on our team? I want the most talented, athletic players. Those are typically the ones that claim they will be OAD's.

I am not saying we want a team such as Kentucky's this past year, but I will take as many of the most talented players as I can get. Give me two or three recruits in the top 10 or 20 every year. Couple them with a coach as good as Self and I like my chances.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Well said. Of course its impossible to please everybody, and in some cases no matter what CS does there will be those who criticize him. Some people want a bunch of mid-level talent guaranteed to stick around for 4 years. Having seniors is great. The longer a player is here the more he understands the coach's system, the more connected the fans feel to him, and we all love seeing the senior night speeches. However, if your team is made up of only mid-level recruits then people will criticize CS's ability to recruit elite level talent. Without a couple elite level (NBA-caliber) players winning a championship is highly unlikely.

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