Which ever college blue chip Putnam City (Oklahoma City, Okla.) recruit Xavier Henry chooses – likely in the next week - don’t expect him to stay there long.
At least that’s the plan.
Then again, Henry knows all too well that plans change.
The powerful 6-foot-6, 210-pound guard was all signed, set and delivered to Memphis before coach John Calipari high-tailed it to Kentucky on March 31, the same time Henry was enjoying the festivities at the McDonald’s All-American game in Miami, Fla.
Once Calipari moved, Henry asked and was granted a release from his letter of intent to Memphis.
Now it appears MaxPreps’ No. 5 overall recruit from the Class of 2009, who averaged 28.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game for the Oklahoma 5A champs, will follow Calipari to Kentucky or his family ties to Kansas.
Henry’s father Carl and mother Barbara both attended and played at Kansas.
Reportedly Xavier will visit Kentucky after this weekend’s Jordan Brand All-Star Classic in New York, then sit down with his family to make his final decision.
His brother C.J., who walked on at Memphis as a freshman last fall then received a medical redshirt, is also considering joining Xavier at whatever school he decides.
If C.J. does transfer, he’ll likely have to sit out a season though he may make an appeal to the NCAA considering he never actually played a game at Memphis. C.J. actually committed to Kansas out of high school but signed a baseball contract with the Yankees, who will pay for his education no matter where he attends.
That means no matter where C.J. attends college he’s considered a walk-on.
Today is the first day of the regular signing period for college basketball — the early period was Nov. 12-19 when Henry picked Memphis over Kansas — and it runs through May 20. So all of those who haven’t committed have more than a month to sign.
Henry wants his final destination to be the NBA and he clearly isn’t planning on letting his reputation alone as a 3-point shooter, slasher, rugged defender and rebounder get him there.
“I’m just starting to bloom,” he said. “When I get to college – check that – before that, this summer I’ll work on everything from ball-handling to defense to passing to rebounding – everything to get better in every aspect of the game because I don’t want to stay in college too long.”
Henry has shown during postseason events he’s at or near the top of his class.
In the McDonald’s game, he had 14 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes for the West, which lost 113-110. His 3-pointer with 1 minute, 40 seconds left gave the West its last lead 110-109 but never got off another shot.
A competitive kid and team player, Henry wasn’t real pleased teammates tried to take over down the stretch.
“At the end people were looking for theirs which was a little frustrating for someone like me when I’m trying to get others involved but not getting it back,” he said. “But if you set that all aside it was a team effort and we lost by just a couple points and the blame is on every one not just one person.”
Henry had a game-high 22 points for the USA Select team, making 6-of-11 3-pointers, in a 97-89 loss to the World Select team in Saturday’s 12th annual Nike Hoop Summit.
So where will Xavier Henry wind up? Here’s what we think;
Kansas: There’s a logjam of players at Kansas. All-American guard Sherron Collins and All-Big 12 post Cole Adrich announced Monday they are coming back to school rather than opt for the NBA. There’s also a chance New York super prep Lance Stephenson may wind up in Jayhawk country. Still, Henry adores his family. The thought of all of them together plus the fact the Jayhawks are a serious 2010 national title contender is awfully appealing. Odds that Henry picks Kansas: 65 percent
Kentucky: Henry wanted to play for Calipari and he still has his shot. Beyond that, he could help turn around one of college basketball’s most famed programs. Odds that Henry picks Kentucky: 35 percent