Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Two of the top recruits in the nation will decide between NCAA finalists Kansas and Memphis.
Thomas Robinson and Xavier Henry both took official visits this weekend to Memphis, and will decide between the Tigers and the Jayhawks.
Robinson, the No. 7 power forward in the Class of 2009, had previously visited Kansas Sept. 19-20 and was slated to visit Southern Cal Oct. 14, but said he won’t make that trip.
“I’m not taking any more visits,” the 6-foot-8 senior from Brewster (N.H.) Academy said Sunday night by phone.
Asked his thoughts on Kansas and Memphis, he said: “I feel very strongly about both schools. I’m gong to sit back and speak with my mother and my coach (Jason Smith of Brewster) and make my decision.”
As for the Memphis visit, Robinson added: “It was good. I enjoyed it. I got to learn more about the school, the staff and the players. Xavier Henry and Darnell Dodson were with me. We were hanging with the players and around the school and seeing the academics. We met with some of the people on the staff.”
Both Kansas coach Bill Self and Memphis coach John Caliparimade home visits last week with Robinson’s mother, Lisa, in Washington, D.C.
Asked if he had a timetable, Robinson said: “No, I really don’t have a timetable. Whenever I feel like I’m ready.”
And what can he bring to his future school?
“I will help them win any way I can,” Robinson said. “I’m going to rebound, I’m going to play hard.”
Meantime, Henry, a 6-6 shooting guard from Oklahoma City (OK) Putnam City ranked No. 1 at his position in the Class, said he will also decide between Memphis and Kansas following his visit to KU for Late Night in the Phog Oct. 17.
“I cut it to Memphis and Kansas,” Henry told MyFoxMemphis in an interview you can see here.
Lance Stephenson of Brooklyn Lincoln and Dominic Cheek of St. Anthony of Jersey City are also expected to make officials that weekend. The list of expected recruits also includes Harrison Barnes, Elijah Johnson, Perry Ellis, Michael Snaer, Daniel Orton, Bradley Beal and Ray McCallum.
Henry also said he enjoyed his Memphis visit, where he got a chance to visit with his brother, C.J. Henry, who recently joined the basketball team.
“It’s been a good visit,” he told the Memphis Fox station. “I went around and saw campus. I got to hang out with my brother a lot so it’s been pretty good so far. I’m glad he’s here and he’s getting an opportunity to play again, but it’s not going to influence my decision. He tells me straight up. He tells me the truth, what he does like, what he doesn’t like. He doesn’t try to buttercoat it for me.”
Henry said his goal was to play in the NBA and emphasized that both schools could get him there.
“Just feeling comfortable wherever I’m at and (which is) my best shot at getting to the league and getting prepared,” he said.
Both Kansas and Memphis are also contending for point guard John Wall, a 6-4 senior from Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy.
Wall visited Kansas Sept. 19-20 and has yet to set visit dates for Memphis, Oregon and Baylor.
Asked if he had a sense for what Henry or Dodson, a 6-6 small forward from Miami Dade College who initially committed to Pitt but cannot attend because of a Big East rule, might do, Robinson said:
“I really can’t tell, but they both enjoyed their visits,” he said. “Xavier, he enjoyed it. He got to spend time with his brother (C.J. Henry) and his family. They’re both cool guys.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.