Henrys Considering Staying at Memphis; Reggie Theus, Avery Johnson Options as Memphis Coach
DETROIT – Xavier and C.J. Henry will spend Friday talking on the phone about their futures and could elect to remain at Memphis under a new coach.
That’s what their father, Carl Henry, said in a morning interview.
“We’re going to wait,” Carl said. “We’re just going to wait and see who Memphis hires.”
Asked if both brothers could remain at Memphis instead of going to Kansas or Kentucky, Carl said, “Yes, it’s a chance. I’ve been told [by sources at Memphis] either Reggie Theus or Avery Johnson [could be the new coach]. That’s what I hear.”
Baylor coach Scott Drew has also been mentioned, but Memphis spokesman Lamar Chance said the school hasn’t officially requested permission to speak with Theus, Johnson or Drew. Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl is now out of the mix, having restructured his six-year deal at UT.
If Xavier remains at Memphis, it could open things up for Lance Stephenson to go to Kansas, as he had originally planned.
Alternatively, Stephenson could still go elsewhere — Maryland or St. John’s — and Kansas could wind up empty-handed. Despite a report that Stephenson is considering other Big 12 programs, a source close to the family told me it’s still Kansas, Maryland or St. John’s.
While Xavier, who is in Oklahoma City, has obtained his release from Memphis, C.J., who is at school at Memphis, would have to sit out an entire year after transferring unless he appealed the NCAA and obtained a waiver to play immediately. That, in turn, has the brothers thinking of staying at Memphis.
“I told them just wait because I’m learning some information that C.J. has to go through an appeal,” Carl said. “If he has to sit out another year wherever he goes, he doesn’t want to do that.
“That’s the major factor in what they want to do. If they want to play together, they would have to stay.”
Carl added that he thought it was crazy that C.J. would have to sit.
“Even though he wasn’t on scholarship he would have to sit out, which is crazy to me,” he said. “He didn’t play so why should he have to sit out? He might just try to appeal.”
Meantime, Jody Demling reports that five players recruited to Kentucky under Billy Gillispie have decommitted: senior guard G.J. Vilarino, junior college guard Konner Tucker, juniors K.C. Ross-Miller and Dakotah Euton andfreshman Michael Avery.
What took Gillispie two years to accomplish took new Kentucky coach John Calipari 24 hours to undo.
Now Calipari is free to bring in players like Henry, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall.
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.