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.
NEW YORK – Despite a report indicating that Xavier Henry would visit Kentucky April 25-26, Henry himself said no visit date had been finalized.
“No, I haven’t picked a date,” the 6-foot-6 Henry said Thursday at Jordan Brand Classic practice. “When we get home [to Oklahoma] we’ll talk about everything. We’ll probably set a visit date for Kentucky and all that.”
A published report had Carl Henry saying Xavier and C.J. would visit Kentucky the last weekend in April.
Xavier said he would like to visit Kentucky and said it could happen then.
“I don’t even know when we’re going to go,” he added. “I don’t even know if we’re going to go. But when we get home we’ll figure stuff out.”
Henry, the No. 3 recruit in the Class of 2009, also said he could still end up at Memphis even though he and his brother have secured their releases.
“It depends on if my brother can get out of his thing and go transfer and play his first year,” Xavier said. “If he can’t then I might still play with him at Memphis. I don’t know yet.”
C.J., a walk-on at Memphis, would need to transfer to either Kansas or Kentucky and then appeal the NCAA for a waiver to allow him to play immediately. Yet there’s no guarantee that will happen. Such waivers are only granted in extreme circumstances, such as when a family member is dying.
“It’ll take time,” Henry said. “I don’t know. It could be quick. It could take a long time. It’s just the NCAA, whatever they decide.”
He added: “I want to keep my family together. It’s really not playing with [C.J.], it’s keeping my family together. They [Memphis] already said they’d let him out.”
Henry said new Memphis coach Josh Pastner was still trying to sell him on staying at Memphis.
“He just reminds me that everything wasn’t Coach Cal [John Calipari],” Henry said. “Memphis is still a great school. He can still run the program the same. He just tries to tell me everything’s going to be the same. Team’s going to be the same except for DeMarcus [Cousins] departed. And Nolan Dennis, I don’t know if he’s staying or going. And he’s trying to get those two JUCO kids to still go [Will Coleman and Darnell Dodson of Miami-Dade College]. He’s a positive guy so he likes to talk.”
Meantime, Pastner has taken a page out of the Bill Self book by also trying to join the Lance Stephenson Sweepstakes. As first reported here Wednesday, Pastner tried to reach out to the Brooklyn star to gauge his interest on coming to Memphis. As of early Thursday, he had not spoken with Stephenson.
Stephenson and Xavier Henry appear to be engaged in a game of chicken to see which one will declare first. Stephenson is considering Kansas and St. John’s, while Henry is looking at Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis.
“He was going to Kansas and then apparently backed off or something because he might think I’m going,” Henry said of Stephenson.
He added that he hasn’t discussed the situation with the 6-5 Stephenson.
“I haven’t talked to Lance,” he said. “I only say a few words to Lance. His decision doesn’t effect mine at all.”
In the meantime, Cousins is working Henry and point guard John Wall on joining Calipari in Lexington.
“I basically threatened his life and I told him if he didn’t come we’re going to have some problems,” Cousins joked. “I need you to commit today. So he’s considering it.”
“DeMarcus is a master recruiter,” Henry said. “He always talks about it and he just wants me to come. He likes to put you on the spot to where you gotta answer [by saying], ‘You going to Kentucky, man?'”
At one point Cousins turned to Wall in the stands and said, “John, where you going? I call him almost every night. Ain’t that right, John?”
Wall and Henry try to ignore Cousins, but it isn’t easy.
At least Henry has a default position.
He’s waiting on C.J.
“I’m waiting on my brother,” he said with a smile. “I can’t say nothing about it.”
Said Cousins: “If Xavier does not come to Kentucky, we need some ‘Rest in Peace’ signs.”
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.