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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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Monday / January 22.
  • Source: Henrys to Kansas; Press Conference Set

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    Xavier and C.J. Henry have decided to play for Kansas, a source with knowledge of their decision said.

    “They’re going to end up going to Kansas,” the source said.

    Xavier, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard ranked No. 3 in the Class of 2009 by Rivals, will  hold a press conference at 11:15 a.m. Thursday in the East Gym at Putnam City (Ok.) High School, according to Putnam coach A.D. Burtschi.

    Burtschi said he had not spoken with Xavier or Carl Henry about the decision, but said Xavier would be a tremendous addition to his future university.

    “After having coached the young man for four years and watch him be a significant part of our two state championships, and being around him as a person and a player, I think he’s going to be a phenomenal player at the next  level,” Burtschi said. “He’s going to bring a lot to the table.”

    Kansas will be the favorite to win its second NCAA championship in three years next year with the return of guard Sherron Collins and big man Cole Aldrich.

    “It means a lot to me that they’re going to try and stay and win it all,” Xavier said in an interview with The Shiver.

    “I think you talked about a lot of really good guys and you’re going to add a another great player [in Henry],” Burtschi said. “A guy who can really shoot it. The guy can score off  the dribble, he can create for others. He’s got some things he”s got to work on but what high school player doesn’t?

    “He wants to get better. He’s extremely coachable. He puts endless hours into his game every day. He wants to give back to the game.”

    Xavier initially signed with Memphis over Kansas last fall, but asked for his release after John Calipari took the Kentucky job.

    The brothers considered Kentucky this time around, but in the end decided not to visit the campus. Xavier has his prom this weekend and can’t make the trip.

    “They’re not visiting,” Carl said Tuesday by phone. “[Xavier’s] going to a prom Friday.”

    His older brother, C.J. Henry, was a walk-on at Memphis last season whose tuition is being paid by the Yankees because he is a former Yankees farmhand. He will need to file an appeal with the NCAA to be allowed to play immediately next year.

    If not, he would have to sit out a season, meaning he would not be able to play with Xavier if Xavier ends up being a one-and-done to the NBA.

    It seems unlikely that the NCAA would grant such a waiver because there is no family emergency or anything of that nature.

    With the Henrys headed to Kansas, the next domino to fall should be Brooklyn’s Lance Stephenson, a McDonald’s All-American and the all-time leading scorer in New York State history.

    Maryland coach Gary Williams flew up to meet with him last week at his Coney Island home and hopes to have Stephenson play with Lincoln teammate James Padgett.

    Stephenson also had an official visit to St. John’s last weekend that apparently went well.

    The question now becomes: Does Lance want to stay in New York and play near family and friends, and in the pressure-cooker of New York City, or does he want to get away?

    “I don’t know what’s going on in his head, but he’s gotta make a decision,” Henry said of Stephenson Saturday night in an interview shown on The Shiver.

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    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.

    • Woo-hoo! The prodigal sons return to the family fold–KANSAS! Like their mother and father before them (the latter of whom I had the pleasure to watch while at KU), they are now where they belong–in the crimson and blue Jayhawk unis!

      Now let’s get Lance or Wall… =)

      Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, go KU!

    • Finally! Any idea when an official statement will be issued?

    • This is the best recruiting news, if proven to be true, that KU has gotten in a long time. Everyone should be proud of what Self has done here, and should support both X and CJ! Can we please stop telling them to leave KU alone now, and be happy with them coming here, like every KU fan should have been in the first place.

    • Mr. Zagoria,

      Does this create a potential domino effect, whereby Stephenson winds up at St. John’s and Wall heads to Duke?

    • G. Vasquez is supposed to announce on Thursday his Pro decission (Europe or NBA). If he annouces he is leaving MD, Lance will become a TERP before the week is over. (Stretch has clearly said that Lances decision would have a lot to do with that.) Again, LANCE HAS CLEARLY SAID HE WANTS OUT OF NY (not sure HOW that keeps getting lost in all of the reporting) Also, Reports said today that Dupree is transferring out of MD, so that opens up another Scholarship either way.

      • Uh Terpmaster, where are you hearing this stuff about Vaz? From people I’ve talked to who know him personally, he’s said if we get Stephenson, he’s staying and if not, he might leave. None of the major MD blogs, papers, etc. are reporting anything about a Vaz. decision tomorrow, including the one I write for, so I don’t know where that is coming from…

    • Interesting that Mike Hopkins is in Brooklyn today.

    • Jayhawk – best recruiting news in how long? how about a week, how many all americans do you have on your team?

    • terpmasterX….where did you see Dupree is transferring?

    • Terpmaster, what do you not understand about Lance continuously listing St Johns as one of his final schools? That isnt the media saying that, it is Lance and his posse. College Park is 200 miles from Brooklyn. Lawrence,KS is damn near 1300 miles. He was saying that when he was going to commit to KU. I dont care where Lance goes, but I just find it highly unlikely he will go to Maryland. If Vasquez leaves, who do you guys have? He was the whole team this year. St Johns isnt very good but at least they have the hometown thing working for them.

      BShann….good point! haha

    • BShann, what are you talking about? Best recruiting news KU has gotten in a long time, a week? I guess i don’t understand what you’re saying.

    • reported that BeasMD13.

      Jayhawkfan11, LANCE himself said he was too scared to stay in NY and wanted out, not me. If Vasquez leaves, and we dont get Lance (which i think we will), we still have a great chance of landing DeShawn Painter. Also, we have our big man Jordan Williams and James Padgett (Lance’s boy) coming in.

    • RochChalk – I guess everything is relative, how many All Americans have you recruited this year besides Henry? Think about SJU, last AA was Omar Cook and he’s ready to have grand kids by now.

      Count your blessings!

    • BShann- Alright then, I do get your point now. At least the best recruiting news in a couple years though. At a high caliber school with one of the best recruiters in the nation, I do expect a good class coming in every year. We weren’t able to snare an AA last year or this year until now, and with KU just needing one more player to fill a gap, I think this is huge news for a potential title next year. Maybe SJU gets Lance and everyone ends up happy? Besides Terpmaster, and who really cares about Maryland. ha

    • Mike Hopkins is not in Brooklyn today and Syracuse is not recruiting Lance.

      • Well he should be in Brooklyn right now. Lance is clearly less than enamored with his current choices and we NEED some players. If Lance chooses KU over his options at this point it will kill me that we didn’t get involved.

    • If I’m in a BCS conference, I am calling Lance Stephenson today. What do you have to lose?

    • I have to believe that Lance will be a great fit at Maryland, especially with Padgett playing. It’s a great school with a great arena, great fans, and he will certainly be appreciated. He’ll get to show off his skills in the ACC against the best competition in the country, with a large television market. It’s close enough to NYC that his friends and family can follow him and yet far enough away to stay out of trouble. Lance, will look great throwing it down in Comcast!

    • homertuck, more info on the supposed Vasquez announcement:

      jayhawkfan11 – it’s not a given that a talented player makes every team better. It all depends on the team’s situation (see JJ Hickson at NC State for a recent example of a good player disrupting a team’s chemistry). At this point the situation is what it is – it may not be Lance’s ideal situation, but it’s really not that bad.

    • cosmkdbree, I couldnt have said it better myself. We would have a legitimate shot next season with Lance in the line-up.

    • Rumormill is saying that Terps will continue to go after Painter too.

    • Sounds like Dupree will be going to either Loyola or Tulane. Both of these programs are run by former Maryland assistants.

    • Terpmaster, a legitimate shot at what? The ACC title?

      • LOL! I was about to ask the same thing.

    • At making the NCAA tourney?

    • At finishing .500 in the ACC?

    • LOL. keep’em coming.

    • jayhawkfan……..I’m sure you’ll have a great team next year. But just so you know, ANY team that wins the ACC title will also have a good shot at the National Championship. That’s just stats, including this year. You can look it up yourself, I’m sure.

    • At actually beating Morgan State next year?

    • For those of you on this blog who are unfamiliar with the University of Maryland, the Terrapins have the best athletic facilities of any university in the country. Maryland also has the second best fans, and they are rated the 18th best academically of all public schools. (Kansas is 40th.) These aren’t my opinions. They are the Princeton Review rankings. See for yourself:

    • Oh man here we go again, first Kentucky fans must tell us why they are better, and now we have to listen to Marylan…i mean honestly, maryland? funny

      • Oh yeah, that’s real accurate. Debate Stephenson’s college destination and Maryland’s 10′ prospects with like three Maryland fans and render stereotypical judgement.

    • Not me, it’s Princeton Review. Besides, weren’t you the ones stating how much better Kansas was just a moment ago? Surely Kansas must be good at something? Well, you do seem to have a good basketball program……

    • By the way…….here’s a stat for you. Looks like Maryland has a 2-0 record against KU in basketball too. Played each other twice, and Maryland has won both, once in the Final Four.

    • Ha, yes. Lets argue basketball between Maryland and KU, that would really go in your favor. No, i’m not that bored, thanks though. We both know how that would go.

    • Either way everyone knows that KU is the front runner for the title. And if Lance really wanted to win a title in the one year he is going to be in college…why wouldn’t he still want to come to KU?

      • His decision is probably gonna come down more to exposure. I’d go to KU now if my priority was a title. But this kid has a one and done mindset from everything written (least what I’ve seen). For that you wouldn’t think he’d wanna be around a Henry, Collins, & Aldrich. Personally, I don’t really trust Lance to pair the priorities he’s cited in making a decision with the school that best fits that choice. Maryland is everything he’s wanted. ACC exposure, first-rate facilities, a good but not great cast in which he can be featured, a great coach, and by chance he’d open with a great inaugural appearance in Maui.

        No chance any logical fan would argue MD vs KU on talent next season. But MD fits every description he’s laid out when making a choice. The fact he hasn’t made it by now, leads me to believe he’s not sold on MD.

        And I don’t even remember who said it but the Kentucky comparison is weak sauce. They sold their souls when they picked up Calipari, their excitement emanates from knowing every recruit in the book is now in their hip pockets. At least when Maryland sucks it’s because they’re not getting players.

    • I don’t think his decison will come down to exposure, he’s had plenty of it. Ppl(NBA Scouts & GM’s) know who he is and they’ll be sure to keep an eye on him where ever he decides to go.