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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Henry Says Decision “Biggest of His Life”; Cousins Wants Escape Clause With UAB
Xavier Henry, the No. 1 shooting guard in the Class of 2009, is down to Kansas and Memphis, and says he will sign in the spring.
“It’s the biggest decision of my life and I think about it every day,” Henry told ESPNU’s Lowell Galindo on Friday. “And when the time is right I think I’ll let everybody know where I’m going.”
Henry’s father, Carl, went to Kansas and his brother, C.J. Henry, enrolled at Memphis to play basketball for John Calipari.
“Of course my brother going to Memphis is a plus,” he said. “I just look at the playing styles and the people that are going to be there when I’m there and who can take care of me right.”
Both Kansas coach Bill Self and Calipari have been to visit the Henrys recently. Both desperately need a talented wing player to come in next year. Kansas recently lost out on Michael Snaer and both schools are still involved with Henry, Dominic Cheek of St. Anthony in Jersey City and Lance Stephenson of Brooklyn Lincoln. Cheek (pictured) is visiting Memphis officially this weekend.
Yet Henry is seen as the ultimate prize.
“They’re just going to get a great player who loves team chemistry and will do anything to win,” Henry said of his skills.
Henry originally planned to sign in the early signing period (Nov. 12-19) but will now wait until the late period (April 15-May 20) because he was in a car accident Oct. 22. He recently underwent surgery to repair a fractured cheekbone but says he’s recovering nicely.
“I just got the stitches out of my face the other day and my swelling in my face is going down pretty good so probably in about 4-6 weeks I’ll be able to play again,” he said.
“It made me think a little bit deeper into who I really want to go to and who will take care of me, so it made a little bit of a difference with this happening.”
HENRY SCOUTING REPORT FROM MARK ADAMS OF ESPNU: “He’s really good, he’s special. Xavier Henry has an NBA body. He’s got a versatile game. He can slash and dash in the paint. He finishes with authority. When he gets his shoulders by a defender, he’s gone. He’s got that feathery left-handed touch. he brings chemistry to a team. i think this is the one kid who is physically one-and-done unless he enjoys that college experience.”
COUSINS WANTS ESCAPE CLAUSE FROM UABDeMarcus Cousins, the No. 1 center in the Class of 2009, may not sign with Alabama-Birmingham in the early period because he wants an escape clause if head coach Mike Davis should end up leaving, USA Today reported.
“That’s exactly it,” Cousins said Wednesday night. “It (an agreement) would be between me and Coach Davis.”
If UAB doesn’t agree to his clause, Cousins would wait until the late signing period (April-May 2009) before signing.
“I’m just waiting, and I’m going to see how the season goes for them (UAB) and other schools,” he said. “I hope I can still sign in the early signing period, but it’s looking more like that may not happen.”
Devin Ebanks had such an escape clause when he committed to Indiana a year ago. He ultimately decommitted after Kelvin Sampson was let go and ended up at West Virginia.
Cousins scored 16 points as Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore beat Baker 65-35 on Friday night.
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.