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Wednesday / December 13.
  • Henry Says No Kentucky Visit Set Yet

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    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.”

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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.

    • Here’s the thing with Kansas, Henry and Stephenson. Was explained to me in detail by someone who knows.

      KU appears to have only one scholarship open, but they really have two available. They’ve offered scholarships to both Lance and Xavier, and could take both. Lance was ready to commit before Calipari moved to UK, but when Calipari left, KU had the chance (again) to sign Henry. Lance wanted an assurance that KU wasn’t signing any other highly rated wings. Before Calipari left, Self could give Lance that assurance. But after Calipari left, Self couldn’t tell Lance that KU had no interest in Henry. So Lance held off because he didn’t want to share the spotlight with another high scoring freshman. That’s still where things are. Henry wouldn’t mind the two playing together, but Lance would, so he’s waiting to see what Henry does.

      Anyway, like I said, Self offered scholarships to both players. That’s because Self has a deal with Roger Morningstar, a former KU player and father of current KU G Brady Morningstar, that he would pay Brady’s way for any year in which Self filled more than all of KU’s available scholarships with highly rated recruits. At the time he signed, Brady Morningstar was not top 100, or even close, in any service, and he wouldn’t otherwise have received a scholarship. But with this deal, the Morningstars get Brady on the team, and worst case scenario, Roger has to pay in-state tuition for a year or two. That wouldn’t even be a bad thing, as Roger has money and is a big supporter of the program. It was also a good deal for Self, because it gives him flexibility in recruiting, and as it turned out, Brady was a starter this past season.

      Hope this makes sense.

      Cheers-

      Monty

      • Good stuff, I’d heard that same thing as well.

        The other thing I just found out recently was that Tyrel Reed’s sister is currently a team manager (not getting any subsidy). So if KU were to offer over their limit, they could make Tyrel a walk on, but give his sister a managerial scholarship so it’s still the same net cost to the family.

        As to your note below, I also think they’re expecting a decision to come within a week or so.

    • Brady was a 4 star prep player up here in my neck of the woods. He was absolutely a scholarship player at most schools, though maybe not Kansas.

    • Good post, Adam — great info. Question: Has the Henry family already petitioned the NCAA regarding CJ playing next year at a new school or do they have to wait until after he actually transfers before they can file this request?

    • Monty,
      This is good stuff, thanks. What if Xavier doesn’t decide for another few weeks? Lance is just going to wait on him?

      Rah,
      As I understand it. the student-athlete must transfer and then ask for the waiver. Given how many people were not given waivers last year (including the two kids up here at Seton Hall), I don’t see why the NCAA would grant one to C.J., but that’s just my personal opinion. In that case, you have to wonder if X just stays at Memphis.

      • Adam,

        From what I’ve heard, the KU staff isn’t expecting Henry to take much longer. I don’t think they really believe Memphis is a serious option for him. They think he’s just choosing between KU and UK, and that he’ll decide in a few days.

        Cheers,

        Monty

        • Monty or Adam,

          Do you know if the KU staff is confident that Lance will choose KU if X goes with Cal? Is SJU only an option if X goes to Kansas?

    • I think KU was Lance’s first option, but he has to be at least a little put off about how this has played out. He’s a competitive kid and I’m sure he doesn’t think anyone, including X, is better than him.

      Worst case scenario for KU is X goes to Kentucky and Lance stays home at SJU or goes somewhere else.

      Can’t wait to see how it unfolds…

    • So “Born Ready” really means “Born Ready to Play Second Fiddle”
      I’m shocked that he and his Dad are willing to have him sit there on a chair at the dance while Self is dancing with Henry telling him he’s the prettiest.
      Lance should grow a pair and tell him to shove it and go to St. John’s where he’ll be the STAR.

      • So Johnny when you say Lance will be a “star” at SJU, do you mean like Mike Rosario at Rutgers? Leading the team in scoring while losing 20 games and finishing in the Big East cellar. Lance coming to KU would mean pre-season #1 ranking and a boat loads of national TV time. At KU is where he will be a star.

        • No I mean like be a STAR at Madison Square Garden in the real Manhattan.

    • Or Lance could just beat Henry to the one sure available scholarship at KU. And have a chance to win a National Championship.

    • LOL @ Demarcus Cousins. He’s seems like a good guy to be around. Hopefully everything works out for these kids and they make the right choices.

    • Lance2KU, it doesn’t matter where lance’s goes, he’s gunna be a star where ever he goes.

    • why is it OK for Cousins to lobby X and Wall to go to UK? Is he somehow not considered a representative of the university?

      the NCAA makes a stink about facebook groups but do they not care when a player (who might actually affect a recruit’s decision) applies pressure?