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Monday / December 18.
  • Henrys Won't Visit UK; Kansas Rumors Flying

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    The Xavier and C.J. Henry Sweepstakes took another turn Tuesday night when Carl Henry announced that his sons would not visit Kentucky this week.

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

    Several sites are reporting that the Henrys have decided on Kansas, but Carl said no decision had yet been reached.

    “I think they’re going to decide this week,” he said in a phone interview. “To me they know enough. Kansas is Kansas. Kentucky is Kentucky.”

    A Kansas source said Tuesday they had not heard directly from the family, but a source very close to the situation said: “They’re going to end up going to Kansas.”

    Considering that Xavier has never been to Kentucky, it would be somewhat surprising if he committed there without having seeing the campus at all.

    “I’ve never paid any special attention to Kentucky,” Henry said Saturday in a video interview with The Shiver.

    Asked what he thought about Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich returning to Kansas, Xavier said: “It means a lot to me that they’re going to try and stay and win it all.”

    Asked if Memphis head coach Josh Pastner had met with the boys this week, Carl said: “He might’ve met with C.J [at Memphis]. Xavier is in Oklahoma.”

    Carl said Pastner had C.J. “trying to change his mind” about leaving Memphis for another school. Pastner, of course, recruited both brothers to Memphis.

    C.J., whose tuition is being paid by the Yankees because he was once a farmhand of theirs, is a walk-on and would have to get an NCAA waiver to play immediately next year.

    One thing is clear: Carl wants C.J. to pack his bags and leave Memphis after the year.

    “That’s what I told him to do,” Carl said. It’s “either Kansas or Kentucky. They won’t stay at Memphis.”

    Xavier told me last week, however, that Memphis was still an option.

    “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.”

    After Saturday night’s Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden, both Kentucky coach John Calipari and Kansas coach Bill Self met with Xavier in New York to make their pitches. Calipari went first and Self second.

    Asked where the boys would end up, Carl said: “I already told them what I think. They gotta choose their own school.

    “It’s the same thing. Kansas is Kansas. Kentucky is Kentucky. Both are good schools. They’re the ones who are going to choose their school.”

    If Xavier and C.J. do decide this week, look for Lance Stephenson to follow suit shortly. Stephenson has kept a low profile, but if the Henrys go to Kentucky, Lance could end up at Kansas.

    If the Henrys pick Kansas, Stephenson could land at St. John’s or Maryland.

    “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.

    As reported here first on Sunday, Maryland coach Gary Williams made a last-minute pitch by visiting the Stephensons last Friday at their Coney Island home.

    The weekend before, Kansas’ Self flew to New York to meet with the Stephensons, and the family then took an official visit to St. John’s that same day.

    (photos courtesy Jayhawkslant.com; Kelly Kline)

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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.

    • FWIW On Catspause.com the Kentucky fans seem rather convinced that the Henry’s have made their decision and that it is Kansas. They expect the announcement sometime tonight. They referenced someone named Maggard…I think that is Marc Maggard and he supposedly is known for covering UK sports and having UK sports news scoops.

      • He is known for getting things wrong a lot

    • Kansas and Kentucky rivals sites are both reporting this, as are the independent Kentucky Ink and Shiver.com. Sounds like this could be a done deal.

      Lance, Syracuse is going to need some guards!

    • If true about the Henry’s to KU, after getting all caught up in this soap opera for so long I am basically just really curious to what Lance is really going to do if Kansas is out for him. I accepted a long time ago that he apparently is not interested in Maryland. But is it actually going to be St. John’s now? I respect them but I just have never seen an adequate explanation of how/why the thing about him getting away from NYC suddenly was not a significant consideration.

    • @Adam, sites are saying it is KU. There is also some guy in a KU chat room that says he has sources VERY close to Coach Pastner saying they are going to stay in Memphis? Any word on what is going down?

    • What’s wrong with Cuse?

    • Any word? I just posted everything I know! LOL
      If I hear more, I’ll post it.

      • Adam….I was hoping you may confirm somthing for me if you can. There is a rumor out there that there will be a press conference in Memphis tomm @ 2:30p stating that the Henry’s will be going to Memphis. There is even a flight # they are suppose to be on: NWA, Flight 2258 out of OKC arriving in Memphis at 1pm. Can you confirm any such press conference tomm…..or can you confirm this flight info with the Henry’s. Any help here would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Adam,
      Memphis recruiting site posted around 9:15 Central time that they had decided on Kansas but approx. 30 minutes later recanted that saying that things were changing by the minute and no definite decision had been reached.

      One question has been raised and wonder if you can shed any light. Apparently CJ originally (out of HS) signed a LOI with Kansas and then obviously did not honor that. I was under the impression that there was some Big 12 rule about once signing with a Big 12 school and then not honoring that commitment you could no longer play for ANY big 12 school. I believe that’s how Roburt Sallie ended up at Memphis – he signed with Nebraska out of HS but then didn’t attend so couldn’t return there or any other Big 12 school.

      Do you have the particulars on that

      • He did commit to KU in 2005, but just orally, he never signed an LOI
        http://kusports.com/news/2005/may/19/ballyhooed_oklahoman_commits/

        And this quote from the article might explain to some of you UK guys why the KU fans are so grumpy and impatient, we’ve been following X for 4 years now…

        “Even if Henry doesn’t show up, there could be another member of the family playing at KU some day. C.J.’s 14-year-old brother, Xavier, already is 6-6 and is projected as a future blue-chipper.”

    • That doesn’t make any sense RikL, there have been lots of players play at more than 1 Big 12 school. The entire Baylor lineup (practically) after the Bliss fiasco, Luke Axtell transferred from Texas to Kansas, Damion James signed a LOI with Kelvin then went to Texas… I’m sure it’s even longer than that.

      • Big Ben
        I’m sure you are correct on those and I’m no expert on the Big 12 recruiting particulars. I was only aware of it because is was apparently an issue for Sallie in his decision to come to Memphis last year. I know he was involved in some way with Nebraska out of HS, ended up in a JUCO and then could not return to Neb due to some Big 12 rule – what exactly that is / was I can’t tell you. just know the CJ Henry situation is along those same lines though not exact.

    • He could not return to Nebraska because he had already taken a class there. That’s an NCAA rule not a Big 12 rule.

    • Sorry, they admitted him too early. Just a major error in bookkeeping by Nebraska that made Sallie unable to accept a scholarship.

      • OK that makes sense, thanks. I was pretty sure he had never taken a class as I knew that stipulation.
        I’m guessing you have no information on whether CJ enrolled at KU b4 or after he signed with the Yankees??

        • Nope, not really a KU fan just a basketball fan. I would assume not since the baseball draft is in June.

    • This is a damn circus!!!!!

      • Amen on that one!!

        • If it’s such a circus stop following it, clowns.

    • Here we go with the poignant insider information from Mr. Carl Henry again. You’d think his own son would know he had a prom this weekend.

    • For a great summation of the Henry circus read this article. http://thememphisedge.com/2009/04/21/the-henrys-need-to-stop-talking-now/

    • Adam, does this mean Lance is truly down to only UMD and SJU and you think the visit by Gary changed Lances desicion?

    • Gohard, you are the biggest clown on zagsblog. 99 percent of the stuff you write you have no idea what you are talking about.

      Mikey R. to answer your question. I dont think so. Norm Roberts just visited face to face with lance last week as well. Gary Williams is a great coach but I think Lance has already made up his mind that he will go to St Johns if X goes to KU.

      I dont have anything against Maryland, it has been a solid program, and if you guys got Lance…GREAT! I root for everyone to beat Duke and UNC in the ACC. I just dont think Lance will ever be a Terrapin.

    • I saw the info about the flight from OKC to Memphis as well. If you visit OKC’s airport website, there is a flight 2258 from OKC to Memphis. But, I could go on there and find a flight from OKC to KC,etc and list the flight number and say the same thing. I dont buy into it.

    • I wish Lance would just wrap this up. Its ridiculous, if he is not going to be a terp why doesnt just pick SJU so the terps can lock up Deshawn Painter. But obviously if Lance was sure about SJU would have made the commitment already. So hopefully he is still considering UMD.

      Also im not so sold on the Henrys leaving Memphis. At memphis, Xavier and C.J. could play together right away and not have to worry about C.J. getting a pass from the NCAA to play right away as a transfer. But in the end Kansas more than likely end up with these two recruits.

    • I find it interesting that for a while Adam had written off Maryland as even a possibility for Lance. Now suddenly it’s “If the Henrys pick Kansas, Stephenson could land at St. John’s or Maryland.” I guess that’s because those are the only other schools remaining (that we know of) in this recruitment that, for me, jumped the shark about 2 weeks ago.

      On one level I wish people would stop calling the Henry’s and stop sticking michrophones and video cameras in their faces tryna find out their decision. At some point you gotta let a kid be a kid. It’s an important decision for them, biggest one in their lives to-date.

      • Well Fox Sports is now reporting Xavier has committed to Kansas. Goldman doesn’t exactly go out on many limbs so we can probably trust Self has received word from the family. @Adam: When is Lance going to visit Syracuse?

    • I think Adam was just doing his job by reporting what he was hearing from people around Lance in terms of his not being interested in Maryland. Now he is simply being respectful of Gary I think, which I appreciate.

      Ultimately this all boils down to the fact that there was a ‘perfect storm’ of factors.

      But still, you are right Russ. Fonzi has been flying through the air with a grin on his face for a long time regarding this dramedy.

    • Foxsports is reporting Xavier to KU.

      • I just saw the same report on Foxsports. I have mixed feelings about getting the Henry’s. I would really like to have them but I am worried about all the drama they may bring to us. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

    • Speaking of which, some comic relief if definitely in order here!

      The Fonz Jumps the Shark