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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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)
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.