Xavier Prefers Memphis

Xavier Henry announced for the Memphis Tigers Tuesday morning. Until minutes before the announcement, the parties involved were in the dark.

If it was the element of surprise that was the goal, then mission accomplished.

Outside of Xavier Henry, and possibly his parents, when Scout.com's No. 4 prospect laid his head on the pillow Monday night, few had any idea what would happen Tuesday morning. It wasn't merely the outcome but the process that caught all parties involved by surprise.

"Nervous, we haven't spoken to him," one coach said. "I don't feel good."

"I wasn't even sure if the announcement was on eastern or central time," a different assistant relayed.

Apparently, Henry decided to announce Tuesday morning and then went undercover. Unreachable, the rumor (later confirmed) that he was announcing ran rampant by 11 p.m. None of the parties involved – Kansas or Memphis – was in the loop. Were they nervous? You betcha.

Minutes before the announcement, a text message: "It's Memphis." We think he called the programs right before the TV announcement.

Henry, on television Tuesday morning, choose Memphis over Kansas.

In the end, Henry said the deciding factor was playing with his brother. Keeping the family together was his priority.

KU bested Memphis for Thomas Robinson this fall. Memphis countered with C.J. Henry, Xavier's brother. The personal tug of war between the national championship combatants just tilted Memphis' way.


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