Henry Anxious to Make Impact for DePaul

After sitting out the 2013-14 basketball season, former Illini Myke Henry is ready to hit the court for the Blue Demons this season.

Myke Henry left Champaign-Urbana for DePaul in Chicago because Illini coach John Groce saw Henry as a power forward, but Henry wanted to spend more time on the wing. At DePaul, Henry will get his opportunity to contribute at the small forward position beginning this season.

At Illinois the 6-6, 210 lb. forward averaged 3.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game as a sophomore. He was also named an academic All-Big Ten selection during his final season with the Fighting Illini.

Henry’s best game came late in the season. On March 2nd, 2013, Henry scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds and knocked down two 3-pointers while playing 26 minutes against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

This year Myke will get the opportunity to live up to the billing that he had back in the Chicago Public League in high school. Coming out of Chicago Orr High School three years ago, Henry was rated as a four-star prospect, the 64th best overall prospect, and the 18th best small forward in the nation by Scout.com. Henry averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds per game during his senior season at Orr.

Henry, who will wear number four for the Blue Demons this season, feels that the year he spent sitting out will do him some good.

“I just increased my knowledge about the game and my knowledge outside of the game,” said Myke. “It’s really helped me out as a person to get to know the basketball game better and to get in tune with the system.”

DePaul coach Oliver Purnell also feels that Henry benefitted over the course of the last year.

“We’re happy to have Myke,” said Purnell. “I think the year has done him a lot of good. He’s familiar with our system a little bit. He’s familiar with me and the rest of the coaching staff, which I think is helpful. He obviously has a lot of ability. It’s really important that he shake off the rust and come out and really help us. We’re certainly counting on him. His ability level is high, there is no question about that. The key is when the lights go on, he’s ready to go, and how long it takes him to adjust to that. Hopefully not very long.”

While Henry has adjusted to his new home at DePaul, he does still keep in touch with some of his old teammates at Illinois.

“I still talk with Tracy Abrams, he’s my best friend,” said Myke.

While the Blue Demons and Illini haven’t met on the basketball court since 1957, it’s possible that the two teams could face each other in the Gavitt Tipoff Games beginning in 2015, where Big East schools will face Big Ten schools.

“I would be excited to play them,” said Myke. “This is a new beginning for me, but it would be nice to play them.”

If the Blue Demons are going to have any kind of success this season, they are going to need newcomers like Henry to step in and contribute.

For now, Henry is working on his game, attending summer classes, getting to know his DePaul teammates and preparing for the season.

“I’ve known Billy (Garrett, Jr.) and Tommy (Hamilton IV) since they were younger, I already know how they play,” said Henry who played for the same AAU program as Garrett and Hamilton. “The new guys, I’m getting along with them and getting to know them. We’re building chemistry early.”

Henry is anxious to make his mark on the court for the Blue Demons this season, something DePaul fans will be just as anxious to see.

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