If a player and those around him aren’t careful, the process of being recruited can become quite stressful. Constantly playing for your future, talking to coaches and fielding questions from the media are all potentially stressful things for a 17 or 18 year old. With that in mind, Terrance Henry made sure he cut his list down to a manageable number as early as possible.
According to his high school coach Chris Oney, the move has made life much easier for the six-foot-nine inch forward from Monroe (LA) Carroll.
“I think we’ve done a good job of going in the direction early that he wanted to go in,” Oney told Phog.Net. “He didn’t allow a lot of people to come in just so he could say a certain school was recruiting him. That kind of cut down a lot on the hassle and made him more comfortable.”
Shortly after finishing up his summer basketball schedule, Henry cut his list to the five schools -- Arkansas, Kansas, LSU, Miami, Mississippi -- that remain involved in his recruitment and now he’s going through the visitation process. After hosting each of those five schools in his home, Henry will take official visits to each of them in the order of Miami, Ole Miss, Arkansas, and LSU before finishing up at Kansas in October.
A multi skilled forward who can run and has face up skills, Henry’s recruitment has benefited from timing.
“It’s not only talent, it’s timing,” said Oney. ‘Everybody is looking for the next Kevin Durant or that kind of caliber player. Schools all want big guys who are versatile and can face up and play all over.”
Now in his second year of coaching Henry, Oney says that his star player has been a dream both on and off of the court.
“Very rarely as a coach do you walk into a system and your best player is 6-9, left handed, can run like a deer, play four positions and is a great kid,” said Oney. “He’s all yes sir, no sir. We tell him what we think is best for him and his development and he doesn’t second guess us, he just does it. That’s a credit to his mom.”
While he still needs to add more bulk and strength, coaches see a lot of potential in the soft spoken Henry. After not even averaging double figures as a sophomore, Henry took a big step forward last year that Oney and the coaches recruiting him see continuing down the road
“A lot of the people who are recruiting him are the same people who saw him before his emergence as a player like he is now,” said Oney. “They think that with another three years and some coaching that they could have a great player on their hands.”
As a coach, Oney says that it’s his job to guide Henry through the process and separate the strengths and weaknesses of each program. The task, is something that is easier said than done.
“With the type of schools that are recruiting him they all get paid a lot of money to do what they do,” said Oney. “They’ve all done a good job of letting him know about their program and doing their best to be unique in their approach.”
In regards to Kansas, Oney says that they’ve worked just as hard as anybody else.
“Kansas is Kansas, they’ve done an excellent job of recruiting him,” said Oney of the Jayhawks. “But, I think all of them have worked pretty hard and unique in their own way.”
In their recruitment of Henry, the Jayhawk staff has often compared him to a former player.
“Bill Self thinks of him as a Julian Wright that can shoot it a little better. I don’t know if that’s right or fair but I hope that’s right because that would mean Terrance is a high draft pick,” said Oney. “If he wants to compare him to a guy picked that high in the draft then that’s a pretty nice honor.”
Now that Henry has started the visitation process, a decision is looming. While no exact date for a decision has been set, Henry should decide shortly after his visits are completed and available playing time and comfort level with the staff and players will be extremely important.
Because of the work done by his star pupil early on in the recruiting process, Oney doesn’t see how Henry can go wrong.
“I’ve told him that the kind of schools that are recruiting him, he can’t really go wrong,” said Oney. “He’s in a unique situation where I don’t see that he can make a bad choice in terms of going somewhere that he can get playing time and an opportunity. I think that every school that is recruiting him is on the same playing field.”