This story had more twists and turns than a Six Flags rollercoaster.
Over three years worth of recruiting finally came full circle on
Thursday for Bill Self
and the Kansas
Jayhawks as 6-6 swingman Xavier
Henry announced he would indeed play for KU next season.
Self's battle with then Memphis
head coach – now Kentucky
over Henry turned out similarly to the national
championship game last year. For most of the game it looked like
Calipari had the edge but in the end Self again came through and stole
away the ultimate prize.
Last summer strong rumors floated around that Henry was a strong
Memphis lean so no one was surprised when he donned the Tigers' cap on
November 18, 2008 displaying his college choice on ESPNU. It
appeared John Calipari had won this battle - but not so fast…
When Billy Gillispie
was ousted at Kentucky Calipari took the leap to
the upper tier program and took the chance the Henry brothers, Xavier
and C.J. would not come along for the ride. Since Cal took over in
Lexington, both coaches were again locked in a head-to-head duel for
the services of Xavier.
The last month or so every day seemed to bring a new rumor. The Henrys
were visiting Kentucky, they weren't. They were going to KU, they might
not. It tested the patience of Kansas fans. Xavier and C.J.'s father
Carl was entertaining the questions but no one REALLY knew what his
Xavier would do until Tuesday night.
But Xavier's Thursday news conference wasn't without some drama. When
asked if brother C.J. would also attend KU there was no confirmation
and Xavier's mother informed the press that C.J. wanted to have his own
Xavier will be the missing piece for Kansas next season. He is the
consistent swingman KU sorely missed at times last season. He's not as
smooth as Brandon Rush
was but he makes up for it with freakish
strength. His body is NBA-ready and his game isn't too far behind. His
ability to take the hit in traffic and still finish is probably his
Scout.com's Dave Telep on Xavier Henry's heading to KU:
"Xavier is a a
legitimate impact guy. This is a major piece in the national
championship run Kansas
is hoping to make. He's the guy who can bust the big
three, has the
championship frame and a winning edge to his game."
Self once again proved you can never count him out of a recruiting race
and he has now officially garnered the services of three critical
"recruits" to KU's success next season in the last month – Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins,
and now prep star Xavier Henry.
Kansas head coach Bill Self will speak to the media regarding Xavier at
2 p.m. CT.
Henry Headed to Lawrence
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