Henry Headed to Lawrence

Xavier Henry's recruiting saga finally came to an end on Thursday as the Oklahoma City star confirmed his intentions to become a Kansas Jayhawk. This will make Kansas the hands down favorite to claim another national title next season.

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 head coach John Calipari 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 announcement.

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 greatest asset.

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.

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