Self: "It's a huge get"

Kansas Basketball didn't just tie up loose ends on their recruiting for the 2009-10 season; they put a huge, red bow on it.

Xavier Henry, Scout.com's #6-ranked senior in the country, announced his intention to attend the University of Kansas at a news conference Thursday morning at Putnam City (OK) High School, and Bill Self couldn't be happier.
 
"It's a huge get, not just to get one of the best prospects in the country and fill a need but we also recruited his family. To see everything come full circle, it's a huge get," he said.
 
The KU head basketball coach said Henry's commitment filled a very definite need in the Kansas line-up.
 
"I see him having chance to come in and impact us in a big way. Last year, we didn't have a big perimeter player. Xavier's big (6-6, 225). He can score, he can defend, he can post up a smaller player. He can do some different things that we couldn't do much of or any of last year."
 
He added, "Before last year's team, we were able to have balance and guys who could score from all five spots. Our young guys played great this year and they're going to be better next year, but we had some needs to address, and through our recruiting, we addressed those needs."
 
Henry averaged 28.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as a high school senior last season. His commitment – along with C Cole Aldrich and G Sherron Collins' decisions to return to KU next fall – makes the Jayhawks the media's clear-cut preseason favorite to win the national title. Self, on the other hand, hesitated to make any comparisons between a team that had never seen the floor together and his 2007-08 national championship squad.
 
"That team had three guys who are rookies and are starting for their NBA teams and a fourth who's playing significant minutes for his team and a fifth who would be in the league but chose to go overseas," he cautioned. "I don't know if (this team has) the same kind of numbers to do what those guys have done after college, but I know we have numbers, we have depth and we have some guys who are pretty good at what they do."
 
It's also thought that the Jayhawks got a two-for-one deal. Xavier Henry's older brother, CJ, is expected to join Xavier in Lawrence. Self, however, couldn't answer questions regarding CJ because he hadn't been admitted to the University yet.
 
CJ Henry originally signed to play basketball at Kansas out of high school but was chosen by the New York Yankees as the number one pick of the 2005 baseball draft. He averaged 23.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.4 steals a game as a senior at Putnam City HS.
 
Henry rode the buses for three seasons before signing last August to play basketball for John Calipari at Memphis. Xavier also committed to the Tigers, as well, in an effort to keep his family close.
 
CJ sat out the 2008-09 season. When Calipari took the head coaching job at Kentucky after the season, both he and Xavier decided to re-open their recruitments.
 
CJ (6-3, 205) will join the Kansas team as a walk-on. He can't be awarded a scholarship since he played professional baseball; however, as part of his baseball contract, the Yankees are picking up the tab for his college education.

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