Self Never Doubted Henry Boys Were Jayhawks

Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self acknowledged the last 72 hours were "a little different" and "frustrating," but he never questioned the verbal commitment made by Xavier and CJ Henry to be Jayhawks.

"Never in this situation have I questioned whether their word was good, ever," Bill Self said in a teleconference Wednesday afternoon.
 
Nevertheless, Self and assistants Joe Dooley and Danny Manning made an 11th-hour trip to Oklahoma City to visit with the Henry brothers, father Carl and mother Barbara to reconfirm their commitment to Kansas.
 
This most recent – and hopefully final – chapter in the Henrys' recruitment was fueled by an article in the Kansas City Star that Carl Henry thought cast his family in a negative light.
 
Self said that after the article ran, internet posts on KU blogs and internet message boards made the family feel "disappointed and hurt." Carl Henry reacted by wondering in the media if Kansas was the right place for his sons to be.
 
Meanwhile, however, Xavier and CJ stayed firm in their commitment.
 
"This (trip to Oklahoma City) was more about the parents than the boys," Self said. "The boys were fine. They were like, ‘What are you doing here?' Once we got it to a resolution – which really didn't take much – they were fine."

Self continued, "Carl obviously went on radio and told his feelings, and he is an open and honest guy."
 
In the interest of maintaining a measure of sanity, one may not hear quite so much openness and honestly from Carl for awhile.
 
"I didn't ask (the Henrys) to (cut back on talking with the media), but I think it's wise if that occurs. We didn't go into that much, though," Self said. "Carl's a lot like me. I talk too much to the media; I get on a roll. Carl does that; he gets on a roll sometimes. He said what's in his heart, and that's caused some turmoil, but he understands. He gets it."
 
"Carl understands that when he speaks publicly, a lot of people are listening."
 
One comment that had Jayhawk fans in a tizzy was that Xavier and CJ's coach would have to be "on-board" with their fast-track aspirations to an NBA career. In typical Self fashion, the coach didn't see it as inflammatory at all.
 
"I'm the coach, and they know that. When they signed up to have the boys play for me and for (Kansas), they gave the boys to us. When a statement like that is made, it wasn't meant to be made in way that they're different than everyone else. It's not my intent that anyone would come in and live out their dream only and jeopardize the team."
 
Self said that there are a lot of ways to interpret that remark, including a basketball-savvy father wanting to make sure his sons' gifts and talents are maximized to put both them and the team in a position to succeed.
 
"I didn't read into that negatively at all. Carl and I have a good relationship. He's very much aware: he knows there's one guy in charge and one guy only," Self said.
 
Summertime recruiting drama seems to be on the rise all over the country, particularly at high-profile programs like Kansas, but Self explained that this situation was highly unusual, something of a perfect storm.
 
"This has been a unique situation because you have a young man who's committed to Memphis.  You have his brother who thought he was going to be a Jayhawk and then followed his brother to Memphis. You have a coaching change (at Memphis). Then you have a parent who's been open about what's going on rather than holding all his cards… so that's been different. But we haven't done anything different in their recruitment than we have any other player. It's just been magnified by the press."
 
"It hasn't been as much drama for me as it has been for the fans," Self said.

Xavier Henry Scout.com Profile
C.J. Henry Scout.com Profile

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