Peach Jam: Henry Schedules UNC Visit

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. --- Xavier Henry has already established himself as the top two guard in the rising junior class. And now he's also already one of the Tar Heels' top targets.

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    North Carolina showed the full extent of its interest in Henry by offering him a scholarship earlier this month.

    "Coach Williams called me a couple weeks ago in the morning and told me how he wanted me, how [good] he thought I was and that I had a scholarship offer," Henry recalled. "He told me I had a scholarship offer."

    The Tar Heels are one of three schools that have been at the head of the pack for the Oklahoma City (Okla.) Putnam City star for a while now.

    "Kansas, Memphis and North Carolina – those are my big three schools," Henry said, and then explained what sets each school apart.

    "Kansas is the family tradition and how they pack it into the Fieldhouse. North Carolina is also a family tradition because ... my dad played under [Larry Brown at Kansas]. It's a good school and they play a great tempo. And Memphis, a run and gun team, that's what I like about them."

    In his Peach Jam opener on Thursday morning, Henry managed 29 points in spite of the fact that his usually reliable three-point shot wasn't falling for him. He attacked the basket, drew fouls and showed the polish and maturity (both physical and mental) in his game that has analysts thinking he's not only the No. 1 shooting guard in the 2009 class, but that he would give the top-ranked shooting guards in 2008 and 2007 a tough matchup right now if they squared off.

    At 6-6, 210 pounds, Henry is a big, athletic two-guard that excels in the open court, as he showed with numerous baskets in transition on Thursday. Therefore, it's not surprising to hear what he says is the most important factor in his decision.

    "Playing style," he said. "That's what I'm looking for most, as well as relationships with players and coaches. The playing style is a big deal to how I fit in. I can play a slow style, but …"

    While only a rising junior, Henry's recruitment is moving at a fast pace as he works through a slate of campus visits.

    "I've already been to Kansas and Memphis, so North Carolina is next in line," he said.

    Henry and his family have scheduled their Chapel Hill trip for the weekend of Oct. 12.

    "I'm planning on going there for an unofficial visit for their Late Night this year," Henry said. "I'm going to go around and see the campus and see how everything is set up."

    When asked how he thought he fit in with the UNC program, Henry hypothesized early playing time and lots of points.

    "When I get there, [Coach Williams] knows he's going to lose players over the years so they'll need to fill in spots and they'll have more scholarships," he said. "I'll just go in and try to be the best two guard there and once I get there I'll be able to play my game – run and gun – and we'll score a lot."

    As many positive comments as he makes about other schools, however, Henry frequently hears the assumption that a commitment to Kansas is a foregone conclusion. It's an assumption he strongly dismisses.

    "It's not accurate at all," he said. "I'm open to everybody. They think because my mom, dad and aunt went to Kansas that I'll be a lock to Kansas. But I'm open to everybody so I'm going to get around and see [other schools]."

    And the Tar Heels are up next.

    Xavier Henry Profile

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