Home-Grown Prospect

While Noah Cottrill may be the Mountain State prospect WVU fans are most familiar with, the school's coaching staff spent some time at the Triple S JamFest watching another in-state player the Mountaineers have strong interest in.

Point guard Perry Henry of South Charleston High played in the 16-and-under division of the annual AAU tournament in Morgantown. His WV Wildcats team advanced to the semifinals of the "gold" (top) bracket in the division before losing a 52-50 nail-biter to Crusader Nation of Maryland early Thursday.

While Henry himself was largely impressive in the game, he was clearly not pleased with the defeat afterwards, choosing to sit along the sidelines and watch the opening minutes of the next game before leaving the floor at the WVU Student Rec Center.

Perhaps more than some other players, who mostly worry about impressing college coaches at AAU events like JamFest, Henry wants to hoist the championship trophy over his head at the end of each summer tournament.

"I'm just trying to get my team to win another title," Henry said shortly after the loss. "We won the Myrtle Beach tournament, but that's the only one out of three we've played already. "

While it may be atypical for a high-level AAU player to care more about wins and losses than earning accolades from the movers and shakers of college hoops, the member of the Class of 2011 simply seems unaffected by the attention that comes with his play.

"Every (recruiting) letter I get, I just throw it to the side," he said. "I'm enjoying high school, and I'll worry about all that stress in my senior year."

That hasn't stopped those letters from coming in from a number of programs. Henry said he holds offers from Marshall, Xavier, Akron, Ohio, Delaware and Cleveland State in addition to West Virginia.

The South Charleston native said Mountaineer coach Bob Huggins' staff has told him that he is the type of guard they are looking for.

"They just said they recruit combo guards, and that's what they want," Henry said. "They said they like me as a combo guard and how I hustle and stuff like that. They said I'd be a good fit for them."

Indeed, Huggins is known to like players who hustle on both ends of the floor. That suits Henry, who displayed his motor in spurts during the JamFest semifinals, to a "T".

"I hustle every second, every play of the whole game until the whistle stops, and I try to get my team involved," the junior said when asked to describe the strengths of his game.

In contrast, Henry said his jump shot was his most glaring weakness and the aspect of his game he hoped to improve on most during the long summer AAU schedule.

While that schedule may leave one road-weary by summer's end, Henry said he is enjoying the process and finds positives in staying busy.

"(The summer) is going good," he said. "We're trying to go to all of the big tournaments. It's been exciting. I've been busy going to Elite camps and visiting campuses, but you've got to suck it up."

In terms of checking out potential college choices, Henry has visited Virginia Tech and plans to look at DePaul and Ohio before heading to Blacksburg again by the end of summer.

All of that travel makes for a busy schedule that is made even more chaotic by the fact that Henry also plays football for South Charleston. Henry sees the decision to not focus solely on basketball year-round as a positive and similarly is not dissuaded by the overlap between the two sports' schedules.

"(Playing football) helps me a lot because I know I won't just sit at home and relax and stuff," he said. "I'm always busy, on the go. I stay in shape and stuff, so it helps."

In the little time he has left, Henry said he will continue to work on his jump shot in an effort to round out his game.

"It's not consistent, and that's a bad thing for me," the junior said of his jumper. "I've got to really just work on it -- keep shooting and stay in the gym."

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