Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Henrys may trade Kansas for Kentucky
By Andy Katz
Xavier Henry, who first committed to Memphis and then changed to Kansas, may be changing his commitment again. And he may be taking his brother, C.J., with him.
According to multiple media reports and a radio interview their father gave Tuesday, the Henrys may end up at Kentucky -- with John Calipari, who originally recruited Xavier Henry to Memphis.
The Henrys started to waiver on the commitment to Kansas over the last two weeks. Players can't sign two national letter of intents, so nothing is binding.
A decision was expected some time late Tuesday or Wednesday, according to reports. Xavier Henry is the No. 2 shooting guard and No. 3 overall player in the 2009 ESPNU Top 100.
Kansas coach Bill Self told ESPN.com he doesn't know what is going to occur. No one seems to know just yet. Attempts to reach Kentucky coach John Calipari were unsuccessful.
The decision is likely to significantly impact the battle for No. 1 to start the 2009-10 college basketball season. When Henry decided to sign with the Tigers and join C.J., who was sitting out the season after coming out of the New York Yankees minor league system, it pushed the Tigers toward a possible No. 1 recruiting class.
But after the season, Calipari bolted to Kentucky and the Memphis class of DeMarcus Cousins, Darnell Dodson and likely Memphis signee John Wall came with him to Lexington. All except for Henry, who went West of his Oklahoma City home to Kansas. C.J., who is 23 and hasn't played organized basketball in four years, went with him.
That made the Jayhawks a consensus No. 1 pick next season. The core of the Jayhawks returned with Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins.
Now, it's up in the air again. The Kansas City Star reported that the Henrys are waffling. Their father, Carl Henry, did an interview 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City on Tuesday and indicated that Kentucky would be the eventual landing spot for his sons.
If the 6-6 Xavier Henry isn't at Kansas and instead attends Kentucky, the Wildcats could make a claim for the top spot. Kentucky lost shooting guard Jodie Meeks to the NBA draft last week. The Wildcats just cut lose two players -- Kevin Galloway and Matt Pilgrim -- to get down under the maximum 13 scholarships to 12.
Adding Xavier (C.J. can be a walk-on with his Yankees money) would mean Kentucky would be at the limit.
But Xavier Henry would give the Wildcats the No. 3, 4 and 5 players on the ESPNU top 100 with Henry, Cousins and Wall. They would join newcomers Eric Bledsoe at point guard and Dodson at shooting guard, along with returning forwards Patrick Patterson (a potential SEC player of the year candidate) and Darius Miller (on the U-19 USA team in New Zealand).
Self is expected to make a pitch to keep the Henrys with Kansas. The Kansas City Star reported a family meeting is expected Tuesday night.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.