12am Update: 610 Sports in Kansas City is reporting that the Henrys are sticking with their commitment to KU. Bill Self must have brought in the heavy hitters for this one. Breathe a sigh of relief, KU fans.
8pm Update: Bill Self and Danny Manning are reportedly meeting with the Henry family in OKC tonight to make presumably a last ditch effort to keep them at Kansas. We should have this all sorted out by tomorrow.
Honestly, we read some buzz about this yesterday, but it sounded so ridiculous we simply continued on down our reader. Then we read Andy Katz’s report this afternoon and suddenly it appears that what we thought was a cockamamie rumor (see: Coach K to Lakers) has some serious legs. If the reports are true that Xavier Henry and his brother, CJ, are waffling on their commitments to Kansas for the 2009-10 season, and instead are going to end up in Lexington as part of John Calipari’s GCOAT (greatest class of all-time), then the torches and pitchforks in Kansas may already be en route to the Bluegrass. According to the Henrys’ father, it appears to be a done deal. From a similar Gary Parrish report:
“If it wasn’t for his momma saying that ‘I would not go to Kentucky, I would not move down to Kentucky,’ Xavier would have been at Kentucky,'” Carl Henry said during the radio interview. “He would have been at Kentucky. So Xavier says, ‘I’m going to go to Kansas,’ even though … what he wanted to do is go to Kentucky, play under Coach Cal. That’s what he wanted to do. I expressed this to [Kansas] coach [Bill] Self. I told him.” Carl Henry said his wife no longer wants to influence her son’s decision. “So guess what? Kid might have a change of mind,” Carl Henry said. “That’s what I [told] coach Self.”
Notwithstanding what his mother thinks of moving a couple of states away, the only reasonable explanation for this (since the Henrys have been re-assessing their situation for two weeks) is that Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks somewhat unexpectedly opted to stay in the NBA Draft. Given that Xavier Henry is a shooting guard, he likely didn’t want to go to UK to play behind Meeks for one season, but with Meeks out of the picture, he would now have the opportunity to play for the coach he originally committed to.
If this ends up happening, John Calipari would have an embarrassment of riches in his first season at the helm at UK – quite possibly on paper the greatest incoming class of all-time, eclipsing the 1991 Michigan quintet of Webber, Howard, Rose, Jackson and King. Of course, this group of young Cats will be measured by their accomplishments in college and not their paper rankings, but Wildcat fans must be multi-orgasmic at the potential of this group – three of the top six and four of the top twenty players in America.
John Wall – PG (#2 overall)
DeMarcus Cousins – C (#3 overall)
Xavier Henry – SG (#6 overall)
Daniel Orton – C (#19 overall)
Eric Bledsoe – PG (#52 overall)
Jon Hood – SF (#66 overall)
CJ Henry – PG (walk-on)
Darnell Dodson – SF (juco)
As for KU fans, they’ll still have plenty of returning talent in Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, Tyshawn Taylor and the Morris brothers, but they could have really used the explosive scoring from the wing that they currently lack. Their message boards are already apoplectic, but as one guarded commenter noted, ‘you think this is bad… check back tomorrow.’ Oh we will.