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Archive for Monday, May 28, 2007

KU hoops target Henry continues to shine

May 28, 2007

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Xavier Henry continues to make a bid to become the No. 1 player in the recruiting class of 2009.

Henry, a 6-foot-6 junior-to-be from Putnam City (Okla.) High, was the most impressive player Saturday at the Nike Memorial Day Classic in Nashville, Tenn., according to Rivals.com expert Jerry Meyer.

"Henry did what he does best, which is score at all three levels," Meyer reported. "Proficient in the mid-range, Henry also has the explosiveness to attack the rim. After struggling early with his deep jumper, Henry found the range right before the half (against a Florida team) and dropped some jaws with his patented 'hop-back' three."

Henry, the No. 2 player in his class behind Renardo Sidney (6-9 Rancho Dominguez High, Artesia, Calif.), has a college list of Kansas University, Memphis, North Carolina, Texas, Ohio State and Louisville.

The son of former KU player Carl Henry earlier this month played well at the Jayhawk Invitational in Allen Fieldhouse and Horejsi Center.

"To me, Memphis is just like Kansas," Carl Henry told the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper. "John Calipari (Memphis coach and former KU assistant) is there, and he would do the same things Bill Self could do for my son."

Xavier told the paper he likely would not pick a school until the summer of 2008.

"My family has been a Kansas-playing family," Xavier Henry said. His brother, C.J., orally committed to KU his senior year of high school before electing to sign a pro baseball contract. His mother also played at KU.

"Everybody went there, but I'm pretty open about it. I like knowing my teammates and knowing the coaches and having a great relationship with everybody so I know what I'm getting into."

¢Another Henry: KU is also recruiting a Henry in the Class of 2008. Terrance Henry, a 6-9 senior-to-be from Carroll High in Monroe, La., and no relation to Xavier, told Rivals.com he has a top five of KU, Baylor, LSU, Mississippi and Miami. The No. 47-rated player in the class also has heard from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, USC, Oklahoma and others.

¢Oklahomans: Rotnei Clarke, a 6-foot senior-to-be from Claremore, Okla., lists KU, Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky, Marquette, Washington State, Arizona State and Gonzaga. Daniel Orton, a 6-9 junior-to-be from Oklahoma City, lists KU, Maryland, Oklahoma, Auburn, Florida and Oklahoma State.

¢UNC offers Zeller: Tyler Zeller, a 6-11 senior-to-be from Washington, Ind., received a scholarship offer from North Carolina over the weekend at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions AAU Tournament, the Durham Herald-Sun reports.

Rivals.com's No. 15-rated player has a list of KU, UNC, Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky and Tennessee. He plans to make official visits this fall and sign in November.

¢Warren's new favorites: Willie Warren, 6-4 senior-to-be from suburban Fort Worth, Texas, who will play at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia this season, says his current favorites are Oklahoma, Marquette, UConn, Texas and Kentucky. KU remains on his list.

¢Point guard to 'Zona: Arizona has received an oral commitment from Brandon Jennings, a 6-1 senior-to-be from Compton, Calif., who is headed to Oak Hill this season. Jennings said he chose UA over Connecticut, Kentucky, USC and Kansas.

¢Bilas on Wright: ESPN's Jay Bilas recently traveled to Vancouver with NBA Draft hopefuls Julian Wright, Kevin Durant, Brandan Wright, Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah and Al Horford as part of a promotion for EA Sports.

Bilas conducted a 45-minute workout with each player.

"Julian Wright is a dynamic athlete, and another guy who is willing to work and listen," Bilas reported on ESPN.com. "He has a great personality on the floor and really goes after the ball. Wright has done a lot of focused work on his shooting, and his form and shot consistency have really improved. When he got into a rhythm, Wright knocked down as many shots as any player, save Kevin Durant. He has a great first step and just explodes off the floor. Wright is instinctive and can really run. Put him in the Phoenix Suns' lineup, and he would be the team's second-fastest player in the open floor to Leandro Barbosa. Wright did nothing to dissuade me from having ranked him as the sixth-best prospect in this year's NBA draft."

Wright beat the other five players in a half-court shooting contest. He was the first player to hit two half-court shots.

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