Kansas University freshman walk-on guard C.J. Henry declined comment on his future on Wednesday.
“I’m not here to discuss anything about me. I’m just here to support Xavier as family,” C.J. said, seated next to his NBA-bound brother at a media gathering in Allen Fieldhouse.
Indeed, C.J. provided much-needed support. He wrapped his arm around a tearful Xavier at one point at the emotional news conference called to announce Xavier’s plans to enter the NBA Draft.
After the media session, both coach Bill Self in person — and Carl Henry on the phone — reported that C.J. would be a Jayhawk again for at least another year.
“C.J. is staying to play at Kansas,” the Henry brothers’ dad, Carl, told the Journal-World. “He didn’t get to play much this year because of his injuries. He’s going all out. He talked to coach Self and told coach his goals. He’s committed to work hard in the offseason and play at KU.”
Self said he was “a little surprised he (C.J.) didn’t touch on it (his future plans)” at the news conference. “But he’s excited about next year. I think he thought that this would just be a day to talk about X.
“And things can always change. But he’s certainly excited about what’s going on with our program. We’ve talked a lot. He’s out there busting his butt, trying to get 100-percent healthy and get his rhythm so we can see where he stands. It’s hard for him right now to see exactly where he stands in relationship to everybody else because we haven’t seem him be 100-percent healthy over an extended period of time.
“I’ve said all along he’s a talent. He just needs to have a good spring and good summer to get back healthy and to get his rhythm back.”
Two is enough
Self, who has seen both Cole Aldrich (junior) and Xavier Henry declare for the NBA Draft in successive weeks, said there’d be no more press conferences. Nobody else is turning pro.
“I don’t anticipate anything else. I won’t come (to another),” he said with a smile.
Self on Johnson rumor
There’s a rumor on the Internet that Self has decided to remove freshman guard Elijah Johnson from the basketball team, possibly for disciplinary reasons. Self addressed the rumor:
“There are rumors out there about a lot of things. Most of them play out not to be true. I’m not going to say anything about that,” Self said.
KU, which has received a commitment from 6-foot-3 Phoenix native Royce Woolridge, currently has two scholarships to give. KU is in the running for No. 4-ranked Josh Selby, No. 21 Doron Lamb, and for No. 1 Brandon Knight (expected to sign with Kentucky).
“We’ve got two to give on paper. I guess that could change. I would anticipate more than likely signing one with a chance of signing two,” Self said.
Woolridge scored 17 points in the United States’ 91-81 victory over Spain on Wednesday at the Schweitzer Tournament in Germany. He hit four of seven threes. The U.S. will meet Australia tonight with a spot in the semifinals at stake.
Xavier Henry is Self’s first “one-and-done” player.
“One thing that has been used against us from other schools (in recruiting) is: ‘Self’s never had a one-and-done. Why would you want to go there? They’ll hold you back there,’ that kind of stuff, which is ridiculous talk,” Self said. “You guys (media) know me well enough to know, if a guy can help us win games, I could care less (if he’s one and done). I do think there will be one thing people can’t use against us because of that. I don’t know if that will help or not. If a kid bases his decision on whether or not a young man leaves after one year, that’s ridiculous.”
Self said he wishes high school players could enter the NBA Draft after their senior year in high school and if they go to college be required to stay two or three seasons.
“One-and-done has been good for college basketball. There have been some really good guys come into school and been great ambassadors for their programs,” Self said. “The problem is it’s a time bomb in that it won’t always be that way. That’s why the rule needs to change. Whatever the rule change is, it’ll be a positive one. Whether you go out of high school or have to stay two years, it’ll be more positive than what the rule is now. We’re fortunate. We signed a four-year kid the way I look at it, that performed well enough to leave (after one).”
Self said he had high hopes for next year’s team. “I think Marcus Morris may be the best player in our league coming back,” Self said.