Henry, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Putnam City (OK) Putnam High, is having second thoughts about playing for Bill Self at Kansas and still could end up playing with friends for Kentucky coach John Calipari.
“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 told the Chris and Cowboy show on 610-AM in Kansas City. “He would have been at Kentucky. So Xavier says, ‘I’m going to go to Kansas.’ Even though that’s 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.”
He added: “Kid might have a change of mind,” Carl Henry said. “That’s what I tell coach Self. If he has a change of mind, so what? So be it. He has a change of mind.”
Perhaps fearing the worst, Kansas coaches reached out to Brooklyn Lincoln guard Lance Stephenson within the last week.
But Stephenson has signed a financial aid agreement with Cincinnati of the Big East, a story first reported by SNY.tv on Tuesday.
Ironically, Kansas, which once had its choice of Stephenson or Henry, may now end up with neither.
Xavier Henry initially committed to Memphis to play with his older brother C.J., a walk-on who missed last year with an injury. He signed a Letter of Intent with Memphis and cannot sign a second one.
When Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky, several players followed him there, including former Memphis leans John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins and Memphis commit Darnell Dodson.
During the Jordan Brand Classic in New York in April, Cousins was vocal in trying to get both Henry and Wall to follow him to Kentucky. Wall eventually did.
Henry chose Kansas, where both his parents attended.
Carl told the radio station that Wall and Kentucky commit Daniel Orton continue to get in touch with Xavier about coming to Kentucky.
The father said that Xavier told him “a couple weeks ago” that he was interested in Kentucky and Carl said he called Calipari then
“When my son told me that, I reached out one time,” Carl Henry said. “I called Coach Cal to see if he had a scholarship.”
Henry has not reported to summer school at Kansas, but his father said in a recent newspaper interview that his sons would be on campus in mid-August.
That same article in the Kansas City Star quoted Carl saying Xavier looked into possibly playing in Europe next year, but opted against it.
The article has apparently upset the Henry family and may contribute to them bolting Kansas.
“The guy who wrote that story kind of betrayed my whole family and kind of made us look bad, like my kids are prima donnas, all I do is talk.” he said.
Reports indicated Self and Kansas assistant Danny Manning were headed to Oklahoma Tuesday night to meet with the Henry family.
Carl also said his family had a meeting planned.
“We have a meeting set up tonight where we’re going to set down and talk about this whole deal,” he said.
(Radio quotes from Carl Henry appeared in the AP and Louisville Courier Journal)