2009 recruit Xavier Henry picks Memphis over Kansas


Xavier Henry maintained his college decision would involve family ties.

His final two schools -- Kansas and Memphis -- appealed to his emotions. Both parents played basketball at Kansas while his brother, C.J., currently plays at Memphis. His father, Carl, played for Memphis coach John Calipari, who was then an assistant under Larry Brown at Kansas.

In the end, the opportunity to play with his brother was irresistible.

Xavier Henry, the top-ranked player in the ESPNU 100, announced Tuesday morning he will join his brother at Memphis next season.

"Ultimately playing with my brother and keeping the family together helped make my decision," said Henry, of Putnam City High in Oklahoma City. "My parents are OK with it; we're together."

His decision bolsters the Tigers' recruiting class which already includes 6-9 Will Coleman and 6-6 Darnell Dodson, teammates at Miami-Dade Junior College, and 6-5 Nolan Dennis of Richland Hills (Texas) High. Dennis is the 45th-ranked player in the ESPNU 100.

Xavier Henry said Memphis' attacking, up-tempo offense and recent success factored into his decision.

"What separates him [Henry] are physical tools and talent," ESPNU national recruiting coordinator Paul Biancardi said. "He has consistently dominated the opposition and doesn't take bad shots; he operates within the framework of his team."

As a junior, the 6-foot-7 Henry averaged 26.7 points and 7.2 rebounds for Putnam City (25-2), which lost in Oklahoma's Class 6A quarterfinals.

The start to Henry's senior season will be delayed up to six weeks following surgery to repair a broken cheekbone suffered in an automobile accident on Oct. 22. Henry said he still has headaches after the surgery, in which two plates and eight screws were inserted, but he is expected to be cleared for game action in late December.

Christopher Lawlor covers high school sports for ESPN.com.