Written By: Adam Zagoria (Zagsblog.net)
Xavier Henry is waiting to hear from John Calipari before he makes his next move.
The 6-foot-6 Henry, a shooting guard out of Putnam City (Ok.) High, is part of Calipari’s star-studded recruiting class at Memphis that also includes unsigned 6-10 center DeMarcus Cousins. But if Calipari takes the eight-year, $35-million deal on the table from Kentucky, Henry could ask out of his Letter of Intent.
“We came because of the style of basketball and the way the coach coaches,” said Carl Henry in a phone interview. “I haven’t talked to my sons. Knowing them, they would probably want to leave.”
He added: “We already signed and coach has to give us a release. He said he would give us a release.”
Carl is the father of both Xavier, currently in Miami for the McDonald’s All-American Game, and C.J. Henry, who is at Memphis but is not on athletic scholarship.
“[Calipari] is supposed to be making his decision today,” Carl Henry said. We haven’t heard today what he’s going to do. He said he’s going to give us a call and let us know.”
Asked what he thought Calipari would end up doing, Carl said: “I think I would go to Kentucky. You get a deal like that, I think I would go to Kentucky. That’s what they’re in it for. They’re in it to make money. Memphis matched it, so if he leaves he’s leaving for the prestige of Kentucky. If he stays, he stays.”
Memphis AD R.C. Johnson said in a statement that the school had given Kentucky permission to speak with Calipari.
“We have given Kentucky permission to talk with John (Calipari) about their position,” Johnson stated. “However, I will tell you that we are elated with the job John has done as our head coach and we will do everything in our power to retain his services at Memphis.”
Carol Dennis, the mother of Memphis commit Nolan Dennis, a 6-5 wing out of North Richland Hills, Texas, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal her son had a clause that would allow him to leave if Calipari did.
Carl Henry said he didn’t know if Xavier had a similar Letter of Intent and isn’t sure if his son would want to go to Kentucky.
“I don’t know unless I talk to him,” he said.
Kansas was Xavier’s other finalist before he opted for Memphis in the fall. Kansas is expecting a commitment from Brooklyn Lincoln guard Lance Stephenson, but he opted to delay his announcement from Tuesday.
Cousins has committed to Memphis but has not signed a Letter of Intent and could follow Calipari to Kentucky. Otis Hughley, Cousins’ coach at Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore, was not immediately available for comment.
Point guard John Wall of Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God visited Duke this weekend but is said to be leaning toward Memphis or Kansas. If Calipari went to Kentucky, he could follow as well.
Carl said the Henry family would know by Thursday what Xavier planned to do.
“Coach is supposed to call me today,” he said. “We won’t know until Thursday what Xavier is going to do.”