Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stephenson to Cincinnati; Henry to Kentucky?

The Lance Stephenson Saga is finally over. Apparently, that of Xavier Henry might not be.

Stephenson, one of the most talented high school players in the country throughout his career, has committed to Cincinnati after visiting the Big East school over the weekend. The story was first broken by Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv and Zagsblog.com.

"We are very excited about Lance's decision to become a Bearcat," head coach Mick Cronin said in a statement. "Lance has terrific talent as a basketball player and is also a fierce competitor on the court. His desire to win will help us compete for a Big East Championship.

"As a big guard, Lance brings playmaking ability and versatility to our team, along with his talent for scoring. We look forward to getting Lance here for summer school and building our team for the upcoming season."

Prior to his visit to Cincinnati, which seemingly came out of nowhere, Stephenson was in a holding pattern regarding his recruitment. Programs such as Kansas, St. John's, Maryland, Florida and Arizona had essentially rescinded their scholarship offers, and the Stephensons were not interested in the advances of Memphis.

There are many questions regarding Stephenson's eligiblity and attitude, as well as the involvement of his father, Lance Sr. One, there is the issue of his sexual assault case, which was adjourned for the second time on Monday morning. Secondly, his BornReady.tv series has some concerned regarding its potential to affect Stephenson's eligiblity. There are also concerns about Stephenson's grades and whether he would be eligible to play next season. His selfishness and attitude also raise concerns for many people, as does the constant involvement of Lance Stephenson Sr., better known as "Stretch."

However, with his decision today to commit to Cincinnati, everyone can now move on. Well, until the NCAA begins looking into everything or his sexual assault case is decided.

Henry to Kentucky?

With Stephenson committing to Cincinnati, we can just about close the book on the Class of 2009, right? Not so fast.

Xavier Henry, a top-five recruit nationally who signed a letter-of-intent to play for Kansas, is possibly re-thinking his decision.

Carl Henry, Xavier's father, told a Kansas City radio station today that Xavier could potentially change his mind.

"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 said. "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."

According to Carl, Xavier's mother, Barbara, no longer wants to be a factor in his college decision.

"So guess what? Kid might have a change of mind," Carl 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."

Carl Henry expressed displeasure at an article in the Kansas City Star that depicted the Henrys in a negative light.

"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," Henry said.

Kansas head coach Bill Self responded to Carl Henry's comments earlier this evening to the Lawrence Journal-World.

"I'm still looking into this," Self said. "I am ready for the finality of it [on where Henrys are going to school]. I believe that will occur very soon."

He added that he is "past the point of being concerned with [their] recruiting. Either they are coming or not coming. There's no reason for fans or people who support the university to be concerned. They gave us their word they are coming. If an article keeps them from coming, of course it'd be disappointing but it's not anything I can control."

Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com, the Kansas site on the Rivals.com network, is reporting that Self and assistant coach Danny Manning are heading to Oklahoma City tonight to meet with the Henrys. Xavier and his brother C.J., who also committed to Kansas this spring, are working out in Oklahoma City and not in Lawrence with the other Jayhawks newcomers.

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