Blog Entry

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

Posted on: November 18, 2008 8:48 am
Edited on: November 18, 2008 9:36 pm

John Calipari became Memphis' all-time winningest coach early Tuesday.

Few hours after that, he won again.

"Next year I'm going to take my game to Memphis," Xavier Henry said at a morning press conference that was broadcast live on national television.

Henry is the nation's top-ranked shooting guard, a 6-foot-6 specimen who chose Memphis over Kansas to end a lengthy recruiting battle between the two schools that played for the national title last season. His pledge gives the Tigers a centerpiece to what is now a four-man recruiting class, and it'll allow Calipari to turn all of his attention towards John Wall (nation's top-ranked point guard) and Dominic Cheek (nation's third-ranked small forward), both of whom visited Memphis this past weekend and left many close to the program with the feeling that the Tigers might be on the verge of securing a class that could rank as the nation's best.

Here's an updated look at's top 20 from the Class of 2009:

1. Derrick Favors (uncommitted)

2. John Wall (uncommitted)

3. John Henson (committed to North Carolina)

4. Xavier Henry (committed to Memphis)

5. Renardo Sidney (uncommitted)

6. DeMarcus Cousins (committed to UAB)

7. Lance Stephenson (uncommitted)

8. Kenny Boynton (committed to Florida)

9. Abdul Gaddy (committed to Washington)

10. Avery Bradley (committed to Texas)

11. Ryan Kelly (committed to Duke)

12. Daniel Orton (committed to Kentucky)

13. Jordan Hamilton (committed to Texas)

14. Alex Oriakhi (committed to Connecticut)

15. Dominic Cheek (uncommitted)

16. Wally Judge (committed to Kansas State)

17. Dante Taylor (committed to Pittsburgh)

18. Dexter Strickland (committed to North Carolina)

19. Mason Plumlee (committed to Duke)

20. Thomas Robinson (committed to Kansas)

Category: NCAAB

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: November 18, 2008 3:29 pm

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

Does bluegray213 reflect a Kansas education with that spelling and grammar?

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2008 3:25 pm

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

I'm sure Coach Cal paid his family a boat load

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2008 3:24 pm

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

You don't have to like Memphis, but you should respect the program. I respect all the top tier basketball programs. Being a Memphis fan, it seems that the UNC, UCLA, and KU fans have a really hard time accepting that Memphis has reached that elite level program status under Calipari. The weak conference argument doesn't apply to them anymore. It's about the guys you put on the court, not the conference they come from.

I think the true test of a program is after losing a great group of players, Do they rebuild or reload? I think in the case of Memphis and KU and the other top programs they flat out reload.


Since: Mar 3, 2007
Posted on: November 18, 2008 2:53 pm

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

I know people think KU fans are sour grapes, but it really isnt.

I personally am glad X isnt coming to KU. I do not think he would play within coach Self's system well. I do think he will fit in coach Cal's system much better and thats why he chose Memphis. Memphis will make him a lottery pick because they will have the game flow through him. KU focuses much more heavily on the concept that the "star is the open guy" and I really am not sure Xavier would have been happy in KU.

Nor do I think KU would have been happy with X. Incompatible.

Its not hater to say Im glad he didnt come to KU. I wish nothing but the best for the kid (though Memphis can choke on it, I cant stand that team).

Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2008 2:15 pm

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

I'm Sorry, the Shiver didn't break this story, maybe to the Kansas fans, but not the rest of the world.

Since: Mar 29, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2008 2:10 pm

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

Congratulations Xavier Henry and Welcome to the Memphis Tigers!    You made the best decision of your life as we know you will be great for the Memphis Tigers and the Memphis Tigers and Coach Caliparri will be great for you!    Now to the other Top Recruits ... come on down to Memphis ... as each of you truly know ... the Memphis Tigers is the place to be!!!    Coach Cal and the Memphis Tigers are "rocking the nation" in our dynamite style of basketball ... which grows on everyone ... including the NBA!    So ... John Wall, Dominic Cheek, Derrick Favors, and Renardo Sidney ... come join with X and let's take Memphis to the NC in 2010!    Coach Cal is the Man ... just look at the success his Assistant Coaches are having in building great basketball programs at UTEP, UMass, and other great schools ... and look a the success of Rose, CDR, Joey and other Tigers in the NBA!   The Memphis Tigers has all the elements to make you the best that you can become ... Coach, Team, City, enthusiastic fans, and an attitude, passion, and drive to play the most competitive collegiate basketball in the nation.   Now we may not always win every game ... but with X on board ... Wall close at hand ... and a few others ... you will certainly become the all star class and team in 2010 ... and we can surely vision your playing in the NC!   If so ... I'm sure Coach Cal will have you playing all 40 minutes ... as we and the nation knows ... those last 2 minutes can be a heartbreaking killer! <smile>

Now again to all the grat KU Fans ... Congratulations on Winning the 2008 NC!   You played a superb game and won!   You most certainly have a legendary basketball program and traditions to be proud of.    Last year is history, so let's both do our very best in 2009 ... and if we do ... perhaps one or even both of our great teams will be in the Final Four and NC game again.   Memphis also has its proud basketball program and with another 30+ wins this year ... will be properly recognized for our performance over the last 4 years.   There is plenty of room in NCAA basketball for KU, Memphis, and ALL great teams to continually improve and make this the most exciting sport for all our fans, our players, and our great nation.

Now if I really had my choice and the decision authority ... I would have gladly traded X ... if we could just replay the last 2 minutes of tne NC Game!   <smile>   But now, after 7 months of emotional healing ... that's over with ... and its looking forward to 2009 and 2010!   It's not if, but when we do have the honor of earning another trip to the NC ... we will not let history repeat itself ... and it will be finally be an NC for Memphis. 

Congrats Xavier and Go Tigers GO!  

Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2008 2:03 pm

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

TKELuke.................You don't have to see the appeal. High school basketball players do.........and that's all that counts.

Since: Sep 2, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2008 2:03 pm

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

That's ok.  We'll take him "hear" (sometimes spelled "here") in Memphis.

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2008 2:00 pm

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

Kansas and Memphis are two of the best programs in the nation. Kansas came out on top in the NC, but they both desperately wanted to sign Henry. You have to be out of your mind to say that Kansas didn't want him. If the Tigers sign Wall too, they will be ridiculous next year.

Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2008 1:38 pm

Nation's top shooting guard commits to Memphis

One thing I noticed about top recruits...they can care less about history. know how O.J. Mayo went to USC to create his own legacy. When will you learn that bragging about seasons long gone will make alot of players shy away from your progam. Most players want to be the first, not the next Paul Peirce or Wilt Chamberlain. Whoever is the first big-name recruit to bring Memphis a title will be an instant legend and own their own seperate spot in College history...not along the side of plenty of greatsfrom the past.

Carmello won at Syracuse...his champiionship stands along as the best season ever for them. If he had played for North Carolina, Kansas, or Duke he would have been just another great player to walk through the doors.

If Memphis would have won last year it would have been a bigger story and more special to Memphis than Kansas. Think about it, No one talks about Kansas championship run that much. That was just another great seaon that will soon be forgotten! Memphis is the biggest and best underdog team. Teams that dont get respect. Recruits eyes glow for the oppurtunity to put memphis on top. Considering they are so close.

Every player that comes to Memphis for a recruitment trip says "I think I can be the one to hwlp bring the NC to the city".


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