Henry Brothers Update

Pete Thamel reports in today's New York Times that Kansas is in Xavier Henry's top 3 (with North Carolina and Memphis) and that CJ Henry is considering going to college next year.

Good genes have helped the Henry boys. Their father, Carl, played basketball at Kansas and their mother, Barbara, ran track and played basketball there. The strong Jayhawks ties have led to speculation that Kansas is atop Xavier's list, but he said that the Jayhawks were tied with Memphis and North Carolina.

"I need to take my visits and learn more about the schools," said [Xavier] Henry, who has a 3.8 grade-point average.

CJ Henry, traded from the Yankees to the Phillies last year in the Bobby Abreu deal, is playing the South Atlantic League (low-A) for the second year in a row. In about 650 PAs, he's hitting 216/286/362 (AVG/OBP/SLG) and striking out once every 3.2 PA. He is in the last year of his contract.

Carl Henry said that it was written into his son's baseball contract that the Phillies would have to pay for his tuition, meaning that a college program would not even have to give up a scholarship to take him. C. J. Henry said Kansas would be the place that he would probably go.

Getting a commitment from CJ Henry would be good for the program, especially if it gives the coaching staff flexibility in signing the necessary gaggle of recruits to replace the senior class and whoever decides to enter the draft at the end of the season.

Great Cole Aldrich Article

I'd kind of pigeon holed Cole for some reason, but I like his attitude. Plus, if you rearrange the letters of his name, you can spell "Rich Old Lace" or "Chalice Lord." Which of you could possibly argue with that? link


With the help of his 7-foot-5 wingspan, Aldrich has averaged almost four blocks a game over his four-year prep career.

"Playing strong defense, blocking shots and stopping possessions is a big part of who I am,'' Aldrich said.

Even if Aldrich isn't able to block a shot, his wingspan and athleticism often force opponents to alter shots. He has developed an ability to block the ball and take possession rather than swatting the ball into the stands. Knocking the ball out of bounds might draw raves, but it also allows the opponent to maintain possession of the ball.

"Blocking shots is like a lost art,'' Aldrich said. "As I've gotten older, I've gotten smarter. I used to commit a lot of fouls earlier in my career, but now I'd like to think that I stay out of (foul) trouble because I am wiser.''

In his one meeting against Oden, Aldrich figured he had nothing to lose.

"He was the stud of the camp; he was the top dog picking on all of those other players,'' Aldrich said.

"If he beats me, he is still the top guy. If I take his (rear) out, I've got everything to gain. I met him at the top of the three-point line and made him work hard to wear him out. I figured he might get 20 (points) on me, but he will earn it. He'd have to bust his (butt) to get it. I maybe gave up one or two dunks to him. I take that as a victory. He is a big, powerful kid.''

Aldrich, Bloomington Jefferson's all-time leading scorer, also is dominant on offense. He averages 22.5 points and 17 rebounds a game.

"Cole can change a game with his physical presence and athleticism,'' Jefferson coach Jeff Evens said. "Easy baskets out of half-court offense are not easy for our opponents because of his presence in the post. He has good timing for contesting shots.''

Tyrell Reed Chooses KU

KU was a dark horse for a Reed, who I thought would choose UNC. The Kirk Hinrich syndrome is in full effect with Reed...he's definitely under rated because he's a shocky, white midwesterner.

BY RICK PLUMLEE The Wichita Eagle

LAWRENCE - Burlington point guard Tyrel Reed will sign a letter of intent to play basketball at Kansas this afternoon during a news conference at the high school.

Reed, an All-State player last season, is rated as the 14th-best point guard among high school seniors by Rivals.com and a top 100 player overall.

Reed said last month that his list of schools had narrowed to KU, Stanford, North Carolina, Boston College, Oklahoma and Missouri.

This is a good pickup and he'll be a fine player for KU.

Visitors to Late Night*

This outstanding article breaks down the following recruits who will be at Allen Fieldhouse tonight. Class of 2007: Cole Aldrich (committed), Kyle Singler, and Tyrel Reed

Class of 2008: Anthony Crater, Jordan Dumars (son of Joe), Malcolm Lee, J'Mison Morgan, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey, Tyler Zeller (brother of Luke)

Class of 2009: Tyler Griffey

*Late Night now occurs in the early evening

Nebrask Coach Search, Big 12 Recruiting Notes

Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports notes that Nebraska is in the running for a couple of well-regarded coaches, but their chances of success depend on making a quick hire.

"Nebraska AD Steve Pederson has already met with Texas-El Paso coach Doc Sadler and reached out to South Alabama in an effort to find out the status of its coach, John Pelphrey. As reported by FOXSports.com on Thursday, Sadler and Pelphrey are two names that have emerged to replace former Cornhuskers coach Barry Collier, who left to become the athletic director at Butler last week.
According to sources, Pelphrey would be interested, because of his desire to eventually coach somewhere that he can recruit elite talent, coach a national program and consistently reach the NCAA tournament.

Pelphrey has watched his buddy, Billy Donovan, do it at Florida - but the big difference is that Nebraska doesn't have much talent in its state while Donovan was able to recruit the Sunshine State and also go out of the area and lure big-time recruits."

I think Pelphry would be a coup for Nebraska, and the Florida comparison points this up. Jeff Goodman also notes that standout recruit Bill Walker will likely go to K-State if he lands in college at all, and that Billy Gillespie is taking large strides on the recruiting trail, having just robbed Texas and Florida with last week's commitment from DeAndre Jordan.

Gordon, Rose and Soft Commitments

Late last week, there was a bit of a furor brewing regarding Eric Gordon's rumored de-commitment from Illinois. While I enjoy a good Illinois decommitment and the pandemonium that ensues all over the unpaved roads and grassy sidewalks of your average Illinois fan's simple brain, it all sounded a bit too clean, especially since the writer that was floating the comments was about a thousand miles away from Mr. Gordon. Well we've got a bit more clarity here from the Indy Star. And rather regale you with yet another boring plot summary, I'll clip a great quote from EG's dad:

"It's like saying I'm committed to my girlfriend,'' Gordon Sr. said. "But I can still look. I'm not dead.''

I like how he ads "I'm not dead" to the end of the statement. Like a vestigial tail it's just hanging there and we the listeners are stuck trying to understand what troubled history led to its inclusion. Because really, the whole point of the girlfriend metaphor is to suggest a soft commitment. But then he seems afraid of this girlfriend, because the whole dead thing implies...never mind.

Here's a juicy bit of the article.

On Friday, a Web site called chicagohoops.com reported Gordon had walked away from his verbal commitment to Illinois. Later that night, the younger Gordon got on an Illinois basketball message board, said the story was untrue and assured fans he was still heading to Champaign. But in quotes published on peegs.com Saturday morning, Gordon again left the door open.

"Yeah, I'm still solid with Illinois, but I am thinking about IU, too,'' he was quoted as saying. "At this point, nothing has changed. I have looked at them (IU) for a long time because they're an in-state school. They have a good tradition and Coach (Kelvin) Sampson is a good guy, so I think because he is the new coach there that I should give them a look.''

Why is this important to you, fair Jayhawk? Because Derrick Rose and Eric Gordon have discussed playing together at Illinois. And because if Eric Gordon backs away from Illinois, we might have a better shot at Rose.