Wed Apr 22 02:07pm EDT
Xavier Henry has apparently made up his mind and all signs point to him announcing that will attend Kansas, with his brother C.J. set to transfer to the program too. Xavier will make his intentions known at a press conference on Thursday morning at 11:15 a.m.
Assuming that the reports are correct and the Henrys will play for Bill Self next season at KU (and if you've followed this confusing saga, you know that's far from a guarantee), the only domino left to fall now is where super-recruit Lance Stephenson will end up.
The scuttlebutt had been that Stephenson was set to go to Kansas before Xavier Henry changed his mind about going to Memphis after John Calipari left. Now that the two Henry brothers will be taking the floor in Lawrence, it's highly doubtful that Stephenson would still go there. (He'd be understandably wary of losing minutes to Xavier.) That leaves two other choices: St. John's or Maryland. (Unless Stephenson unexpectedly reopens his recruitment.)
Maryland would seem to be the easy choice since St. John's basketball hasn't been relevant since last century. But, based on nothing but a hunch, I get the feeling that Stephenson might be the kind of guy who wants to be looked at as a savior of a program (which he would be at St. John's) rather than a savior of a coach (which he would be at Maryland). Plus, if Greivis Vasquez ends up coming back, Stephenson wouldn't be the top dog on his own team. As Michael Beasley and O.J. Mayo have shown in recent years, a lot of high-profile high school players with prior national presence prefer to set their own path rather than go to established programs.
The bigger question to me is why Stephenson let Xavier Henry dictate his future? When it became clear that Bill Self preferred Henry, why did Stephenson bother waiting around for Kansas to ask him to the prom when it was clear they were keen on another guy? Wouldn't the logical move have been to say "forget y'all, I'm going to St. John's/Maryland instead?" Or did Stephenson want to go to Kansas so badly (or NOT want to go to either of the two other schools) that he was willing to settle for being the second choice?
For a guy who has already been the star of a documentary and made a big deal of planning to announce his college choice at a nationally televised all-star game, that seems a little out of character. But in this recruiting battle, nothing has ever been as it has seemed.