Xavier Henry played at Kansas for the 2009-10 season. He only stayed at Kansas for one season because of his tremendous hype and potential that had NBA scouts raving about Henry, forcing him to enter the 2010 NBA Draft.
Xavier’s announcement to attend Kansas immediately made the Jayhawks a title contender in most expert’s opinions, as he went to join a roster that already had stars Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, Markieff and Marcus Morris leading the way.
Coming out of high school, Henry was ranked the #3 overall prospect by ESPN.com, even being ranked above eventual NBA superstars DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall. Many experts even had Henry ranked as the number one overall recruit of 2009.
Before committing to Kansas, Henry originally committed to the Memphis Tigers and head coach John Calipari. Calipari then took the job with the Kentucky Wildcats prompting him to re-open his recruitment.
Henry then committed to Kansas saying, “I always grew up wanting to go to Kansas, I switched to Memphis because my brother (C.J.) was going there.” Ultimately, Calipari’s departure made Kansas seem to be the more attractive school to Henry.
In his season with the Jayhawks, Xavier put up 13.4 PPG and 4.5 RPG (sports-reference.com). The Jayhawks ended up with an outstanding 33-3 overall record in 2010, but the season was really spoiled with the NCAA Tournament loss. Kansas lost in a second round game against the Northern Iowa Panthers 67-69, one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history.
The game was famously closed with a 3-point shot from Ali Farokhmanesh, one of the Panthers best guards. In this particular game (his final game with Kansas), Henry scored 8 points and added 8 rebounds.
A few weeks after the devastating loss, Henry declared that he was entering into the 2010 NBA Draft. He was taken 12th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Two years later, Henry was traded to the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans) in a 3-team trade for forward Maurice Speights. After one season with the Hornets, Xavier signed with the Los Angeles Lakers on a 1-year deal.
In the NBA, Xavier has averaged about 6 PPG with 2 RPG in his four seasons in the league, headlined by his double-digit 2013-14 scoring effort with LA.
Most recently, Henry re-signed with the Lakers on a 1-year, $1 million contract. Henry goes back to LA to join a much improved Lakers roster with the additions of Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, rookie Julius Randle and the return of future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant. Henry should get significant playing time this year as either a starter or one of the first players off the bench.
Xavier Henry is another ex-Jayhawk that will forever be a part of Kansas history that needs to be remembered by Kansas fans.
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