Recruit Henry drops 47 at classic

By Gary Bedore,, Monday, May 26, 2008

The top four basketball players in the recruiting Class of 2009 — who all have Kansas University on their list of prospective schools — traveled to various AAU tournaments over the Memorial Day weekend.

No. 1 ranked John Wall and No. 3 Derrick Favors were among the blue-chips at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in Chapel Hill, N.C.

No. 2 Xavier Henry was the top billing at the Nike Memorial Day Classic in Nashville, Tenn. while No. 4 Renardo Sidney competed at a tourney in San Jose, Calif.

Henry, a 6-foot-6 senior-to-be from Putnam City (Okla.) High, showed “relentless attacking of the basket off the dribble,” according to analyst Jerry Meyer. “His handle was tight and his impressive physique tough to deal with when barreling to the basket.”

Henry, who plays AAU ball for Oklahoma Athletes First, recently erupted for 47 points in the title game of the Show-Me Classic tourney in Missouri.

He has strong co-leaders in KU and Memphis and also has received scholarship offers from UCLA, Texas, Louisville, Ohio State and North Carolina.

Wall, a 6-4 senior-to-be from Word of God Christian Academy In Raleigh, N.C., told the Raleigh News and Observer he’s “wide open” on colleges after an AAU game in which he bounced an inbounds pass off an opponent’s back and skied for a slam dunk.

Wall in the past has had KU, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Kentucky, Memphis, Indiana, Florida, Virginia and others on his list.

“Wall is the fastest player in the country,” recruiting analyst Gibbons told the News and Observer. “He is at a different speed than anyone else and he is a great passer. He’s the best point guard in the country and one of the two or three best players.”

Favors, a 6-foot-9 senior-to-be from South Atlanta (Ga.) High, on Saturday told the Raleigh paper he’s considering KU, Duke, North Carolina, Memphis, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Georgia and Georgia Tech.

“He plays with the intensity of a Tyler Hansbrough and is more skilled than Tyler was at his age,” Gibbons said after watching Favors put on a typical (for him) shot blocking display. “He works like Hansbrough but reminds you of Sam Perkins. Favors is one of the best shot blockers I’ve seen.”

Sidney, 6-10 from Fairfax High in Los Angeles, told he’s considering KU, UCLA, USC, Texas, Memphis, Arizona State, Ohio State, Louisville, Syracuse, Michigan State and UConn.

Other members of’s Top Ten who have KU on their lists of schools: No. 7 Lance Stephenson, 6-5, from Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y., and No. 8 Daniel Orton, 6-10, from Oklahoma City McGuinness High.

No. 11-rated Dominic Cheek, a 6-5 senior-to-be from St. Anthony High in Jersey City, N.J., and the teammate of incoming KU guard Tyshawn Taylor, at the Gibbons event said he was interested in Villanova, Wake Forest, KU, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Florida, UConn, Texas and Maryland.

No 28-rated Rodney Williams, 6-5 from Robbinsdale Cooper Senior High in New Hope, Minn., also played in Carolina over the weekend. He likes Minnesota, KU, Iowa, Iowa State, Purdue and Wisconsin.