Rumors, rumors everywhere...when it stops time will tell. We talked about it for a long time yesterday, what does Lances delay mean? How will Calipari's move affect Henry?
At one point it seemed to be common knowledge that Henry would be released from is letter of intent and head to Lawrence as a Jayhawk legacy and and incredible pickup late in the game for Coach Self.
That lasted a few short minutes and then we're left wondering if either of these possible one and doners will be in a Jayhawk uniform next season.
Clearly the two most important people to the Jayhawks success in 09'-10' are Cole and Sherron but let's take a look one step further at the what if's. What if Xavier Henry comes to Kansas? What if Lance Stephenson comes to Kansas? If your choosing one which fits better? So many questions and so few answers.
Jump into the post for a breakdown...
All right so first the tale of the tape. What's different about these guys from a physical standpoint? Truthfully not a whole lot. Stephenson checks in at a sleek 6'5" 195 pounds while Xavier might have a little more physicality coming in at 6'6" nearly 210. Just from a visual standpoint it's clear that Xavier probably has more strength or at least he's built in a way that would lead you to think he's the type that could take a lot of contact and still finish around the rim. That said Stephenson's videos show a player who is equally capable and extremely creative getting the ball in the bucket.
The skinny on Xavier is this. He's got a smooth stroke from outside but is equally effective scoring inside. Realistically this guy is strong enough at times to post up down low and score from the block. He can be very effective at breaking down his man off the dribble and elevates with ease to get his shot and score. The biggest knock so far and likely only because he never needs to go to it is his mid range scoring. From the sounds of things the guy is either popping threes or getting to the rim. I've got no problem with either of those. He'll certainly have to adjust to an elevated level of play in college and be careful to avoid the charging calls but a strong physical wing that can score could be deadly in the Kansas offense surrounded by Cole and Sherron.
As for Lance, despite his smaller frame he also seems to rely on being physical to get his points. One of the knocks on him is that he isn't as athletic or quick as some of the other shooting guards in the class, but I'll take that with a grain of salt. Definitely more of a set shooter than Xavier and doesn't elevate nearly as well. He does remind you of a Brandon Rush type in the sense that he doesn't look overly athletic all the time but he get's the job done and can create for himself which is a huge plus. Another plus that Stephenson has shown is that mid range game that many high school guards don't display. Lance is comfortable scoring from anywhere in the half court and again this is a great fit in a Kansas system that has two solid contributors now but seemed one scoring option away from being a serious contender.
Other concerns with Lance are his ability to handle strong defensive pressure. My first thought here is how does he handle a team like Missouri who pesters you from whistle to whistle. Secondly, there's the old selfish comment but as we've all witnessed this can often be blown out of proportion and based on the kids comments regarding winning and a Coach to take him to the next level I'm not hugely worried about this. Besides if there is anything we need and Bill Self always seems happy to have, it's a guy who's confident and willing to bring his offense to the game every night.
Overall either one of these guys would be absolutely fantastic additions to the 09'-10' Jayhawks and possibly further. Right now the prevailing thought ranges from the slim chance of getting both, to getting one or the other, to getting neither. Who knows when this thing resolves but in the time being it's fun to think about the possibilities.
So with these differences in mind I ask you Rock Chalk Talkers, any preferences and who do you think we end up with? Henry, Stephenson, neither and why?
Do you want the more physical, slashing and athletic Kansas legacy? Or do you want the more dynamic scorer, and the leading scorer in New York history? Pluses? Minuses? The other thing to take into account is who buys in better to the Kansas defensive philosphy? Don't get me wrong I'd be happy with either or but for the good of the order I thought this might be a fun topic to dive into deeper.
Sidenote: Thanks to Esteban for the idea, it occured to me that after his poll went up that none of us really seemed to look real closely at these guys because I don't think we were expecting to be in the mix. Spent a little time last night watching film and reading scouting reports so hopefully the quick breakdown can spur some more insight into why everyone picked who they did.