The information and opinions expressed about players referenced in this section are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the Hornets organizations preferences for the June 24th Draft.
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com
Vitals: 6-6, 210 lbs., guard/forward
Birthdate: March 15, 1991
College: Kansas (1 year)
Stats: 13.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.5 spg, 45.8 FG%, 41.8 3-PT%, 78.3 FT%.
By keeping a high school basketball diary in 2009 for SLAM Magazine, Putnam City (Okla.) scholastic hoops standout Xavier Henry joined an exclusive club previous SLAM high school diary keepers include the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Love and 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans. The NBA team that selects Henry in this years draft would be ecstatic if the swingman can enjoy the kind of professional career his fellow writers have experienced, after he was a major contributor during his lone college season at Kansas.
Despite the fact that he wont turn 20 until late in the 2010-11 regular season, Henry is described as a very mature prospect, both in terms of his build and his style of play.
Among wing players, Xavier Henry looks terrific, as expected, at 6-5 without shoes, with an excellent 6-11 wingspan, assessed DraftExpress.com after a pre-draft event in May. He has ample size to play either shooting guard or small forward, which should help ease his transition in defending perimeter players at the NBA level.
From a physical standpoint, Henry has a very well-built frame, especially mature considering hes still only (19) years old. Athletically, he is a good but not great athlete, not having outstanding quickness or vertical explosiveness around the basket, but still enough to probably be considered average for a wing at the NBA level, while also possessing great coordination and body control. DraftExpress.com compares Henry to current Hornets forward James Posey, as well as Portland forward Martell Webster, an accurate shooter from three-point range. Henrys most NBA-ready skill may be his shooting ability, after he nearly averaged two treys per game as a Jayhawks freshman.
He already has an NBA body and he can shoot the NBA 3, ESPN.com noted.
Although draft analysts seem to be in agreement that Henry will be able to make a contribution to a pro team immediately, DraftExpress.com questioned his upside and ability to make major improvements from his current effectiveness.
Looking forward, Henry clearly has two NBA skills in his three-point shooting and passing, the website assessed. His team-oriented approach will certainly be appealing to teams, but with only a year spent in college and not much to show for it in terms of shot creating abilities, teams will have a tough time gauging his learning curve to see if thats something hes likely to develop down the road. Henrys attitude and approach to the game are definitely reassuring in this regard, but if he only projects as a role playing wing who cant create his own shot (and there are questions about which position he is best suited to guard), teams may be hesitant to draft (him) earlier than the later portion of the lottery at best, though there are likely many playoff teams who would be happy to see him fall.
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