By Joe Henricksen

Illinois lands Mycheal Henry

| 10 Comments | No TrackBacks

By Joe Henricksen

Illinois fans have been waiting for a pure shooter to enter the program for a number of years, one that can not only knock down shots but rise up and get his own. Well, one is on its way.

Orr's Mycheal Henry, one of the best shooters in the state of Illinois regardless of class, gave a verbal commitment to coach Bruce Weber and Illinois on Monday. No disrespect to the likes of Trent Meacham and Richard McBride, the program's best three-point shooters over the past four years, but Henry is in a completely different class as a player and shooter.

"I just really connected with the coaching staff," said Henry, who enjoyed a terrific visit to Illinois this past weekend. "I like the facilities, the school, the environment and the players. I feel relieved and comfortable with this. It's like a monkey is off my back."

A lot of credit again must go out to assistant coach Jerrance Howard, who was on a mission this winter and throughout the spring in trying to land the coveted Henry. He quickly built a relationship with Henry that went a long way in landing the sharpshooter from Chicago. Bruce Weber was also involved early on, taking in Henry action late this season.

Henry, who vaulted into the Hoops Report top 10 in the Class of 2011 as the calender turned to 2010 and was soon offered by both Wisconsin and Illinois, finally gives Weber and the Illini that player who can consistently stretch a defense. Henry's elevation on his shot and high release point are of high-major caliber as he's capable of getting his shot off, whether it's spotting up on the perimeter, coming off screens or step-back threes. He's a shooter.

Aside from Henry's shooting, his most attractive quality of a player may be his willingness to improve and get better. He is a revelation in this day of prima-donna prep stars. This kid has no ego, wants to be coached and is humble. He knows he has work to do with his overall handle and is in the process of polishing up those skills. Henry, though, has the body, athleticism, size and shooting ability to be an impact player.

After transferring from Morgan Park to Orr following his freshman season, the progression began. I remember my first real glance at the upside and potential in January of his sophomore year, watching an Orr-Whitney Young game and thinking once this kid figures it all out he's got a real chance. He was raw, a slasher and finisher around the basket with a developing mid-range game.

Last summer, following his sophomore year at Orr, Henry was an intriguing prospect, a player mid-major programs coveted and were just hoping would stay at their level. And for some time it appeared that may just happen. There was certainly a process in putting it all together for Henry. Last summer, despite the vast potential, the results were inconclusive as his game had some holes and the production was very inconsistent. However, throughout the summer and fall Henry made it a point to make a huge jump in one area: shooting the basketball.

The season started in November and he took off in December. The production became the norm, with 20 and 12 in a win over Crete-Monee and 21 and 12 in a win over Gary Westside. He was special in the Public League Holiday Tournament in a pair of games the Hoops Report took in, including 30 points, 9 rebounds, 5 block shots and seven three-pointers against Foreman in the quarterfinals. When Jan. 1 rolled around the Hoops Report, with no reservations, moved Henry into the No. 2 spot in the Hoops Report player rankings in the Class of 2011.

The commitment of Henry now gives Illinois three players already locked up in the Class of 2011, joining Mount Carmel guard Tracy Abrams and St. Ignatius big man Nnanna Egwu. Illinois, which has now tapped into the Chicago Public League with the Henry commitment, continues to do a terrific job of locking up top in-state talent. The staff made Henry feel comfortable, something prospects have repetitively stated as being a key part in offering up early verbal commitments to Illinois.

Bruce Weber is on the verge of putting together three straight banner recruiting classes, with the likes of Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson, Tyler Griffey, Meyers Leonard, Jereme Richmond, Crandall Head and the soon-to-be class of Abrams, Egwu and Henry.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/31970

10 Comments

I just hope we can add A Davis and Randle to this class. Keep them away from Convict Calipari. Some of those kids are idiots saying Con Cal gets them ready for the pros. There is not one damn thing that slimeball EVER does to get a kid ready. He can't coach, just cheats more than even Bill Selfish & Kansass. With superior talent at Memphis & Kentucky, he couldn't coach a fat man to eat a hotdog. All our talent is homegrown thus far, and they are very good players. Go Illini and Purdue or MSU are not so much more talented than next years team the Illini can't kick their asses too.

I just hope this permanently quiets the "Weber can't recruit crowd". Since the arrival of JH coach Weber's staff has really taken off. They are a tight knit group that has all the ingrdients young kids need...leadership, mentorship, compassion and an emphasia on being a student athelete. If they're teachable ike the 05 squad was the Illini Nation are in for some very exciting years to come. GO ILLINI...GO Coach Weber!

You were right on with this one back in december Joe!

I TOLD YOU GUYS, THIS IS WHY YOU OFFER SCHOLARSHIPS TO PLAYERS THAT ARE IN YOUR STATE, THIS IS ONE OF MAC IRVIN'S BOYS, SO GUESS WHAT, THE FIGHTING ILLINI WILL GET MORE FROM THIS PROGRAM IN THE FUTURE!
LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED, JERRANCE HOWARD AND COACH WEBER DID THEIR HOMEWORK, NOW THE YOUNG MAN WON'T BE GOING TO MADISON WISCONSIN FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN PLAYING AGAINST THE TEAM IN THE RED UNIFORMS!
YOU OFFER AND THEN YOU KEEP IN TOUCH, FORM RELATIONSHIPS, AND INVITE THEM TO CAMPUS FOR AN UNOFFICIAL VISIT, AND THE REST IS EASY!
THIS YOUNG MAN CAN SHOOT THE LIGHTS OUT!
WELCOME ABOARD, THE FIGHTING ILLINI TRAIN!

VERY NEGATIVE ABOUT COACH CAL AND COACH SELF, HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE GOOD RECRUITERS, THE CHEATING YOU SPOKE OF DOESN'T HOLD WATER!

Stop being jealous of Calipari and how he recruits. Illinois and those hayseeds down there will still not win a National Title. Calipari has produced pros consistently and has 5 that will be drafted in the 1st round of the NBA Draft this summer. SO STOP THE HATIN AND JEALOUSY ILLINI FANS IT'S NOT A GOOD THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim From Evanston: You really can't be serious! First, I am not an Illini fan. My family actually has been season ticket holders at Memphis, live down there for years. My brother is in college coaching business. Are you really going to sit here and defend Calipari? Everyone knows what is up with Calipari. Yes he produces pros because he gets the very best. And we know how he gets the very best. Those in college coaching know how he gets the very best. There is a reason that two programs Calipari left immediately went on probation and had sanctions leveled on them. What if Memphis had won that national title game and then had to forfeit it, which Memphis had to do? What a black-eye on the game. And why? Calipari. There are plenty of coaches to defend and respect besides this guy.

Tim from Evanston is a knowledgeable basketball fan from all that I have read right here in this blog space. He provides good information. But Tim you are really off on this one. A defense of Calipari? Please, Tim! No! Don't lose your credibility with me. You too good of a fan. Do you see what happens where he coaches?

Calipari always has been and always will be a cheater. He has never made a player better by coaching them to be better. They had the talent to start with, or they would have fallen short on Convict Cal's coaching! Calipari should be run out of college coaching on a rail. Funny you call Illini hayseeds, you should be in Kentucky and listen to these fools. They would sell their sisters and mothers to win something, and to get a cheater like Convict Cal is making these hayseeds salivate. Except when they play WVA and get their asses kicked. He has cheated at UMASS and Ky, and will never change! Bowling Green, Ky. Illini fan!!!!!

Hey: Great to see Henry coming to the Illini! He is what the Doctor ordered a perimeter shooter, who can also take it to the rim and rebound.

Great prospect! Good job Snacks!

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on May 10, 2010 5:05 PM.

Illini hot after Kyle Cain? was the previous entry in this blog.

Purnell secures first commitment is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.