Xavier Henry: NBA Draft Profile and Scouting Report
Xavier Henry, Kansas -- 2010 NBA Draft Profile
Position: Shooting Guard / Small Forward | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 210
Class: Freshman | Age: 19 | Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK
2009 Stats: 13.4 points | 4.4 rebounds | 1.5 assists | 1.5 steals | Game Log
NBA Mock Draft Ranking: 9
Xavier Henry Video Highlights: YouTube
Xavier Henry Scouting Report
Strengths: Talk about being tailor-made for the NBA game -- that's Xavier Henry in a nutshell. While many one-and-done's have an array of holes and chinks in their game, Henry enters the NBA as a wrap-up-seal-and-deliver type. The former Kansas swingman is an immensely talented southpaw with a terrific pull-up game who can extend to three and is strong enough to finish through contact. Often in Bill Self's intricate offense predicated on Sherron Collins, Henry -- not unlike fellow frosh Derrick Favors -- got lost. For Henry at least, this will not be an issue in the NBA game.
The great thing about Henry is that he really doesn't need plays called for him to score. He moves without the ball, understands spacing, and knows when to pick his spots. On what many viewed as the premier college team in the land all year (until Northern Iowa), Henry was a crucial element for the Jayhawks, starting all 36 games while averaging over 13 points and hitting on nearly 42 percent of his threes. Henry projects as a shooting guard, and a physical one at that. He is a great on-ball defender who moves his feet really well and understands help side.
Weaknesses: First, he's not a great athlete and doesn't have that explosive leaping ability that jumps right out at you. Henry is not really the type to isolate off the dribble and go one-on-one, plus he lacks shot-creating ability. In the NBA, this will hamper him as a scorer because so much of what shooting guards do is score off the bounce and on the move. Secondly, because his side-to-side quickness is sub-par, he may be exposed as a one-trick pony on the offensive end, merely relegated to spotting up and deemed useless as a playmaker.
Forecast: While he could certainly be a 20-point scorer as a pro, I envision him somewhere along the lines of 14-15 points, sprinkled in with some rebounds, assists, steals and even blocks. He lacks the upside of Favors, but the likelihood that he'll reach his own potential over Favors is higher. Henry doesn't create for himself very often but then again, his ability to come off screens and spot up is so good it shouldn't matter too much. Although a bit stiff at times, he is a natural basketball player who gives you the feeling he will find a way to contribute in any system. At 6-6, he has a really nice stroke as his 41.8 three-point percentage demonstrates, and the fact that he's left-handed will only help. He's not a gunner or high volume guy either; Henry will get his points within the flow of the offense and won't make silly mistakes. I can even see him playing some small forward and posting up some on the block with his strong base and frame. Not unlike Brandon Rush -- another former Jayhawk wing -- Henry is a kid who will contribute even when he's not scoring. He's not the sexiest selection, but Henry is about as safe a pick as any in the late stages of the lottery into the teens.
Xavier Henry Articles:
4/7: Xavier Henry Tearfully Declares for the NBA Draft
3/18: NCAA Eye for the NBA Guy
7/18/09: Henry-KU Saga Proves NBA Rule Wrong for College Hoops
More Scouting Reports: DraftExpress | NBADraft.net