Henry Finds his Form
Feb. 13, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
After scoring a career-high 31 points against La Salle on Dec. 12, Kansas fans may have wondered if freshman sensation Xavier Henry had lost his touch.
For a two-month span, Henry continuously struggled to match the production of his early season success. However, based on his last two performances the Kansas freshman appears to have found his stroke again.
Saturday evening, with his team clinging to a two-point lead, Henry hit back-to-back three-pointers during a 14-0 Kansas run, which fueled the team’s 73-59 victory over Iowa State.
“(Coach Self) just said to go out and play, and stop thinking so hard. We just went out there, played defense and capitalized on offense,” said Henry.
While Henry was speaking about Coach Self’s message during a timeout before the extended Kansas run, he probably could have used the same advice during his shooting slump.
During the first month of the season, Henry was the team’s offensive leader, averaging 18 points per game over the team’s first 19 contests. However, during the team’s first eight conference games, Henry cracked double digits just twice.
“I was just missing shots,” Henry said. “My shot just wasn’t falling. Now I’m just being a little more patient and just playing the game.”
Henry’s teammates seem to agree. When asked if “X” had gotten over his mid-season slide, senior Sherron Collins answered with and emphatic “Yes.”
Henry credits his teammates as well as Assistant Coach Joe Dooley for keeping him positive throughout the first month of conference play.
“(My teammates) are helping me out a lot and my coaches are encouraging me.” Henry said. “Coach Dooley works a lot with me. There are little things [in my shot] that I tweak, but it’s just my mindset.”
With Henry showing his early season form again and the Jayhawks riding a 10-game winning streak, the team heads into a Big Monday showdown with Texas A&M on ESPN. For Kansas to capture another Big 12 win, Henry will need to continue to provide a hot hand.
“I know (Texas A&M) is tied in the Big 12 Conference with Kansas State (for second place),” Henry said. “They’ve been playing well lately, so we just have to go down there and play hard.”