Kansas basketball: 5 Jayhawks who didn’t live up to the NBA hype

Mandatory Credit: Elsa/ Getty Images.
Mandatory Credit: Elsa/ Getty Images. /
3 of 5
Kansas basketball, NBA Busts
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

3. Kansas basketball NBA busts: Xavier Henry

One of the hallmarks of Bill Self‘s tenure as Kansas head coach is a number of talented players who leave school too soon. A lot of these players end up getting drafted highly and fail to live up to their lofty draft status, with one of the poster children for that being guard Xavier Henry.

As a freshman in 2009, Henry certainly flashed some promise for the Jayhawks. Henry averaged 13.4 points per game for Kansas and scored 31 points in a game against La Salle, making him the first freshman to score 30 in a game for Kansas since Paul Pierce.

That success as a freshman convinced Henry to bolt for the NBA, where he was drafted 12th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2010. Most scouts assumed Henry could be a 3-and-D wing in the pros, but he was simply horrendous on the offensive end of the floor.

Henry bounced around the league for a few years, playing for three NBA teams and a few D-League squads. Injuries certainly contributed to Henry’s struggles as he never developed into a solid rotation player.

This is certainly a case where another year or two in school could have made a huge difference for Henry’s development. As a result, it is fair to wonder what could have been for Henry as an NBAer.