There’s a freshman in college basketball that is demanding headlines and buckets of ink to be spilled when writing about him. He’s leading one of the best, most talented teams in the nation. And this freshmen isn’t exactly who you think it is. Or maybe it is.
So goes the introduction to every article about Xavier Henry. A lot has been written about John Wall and Xavier Henry, but rarely has the latter been mentioned without being in the context of the former. Every article begs the question, is Henry the actual freshman of the year? Should he be getting more respect? Is he better than John Wall? Well it’s time to settle the debate, and what better place to do it than the bias free website of Kentucky Sports Radio? Let’s get to it.
Statistical Comparison: Both freshmen are lighting up their respective competition this year. Wall is averaging 17.8 ppg while Henry averages 17.7. Rebounds per game? 4 compared to 3.8. Blocks? 0.5 to 0.7. So many of their stats are nearly identical to each other, that it’s difficult to differentiate between the two. There is only one category with a glaring difference, and that comes in the team player category. While John Wall averages 7 assists per game, Henry only averages 1.7. Is that enough to give Wall an edge in this category? As much as I would like to say yes, this category is going to be chalked up as a PUSH.
Intangibles: Who offers more to their team? One player is a spot up shooter who pours in the points, one is the teams point guard, whom without – the team would have lost at least three more games. One is expected to contribute where he can, while relying on the leadership of a Senior PG and a Junior All American Center. The other is his teams leading point guard, one who has had his leadership qualities written about over and over. This category, without question, goes to Wall.
Team Performance: Both teams to this point are undefeated. Kansas’s best wins coming against Memphis and Michigan. Kentucky’s against UNC and UConn. While you can’t fault Kansas for playing their schedule, but you can’t give them the same credit as Kentucky demands for having played actual basketball teams so far this season. For helping his team win against harder competition, John Wall gets the nod once again.
So it’s settled. John Wall deserves the accolades he is getting, and Za-Vee-Ay can suck it. All kidding aside, Henry is a good – if not great – player. But he’s not even in the same league as Wall. To his credit, almost no one in college basketball is in the same league as Wall. I officially rule in the favor of Wall, the debate is settled. Case closed. And if any KU fans have a problem with this, ask them if they would be willing to trade one for another. Is they say yes, send them to rehab.