Nov. 30, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. -- Three weeks after announcing the signing of a pair of top-100 national recruits to letters of intent, Oklahoma head men's basketball coach Lon Kruger said Wednesday that two more highly regarded players -- Jarion Henry and C.J. Cole -- will join the Sooners for the 2012-13 season.
Henry is a 6-9, 205-pound left-handed forward from Dallas, Texas, who attends La Jolla Prep in San Diego, Calif. He is ranked No. 119 nationally in the 2013 recruiting class by Rivals.com and is regarded as the country's 26th-best small forward. His father, Skeeter Henry, was a wing for the Sooners in the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons. The elder Henry earned first-team All-Big Eight honors as a senior in 1990 when OU finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the AP poll.
Jarion (pronounced JAIR-ee-on) Henry signed with New Mexico last fall out of Kimball High School in Dallas, where he helped the Knights to a 38-3 record and Class 4A state title by averaging 14.8 points, 13.1 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. He was a first-team all-area selection by the Dallas Morning News.
"Jarion is long and rangy and will bring a versatility with him to Norman," said Kruger. "He is a good mid-range shooter but can also score well around the rim. He has a knack for keeping possessions alive with his offensive rebounding, and we also like his ability to pass, defend and run the floor. We look forward to using him in a variety of ways."
La Jolla Prep head coach and former Tulsa assistant coach Gary Trousdale said, "Jarion is a winner. He's a lengthy 6-9 kid who can shoot it to 17 feet and can defend the wing. He attacks the glass and finishes, and is a great passer in traffic. He's the best passing 6-9 athlete I've seen in years. He's also our hardest worker in practice. As his upper body strength improves, he will be a force for the Sooners."
Cole is a 6-7, 220-pound forward from Sperry, Okla., who attends Sperry High School. He is a two-time all-state selection who last year as a junior averaged 22.9 points and 15.3 rebounds per contest while shooting 61 percent from the field. Through two games this year, Cole is averaging 28.0 points.
"C.J. is a strong and physical hard-nosed player who can score around the basket and really rebound," said Kruger. "He's an exceptionally smart young man who is also long on intangibles. He'll be a great leader for us on and off the court, and we're excited he's a Sooner."
Said Sperry coach Lance Kight, "OU's getting a high-character kid. He's one of the most coachable kids I've ever been around. When your best player is your hardest worker, you're in good shape. As far as on the court, he's got a nice 15-foot jumper but he's definitely not a finesse player. He's got very solid inside skills and great footwork. Plus, with a 36-inch vertical leap, he's a great athlete. He's the best rebounder I've ever coached."
Kight also said that Cole owns a 4.25 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) and ranks No. 1 in his class academically.
Henry and Cole join guards Buddy Hield and Jelon Hornbeak as members of OU's 2012 recruiting class. Hield is ranked No. 94 nationally by Rivals.com while Hornbeak is rated No. 89.