It was officially announced yesterday that sophomore forward Myke Henry from Illinois is transferring from the program. Illinois head coach John Groce is very supportive of Henry's decision. "Myke is looking for a new opportunity where he will be able to play a different position," Groce said. "He was a valued member of our team, but we want what is best for him, so we will help Myke find the right fit that will help him further his goals both on and off the court."
The Chicago native and former Orr High School standout is looking for a new home, and DePaul is among the numerous schools vying for his services. Henry, who's 6'6, was utilized as a stretch power forward this past season with the Illini. He averaged 3.2 points, 2.1 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game. Henry's best outings came in Big Ten play, as a spark off the bench. Against Michigan State, Henry scored 11 points in 21 minutes, making 2 of 4 three pointers in a loss. He scored 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds (3 offensive rebounds) in a win against Nebraska, making 2 of 4 three pointers.
But Henry is looking to play the small forward position exclusively, something that likely wouldn't have been possible at Illinois. That's why Henry to DePaul makes sense. DePaul is familiar with Henry, having recruited him out of high school. He could potentially bolster their play at the small forward position.
With Moses Morgan transferring, Jamee Crockett and Charles McKinney are the lone options at small forward for DePaul. But both are really guards and stand 6'4 and 6'3 respectively. Henry would add size to the position, posing as a three point threat as well as giving DePaul second chance opportunities. Henry's offensive rebound percentage was 10.0 last season, as 33 of his 74 rebounds came on the offensive glass in limited play.. Crockett's offensive rebound percentage was 5.2 and McKinney's was 4.7. Henry's work on the boards all came while he was matched up against other power forwards, so you have to figure he can maintain or even improve his offensive rebound percentage since he would be pitted against other small forwards.
DePaul currently has one open scholarship for the 2013-2014 season. With Henry in the fold, it would add class balance to DePaul, as he'd be a join point guard Durrell McDonald in DePaul's junior class when he's eligible in 2014-2015. Sitting out the 2013-2014 season would also allow Henry to strengthen his ball-handling abilities, something that prevented him from seeing playing time at Illinois as a small forward. His three point shooting could also use fine-tuning, as he only shot 32% from three this past season.
Another reason why DePaul is an ideal situation for Henry is location. Although Champaign wasn't too far a trek for Henry's family, playing for DePaul would make it even more accessible for his family to attend games playing in his hometown.
Henry is expected to make his decision in the coming weeks, as summer workouts will be commencing very soon. Expect DePaul to be heavily involved and potentially land Henry, since it would be a nice fit for the young forward.