Wichita State is getting a coach’s son, which usually is good news. Corey Henderson Jr. plays point guard for his father at the Episcopal School of Dallas. He orally committed to WSU on Sunday and plans to sign in November.
Henderson (6-foot-3, 165 pounds) appears to follow in the usual footsteps of a coach’s son. He grew up around basketball (his father played at Texas A&M) and benefited from those experiences. His father started coaching him as a freshman at Episcopal.
While basketball fathers can pass on instincts and desire, playing for dad isn’t always easy, as generations of father-son combos can attest. Henderson said his father coached him harder than other players, especially early in his high school days.
“My freshman year was kind of tough,” he said. “I got used to it. He means well. It was an adjustment, because I wasn’t used to him coaching me and then going home with him.”
Henderson is entering his senior season and the plus side of playing for dad is easier to see.
“It’s helped me a lot,” he said. “He’s the main reason why I am where I am.”
Henderson describes himself as a combo guard. He will play point this season for Episcopal, which is the school that produced former Missouri point guard Phil Pressey, now with the Celtics.
“Henderson is a more traditional swing guard than the speedy, athletic 5-9 Pressey,” wrote David McNabb for TexasHoops.com. “Henderson can spot up for (three-pointers) as well create assists. He’s a long body who could create mismatches.”
AT THE BALLPARK
Wichita State’s fall baseball scrimmage series starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Some things to watch:
• The Shockers work hard on bunting, sacrifice and for a hit, and the coaches don’t let sloppy fundamentals slide. Expect to see an emphasis on moving runners and using speed. Don’t expect to see Creighton-style sacrifices in the first inning. Coach Todd Butler wants to use his team’s wheels to play aggressively and put pressure on defenses.
• How does the middle infield shake out? Somebody can use this series as a chance to emerge as the man at shortstop or second base. WSU is loaded with experience at both spots, with players such as Erik Harbutz, Dayne Parker (an injury prohibits him from throwing this fall), Tanner Kirk, Cody Bobbit and Tanner Dearman. Newcomer Zair Koeiman is a good defender with power potential at second base. Freshman Wes Phillips is making a good impression this fall at shortstop.
• Freshman pitcher Sam Tewes is in position to challenge for a spot in the weekend rotation. Tewes, from Lincoln, Neb., touches 92 mph with his fastball and is adding a changeup to his arsenal.
• Senior Foster Vielock is the top candidate to close after serving three seasons as a setup man. He is throwing 88-91 mph and his slider remains an out pitch. Other candidates are worth watching, including newcomers Ray Ashford and T.J. Looney, both junior transfers. Senior lefty Aaron LaBrie remains a valuable asset after earning honorable mention All-MVC honors as a junior. He could serve many roles in the bullpen. Senior lefty Drew Palmer is healthy and throwing effectively.
• Don’t wait long to get out to Eck Stadium. Butler will go with a five-game series, instead of seven, and run it off in six days. One thing hasn’t changed: Admission is a can of food for the Kansas Food Bank.
THIS WEEK IN SHOCKER HISTORY
Oct. 17, 2005
Wichita State’s volleyball team entered the American Volleyball Coaches Association top 25 for the first time, debuting at No. 25. The Shockers (18-2) entered the poll with a 16-match win streak. “It’s kind of cool to see our name up there with the big shots,” WSU senior Jen Ray said. “We’ve always come close. We’ve been pushing the envelope for so long.”