The Warriors have signed Xavier Henry and Chris Udofia to their now 19 man roster. The two swingmen have been assigned to the Warriors D-league affiliate team, and will be playing in Santa Cruz.
Henry, still only 24, is a Belgium-born, one-and-done lefty shooting guard; drafted when he was only 19 years-old out of Kansas. At 6'6, 220 lbs, Henry has an NBA body and has shown flashes of scoring potential. In his first game at Kansas, Xavier dropped 27 points - breaking the debut scoring record for any freshman in Jayhawk history. Later that season, KU hosted La Salle and Henry went for a 31 point outing; the only other freshman in school history to accomplish that feat was Paul Pierce.
The Warriors will be Xavier's 4th stop since being drafted. Henry should have stayed in Kansas for 2 more years. He was part of the talent-stocked, post-Jerry West era in Memphis, migrated to the gutless New Orleans Hornets, and then moved on to the flailing Lakers before landing here in the Bay. Golden State hopes the refined system and slew of mentorship can steer Henry into being the shooting guard the Grizz thought he'd be when they drafted him 12th overall in 2010.
Henry logged 21 mpg in Los Angeles with the Lakers during 2013-14. He averaged 10 ppg and one steal a contest while shooting a 41% clip. Henry is a high-character player.
Chris Udofia, 23, played for the Israeli national team last year. Udofia stayed 4 years at the University of Denver and set the school record for most blocks (256) while proving to be the team's ironman, logging a record-tying 124 games. He made the all-conference first team in three leagues, while also earning the defensive player of the year award in both the Sun Belt and Summit league.
Udofia is a long, lockdown defender and above the rim finisher who can run the floor and provide a presence as a strong weak-side shot blocker. The Nigerian native averaged 1.8 steals and 2 blocks a game with Denver University. His 9.0 block percentage ranked 64th nationally. Chris shot a reliable 50% over his college career, and worked last season at improving his range to NBA three. Only one year removed from college, he will have to prove that he can be a defensive stopper at the next level in Santa Cruz.
Joe Lacob tees off with Tim Kawakami
Walton Standing Tall Amidst Uncertainty
"It's night and day. Obviously the preference is we have Steve coaching Tuesday night, but after the last couple of weeks, I'm feeling a lot more confident now."
"If you told me two weeks ago that Steve was out, no matter what, for the first regular-season game I probably would have not slept that much. But I feel fine and confident doing what's required next week."
Klay Thompson chimed in with his thoughts on Walton's progress:
"We all respect Luke. We all really enjoy playing for him. He's got a great mind for the game; you saw it when he played, and it's easy to see when he coaches."
"That's okay. What draft pick did we get Steph at? So at least six of them don't know what they're doing. What draft pick did we get Draymond at? Alright. So we're good. The only thing that matters is that our guys are putting in the work and staying hungry. The Spurs could've won last year. They were good enough to do it. That's my point - there's no way to really know."