Thursday, July 29, 2010

John Henson Will Be The Key To The Tarheels Success

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Jim Isaac/Getty Images
Last season, the frontcourt of the Tar Heels faced a lot of problems. Ed Davis got injured and following that, teams had a field day in the post.

Without Davis there to intimidate teams just drove the ball inside.There was not much Deon Thompson or John Henson could do about that.

It also didn't help that the Tar Heels were playing the best teams in the nation with an under-achieving roster.

But next season, the Tar Heels will face bigger problems and will need big contributions from a sophomore player.

They lost Ed Davis but brought in the No. 1 rated recruit in the country. Harrison Barnes is considered to be one-and-done talent and draws Carmelo Anthony comparisons.

No question, he has the talent and the acquirement of Barnes is a huge step towards redemption. However, the last piece of the puzzle is Henson.

The 6-foot-10 product didn't have the best freshman year. It wasn't due to lack of skills, more so, the lack of playing time. Early on in the season, Henson looked like he was steered towards a learning curve.

He did come out of High School as one of the smaller power forwards and needed to add bulk to his frame. So a learning curve was well understood.

However, once Davis went down, you could tell Henson would do fine.

Henson's numbers started to pick up big time as more minutes opened. During a game against Duke, Henson came away with 14 points and eight rebounds. Henson was probably the only player that actually showed up to play.

Not to mention, in the NIT tournament, he showed how well he attacks the glass.

On defense, it almost felt like the Tar Heels hid Henson. His lack of strength allowed opposing teams to take a lot of shots at him.

His defense in the post is a huge question mark heading into next season.

Despite last season's under-achieving numbers, Henson will need to play a big role in the Tar Heels success next season.

His contributions in the post will set the tone. His weakness coming out of High School was his bulk. As evidence, watch North Carolina game film.

But this off-season, according to ESPN, Henson is doing his best to add-on pounds. In the NC Pro Am he looked fine. But adding more weight will not hurt.

Overall, Henson will need to be dominant in the post. Last season, he was tossed around, boxed out, and sometimes just out-hustled by the other big man.

If that happens next season, even with Barnes, the Tar Heels are in for another bad season.

But, if Henson continues to work and improves his game all-around, the Tar Heels are looking at a magical run.

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