Found November 10, 2011 on Fox Sports Carolinas:
Georgia_tech_v_529e
John Henson loves to smile. Sometimes, he just cant help it. Following a poorly played win at Virginia last season, Henson sat at his locker answering questions about the Tar Heels performance that afternoon. As the questions got more critical, a smile emerged on Hensons face. I dont know what to tell you, he said. We just didnt play well but we got the win, though. Henson is 6-foot-10, thin, has a wingspan of someone 7-4, can leap through the top of an arena, has an amazing defensive knack for swatting opponents shots anywhere hed like, and is a positive influence inside the locker room. The Tampa native is also a big kid. He loves to joke around, and if you ever talk to him up close, disregard the long legs and arms and the massive hands, he looks like a kid in his face. Yeah, I can see that, said teammate Dexter Strickland, a junior like Henson. He certainly acts like one a lot. But theres something within Henson that transforms him once he steps onto the basketball court. A menacing streak surfaces, occasionally to his and the Tar Heels detriment. But usually, its that extra layer that transitions Henson from a fun-loving jovial sort to a terror on the hardwood. Henson enjoys blocking shots in a manner than can affect later shot attempts. He enjoys getting into opponents heads, because it gives him an advantage. Heck, hed rather block a shot that slam home a rim-rattling dunk. I love doing both, he said. I love to dunk. It can either get the crowd going at home or shuts them up on the road. But Id rather get a big block. We can accomplish more as a team off a block than we can from a dunk. Thats just two points, but a dunk usually stops a possession, leads to a basket for us, and can have a lasting effect. Often described as Gumby-like, referring to the animated character that is green, long and can easily contort itself and stretch great lengths, Henson was so excited to see a student dressed as Gumby at a game last season, he even tweeted about it that night. Shoutout to Gumby in the student section I LOVE it! Lol Students will be shouting for Henson this season perhaps more than ever before. Hes added some offense to his game, and promises those jump hooks that fell a tad short of the basket are a thing of the past. I think it was more of I had a problem of deciding what I was going to do before I even got the ball, said Henson, who averaged 11.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 3.2 blocked shots per game a year ago. Now Ive learned how to read a defender and things like that. I think its going to be a smoother hook, and things of that nature. Overall, though, Henson sees his entire package as much improved from a year ago. I worked on it a lot, he said. I worked on the face-up jumper as well. Ive just worked on a lot of things and hopefully I can show you guys something over the next couple of months. Henson was the ACCs Defensive Player of the Year last season, and could have been a first-round selection in the NBA draft. But he didnt think much about that. After spending most of his freshman season on the perimeter, an experiment that clearly didnt work, Henson had just one full season of interior experience in college, so the next level wasnt much of an option. But it may be next summer, especially if Hensons game is much improved and he helps guide the top-ranked Tar Heels to a national championship. That said, Henson needs to stay close to what most makes his game tick. Johns game is still helping us around the backboard, covering the goal, rebounding the ball, running the floor, taking away things from the other team, Carolina coach Roy Williams said. And yes, if he makes a 15-footer, thats great. But the other part of the game is what he has to do for our team to do well. And if Henson doesnt disappoint his Hall of Fame coach, he likely will be be smiling wider and brighter than ever on the first Monday of next April.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Classic Start

It was a historic setting and top-ranked North Carolina played the part. Harrison Barnes scored 17 points in the Tar Heels' 67-55 victory over the Spartans aboard the USS Carl Vinson.

M. Basketball. Lucas: Tar Heels Tour Ship

Following a police escort from the San Diego airport, the Tar Heel basketball traveling party took a guided tour of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier on Wednesday afternoon. The behind-the-scenes look was an eye-opening look at their host for the next 48 hours.

Tar Heels Sign Four For 2012-13

Four high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of North Carolina and play men's basketball for the Tar Heels, head coach Roy Williams announced today.

M. Soccer. Tar Heels Dominate ACC Awards

On the heels of a third straight ACC regular season title several Tar Heels were honored by the ACC on Thursday as senior Matt Hedges earned ACC Defensive Player of the Year, freshman Mikey Lopez was selected as the ACC Freshman of the Year and Tar Heel head coach Carlos Somoano was named the ACC Coach of the year by a vote of the league coaches. The Tar Heels placed a school record...

W. Basketball. No. 20 Tar Heels Roll Past Carson-Newman, 91-43

Chay Shegog finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 20 North Carolina past Carson-Newman, 91-43, Wednesday night in an exhibition contest at Carmichael Arena. Carolina held the Division II Eagles to just 2-of-29 shooting after halftime to turn a close game into a rout.

First task for Spartans freshman Branden Dawson? Slow Tar Heels star Harrison Barnes

Dawson is under two orders from Tom Izzo: Study Barnes, then play hard and see what happens.

Letterman's Roundtable

Inside Carolina's weekly 'State of the Heels' discussion hosted by Buck Sanders, featuring former Tar Heels Scott Lenahan, Deems May, Quincy Monk and Mark Paschal ...

W. Volleyball. Tar Heels Set To Play Final Home Matches

Season Statistics | Vote Gibson for Lowe's Senior CLASS AwardNorth Carolina will play host to Georgia Tech in its penultimate home match of the season Friday, Nov. 11, at 5:15 p.m. from Carmichael Arena. Immediately following the match with the Yellow Jackets will be a viewing party for the Carrier Classic between UNC and Michigan State in men's basketball. Admission to both...

Wrestling. Tar Heels Set To Wrestle For A Cure Saturday

After a successful opening tournament at the Hokie Open a week ago the Tar Heel grapplers will take to the mat once again on Saturday when they participate in the Wrestle For A Cure Duals in Harrisburg, Pa. Carolina will take on some stiff competition on Saturday as they take on nationally-ranked Illinois, Nebraska and Ohio State along with Boston.

General News. Amato: A Radio Dream Realized

Monrovie Angell III is a diehard Carolina fan. Most of his family attended UNC, and he watches the Tar Heels play on TV whenever he can. "Rovie" Angell still turns down the TV sound in favor of the radio call. He did it listening to Woody, listening with his son, now grown and gone. Now when he's listening from Jacksonville, N.C., the voice he hears IS his son's...

M. Soccer. Carolina Set For ACC Semifinal Friday

No. 3 North Carolina will look to make it back-to-back ACC Tournament Final appearances Friday when the top-seeded Tar Heels take on fourth-seeded Virginia at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN3 with a bid to the ACC Championship on the line.

Obama watches No. 1 Tar Heels beat Spartans 67-55

With President Barack Obama watching from midcourt, No. 1 North Carolina beat Michigan State 67-55 on Friday night in the Carrier Classic on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson.

W. Volleyball. Tar Heels Down Yellow Jackets

Final Stats | Season Statistics | Vote Gibson for Lowe's Senior CLASS AwardNorth Carolina defeated Georgia Tech, 3-1 (25-13, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20) before 1,735 fans at Carmichael Arena. Junior outside hitter Emily McGee posted her 11th double double in UNC's past 13 matches with 13 kills and 11 digs. Kaylie Gibson pitched in 18 digs to pace the defense.
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.