ACC Tournament 2012: How Will the Tar Heels Handle John Henson's Injury?

Doug BrodessCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 09:  John Henson #31 of the North Carolina Tar Heels receives assistance from Head Athletic Trainer Chris Hirth after being injured in their game against the Maryland Terrapins during the Quarterfinals of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Conferene Tournament at Philips Arena on March 9, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

North Carolina's power forward, John Henson was injured in the Tar Heels' ACC Tournament second round game against Maryland.

After leaving the game briefly to have his left wrist taped, Henson returned to the game, only to leave again, wincing in pain.

X-rays have turned up negative, but Henson may not be at full strength as North Carolina progresses through the rest of the conference tournament.

UNC plays the winner of the NC State vs Virginia game in the semifinals on Saturday.

If Henson does not return to full strength in the near future, what impact will that have on the Tar Heels' chances in both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments?

Henson's immediate back-up, James Michael McAdoo (5.0 ppg; 3.6 rpg), is a freshman who has only shown flashes of the potential that Roy Williams was looking for when he recruited the 6'9" forward out of Norfolk, VA.

In today's contest against Maryland, McAdoo played well, scoring 14 points (on 5-of-8 shooting) and grabbing eight rebounds.

If he can continue to bring this kind of quality production, it would provide Williams with the opportunity to hold Henson out, if need be, for the remainder of the ACC Tourament.

What this does create is a further diminishing of the UNC bench that has been greatly impacted by the previous injuries to Leslie McDonald and Dexter Strickland.

Williams may have to also utilize seldom-used freshman forward Desmond Hubert (0.9 ppg; 1.7 rpg).

The Tar Heels are a different team with Henson patrolling the middle.

He not only scores and rebounds well, but he is the team's leading shot blocker (3.0 bpg).

Without him, UNC will be much more vulnerable in the paint.