ACC Tournament 2012: UNC Should Rest John Henson with NC State Up Next
The North Carolina Tar Heels have continued to run the table as they have started their play in the ACC tournament, but the team would be wise to bench injured forward John Henson with the North Carolina State Wolfpack coming up next after the events of the opening round.
Henson injured his wrist in the game against the Maryland Terrapins, a game in which UNC had no difficulties handling their opponents despite being short-handed—no pun intended.
Henson has been a major contributor for the team, but his absence doesn't spell the end for the Tar Heels. What is most important is that they give him this one off, with a potential matchup with the Duke Blue Devils coming in the final.
The Blue Devils have been cruising through the ACC just as easily this season, so it is important that the Tar Heels at least try to be in full force for a potential matchup with their biggest rival.
The difference between winning the ACC and losing it can mean the difference between a No. 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Of course, there is always the chance that the Tar Heels could lose to the Wolfpack in the semifinals, but they would be best to lose to them without Henson than to perhaps lose Henson with him attempting to play on an injured wrist.
This season, Henson is averaging 14.2 points per game, while also bringing in 10.3 rebounds. Those are pretty big numbers to be missing, but the team has enough depth to perhaps be able to make up for the loss elsewhere.
It may even be a questionable decision to play him in the final, even if it is against Duke. It is a tough decision for coach Roy Williams, as he has to decide if a potentially losing a No. 1 seed is worth the potential of losing a player for perhaps the entire tournament.
What Should Williams Do With Henson?
The Tar Heels are in a position to be flexible like the Kentucky Wildcats or Syracuse Orange—who both look to be virtual locks with dropping just one game during the regular season.
Of course, it will just remain to be seen how Henson will feel tomorrow.
If he feels he is good to go, the team may have a hard time keeping him out the action. If anything, he should be making an appearance in the final if the team can manage to reach the next around without him there.
If he doesn't play, it will at least be a good test for the Tar Heels.
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