John Henson Injury: How the Absence of the Forward Will Affect the Tar Heels

Stephen ChoContributor IIIMarch 17, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 11:  Injured John Henson #31 of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on from the bench against the Florida State Seminoles during the Final Game of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament at Philips Arena on March 11, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Neither the Tar Heel team nor the Tar Heel fans showed any signs of apprehension during/after UNC's game against Vermont on Friday. John Henson, this year's ACC Player of the Year, watched from the sidelines as the Heels cruised towards a 77-58 victory.

But all things considered, this is was only the first game of the tournament—and therefore the easiest. Missing their big man down low is not necessarily a reason for UNC to panic when they go up against a 16th-seeded Vermont team. When the Tar Heels match up with more dominant teams like Kansas is when missing Henson could start to turn into a matter of worrying.

Henson, who missed Friday's game due to issues with his wrist, said earlier today that his wrist was "feeling better." Obviously a good thing. However, with all other things in life, good is not always good enough.

According to coach Roy Williams, there is only a 50-50 chance that Henson will be suiting up to play against Creighton on Sunday. This wouldn't be such a big deal had we not all seen Duke fall to Lehigh and Mizzou lose to Norfolk State yesterday.

In basketball (or any other sport, for that matter), any team can beat any team on any given night. That's what makes sports so fun, and also what could make UNC's road to the Final Four a bit dubious. Especially if Henson is out, the possibility of an upset becomes more likely. Moreover, even if the Heels did have Henson playing, with him not at 100 percent, it's questionable how much damage he would even do.

Henson has been undergoing rehab and showed improvement in gripping/catching the ball on Friday, but he still appeared to be uncomfortable doing post moves. When asked on the subject this morning, Roy Williams showed a bit of frustration. "I wish I could tell you because I'm tired of answering the daggum thing. I really don't have any other information at all to add to what I said yesterday," the coach claimed before team practice.

If UNC moves past Creighton, which they should, Henson should be able to play in the following game.

All in all, don't get too worried about your bracket if you have UNC going deep.