banner
Ryan Craig

Henderson's departure would be costly for Duke

Posted April 20, 2009

Gerald Henderson's has reportedly decided to enter his name in the 2009 NBA Draft, a decision that will have an impact on not only his basketball future, but the near future of Duke's program as well.

Henderson's ascent from average player with loads of potential, to first team All-ACC, was lightning fast.

By the end of the 2009 season, the 6-foot-4 guard/forward was being talked about almost as much for his defense and mid-range jump shot as his highlight reel dunks, a sign of his maturity as an all-around player. As his game rose to a different level, so did his spot on the various NBA mock drafts - he now sits at number eight according to collegehoops.net and nbadraft.net.

The emergence of an athletic scorer from the wing was something Duke was waiting for since the departure of Luol Deng. Averaging 16.5 points and just under five rebounds per game last year, the former McDonald's All-American was one of the few players, other than Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer, that opponents had to focus on when Duke had the ball.

Had Henderson returned, the Blue Devils would have welcomed back all five starters from a team that made the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006. A core of Singler, Scheyer and Henderson, along with the assumed improvement of guards Nolan Smith and Eliot Williams and the arrival of highly touted recruits Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee, would have likely positioned Duke as the favorite in the ACC and put it on the inside track to be one of the four teams in Indianapolis next year for the Final Four.

If he is indeed gone, Duke will need more of an immediate impact from Kelly and Plumlee just to win the conference.

Can the Blue Devils make the Final Four without their most dynamic scorer? Yes, they can - but the odds just got a lot longer.

Last season, North Carolina saw Wayne Ellington, Ty Lawson and Danny Green return to school after testing the NBA waters, and Tyler Hansbrough completely disregard the process altogether.

Less than a year later, the Tar Heels were cutting down the nets in Detroit as the 2009 national champions.

Some saw Duke as being this year's Carolina - a team that had players that could go to the league (Singler and Henderson), only to return to campus to win a ring.

It appears that Singler is coming back to Durham for his third season, but without Henderson by his side, Duke's hope of answering their arch rivals' title with one of their own takes a huge hit.

3 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • cafwcsp Apr 21, 2009

    Losing Henderson would hurt, but this isn't K's first rodeo. I think Duke will be a little more than OK....

  • UNC81 Apr 21, 2009

    The only thing left to learn is to go to his left better. Henderson is a tremendous athlete and will do well in the NBA.

  • captaintyy86 Apr 21, 2009

    BUT HE IS READY FOR THE NEXT LEVEL. NO NEED TO HOLD HIM IF HE IS READY. DONT WORRY DOOK, YOU HAVE ENOUGH TALENT TO COMPETE. GO HEELS!!!!!!!

  • Hoops Headquarters: Run for Redemption

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Premier League Soccer: Southampton vs. Bournemouth

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: Shell Houston Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Figure Skating Championships

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Boston @ Chicago

    Sunday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: NCFC at San Francisco

    Saturday, Apr. 8 at 10:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASL: NCFC vs. Edmonton

    Saturday, Apr. 15 at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASL: NCFC @ Miami

    Saturday, Apr. 22 at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NHL: Canes v. Columbus

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASL: NCFC at San Francisco

    Saturday, Apr. 8 at 10:00 pm

  • NASL: NCFC vs. Edmonton

    Saturday, Apr. 15 at 7:30 pm

  • NASL: NCFC at Miami

    Saturday, Apr. 22 at 7:30 pm

Minor League Baseball
International League
Rochester 11:05 PT12:05 MT1:05 CT2:05 ET7:05 GMT
Syracuse 
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 11:05 PT12:05 MT1:05 CT2:05 ET7:05 GMT
Buffalo 
Pawtucket 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Lehigh Valley 
Toledo 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Indianapolis 
Norfolk 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Charlotte 
Columbus 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Louisville 
Durham 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Gwinnett 
Puerto Rico Open (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1D. Points-20F
2tR. Goosen-18F
2tB. DeChambeau-18F
2tB. Lunde-18F
5tS. Saunders-17F
5tP. Uihlein-17F
5tW. Kim-17F
8tJ. Henry-16F
8tC. Stroud-16F
10tM. Flores-15F
View Full Leaderboard
 
Kia Classic (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1M. Lee-20F
2tA. Ernst-14F
2tS. Ryu-14F
4tM. Hur-12F
4tK. Icher-12F
4tC. Kerr-12F
4tS. Park-12F
4tG. Piller-12F
9S. Feng-11F
10I. Chun-10F
View Full Leaderboard
 
WGC Match Play (EURO)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
MatchHScore
JOHNSON v Rahm181 up
Tanihara v HAAS172 and 1
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, Mar. 29
Miami Open (ATP/WTA)
Quarterfinals
(2) K. Nishikori 
F. Fognini 
(5) R. Nadal 
(13) J. Sock 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, Mar. 29
Miami Open (ATP/WTA)
Quarterfinals
(3) S. Halep 
(10) J. Konta 
(1) A. Kerber 
(11) V. Williams