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 to add a 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!!!!!!!

  • PGA: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600

    Tonight at 6:00 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC Baseball Championship: NC State vs. Florida State

    Today at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 4
SWB 2
 
1:05pm Today
DUR
SWB
 
Final
TEX 15
NYY 4
Final
SEA 3
TOR 2
Final
NYM 2
PIT 8
Final
PHI 8
WAS 1
Final
HOU 3
DET 2
Final
CIN 1
CLE 2
Final
MIL 2
ATL 3
Final
MIN 4
CWS 3
Final
OAK 5
TAM 0
Final
SFG 10
COL 8
Final
BAL 0
MIA 1
Final
ANA 3
BOS 8
Final
STL 2
KAN 3
Final
CHC 9
ARI 6
Final
SDP 0
LOS 2
Final
SFG 3
COL 5
1:07pm Today
SEA
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
HOU
DET
 
1:10pm Today
BAL
MIA
 
1:10pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
1:10pm Today
OAK
TAM
 
1:35pm Today
ANA
BOS
 
1:35pm Today
MIL
ATL
 
1:35pm Today
NYM
PIT
 
1:35pm Today
PHI
WAS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
STL
KAN
 
4:10pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SFG
COL
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
NYY
 
Final
GSW 115
HOU 80
8:30pm Tonight
ATL
CLE
 
Final
ANA 4
CHI 5
8:00pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
 
Final
DUR 4
SWB 2
 
1:05pm Today
DUR
SWB