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!!!!!!!

  • ACC Basketball: Miami at Wake Forest

    Tonight at 8:00 on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UNC at Boston College

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Pittsburgh

    Friday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-FM

NFL Scoreboard
Sunday, Jan. 22
Green Bay 12:05 PT1:05 MT2:05 CT3:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST2:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)15:05 ETNaN:�
Atlanta 
Pittsburgh 3:40 PT4:40 MT5:40 CT6:40 ET23:40 GMT7:40 北京时间4:40 MST6:40 EST5:40 CT3:40 UAE (+1)18:40 ETNaN:�
New England 
CME Tour Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1C. Hull-19F
2S. Ryu-17F
3J. Song-15F
4tM. Martin-14F
4tB. Recari-14F
4tA. Jutanugarn-14F
7I. Chun-13F
8tS. Feng-12F
8tA. Yang-12F
10tL. Ko-11F
View Full Leaderboard
 
SA Open (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1G. Storm - z-18F
2R. McIlroy - y-18F
3J. Smith-17F
4D. Burmester-15F
5tT. Aiken-14F
5tT. Fisher, Jr.-14F
7tA. Bjork-13F
7tD. Drysdale-13F
7tM. Korhonen-13F
7tE. Molinari-13F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, Jan. 18
Australian Open (ATP/WTA)
Second Round
D. Schwartzma3 3 6 4  
S. Darcis6 6 2 6  
(31) S. Querrey77 6 6   
A. De Minaur65 0 1   
(7) M. Cilic6 5 3 3  
D. Evans3 7 6 6  
(14) N. Kyrgios6 77 4 2 8 
A. Seppi1 61 6 6 10 
(1) A. Murray6 6 6   
A. Rublev3 0 2   
(27) B. Tomic7 77 4 1  
V. Estrella B5 64 6 2  
(18) R. Gasquet 
C. Berlocq 
(30) P. Carreno Bu 
K. Edmund 
(32) P. Kohlschrei 
D. Young 
(15) G. Dimitrov 
H. Chung 
(25) G. Simon 
R. Dutra Silv 
(21) D. Ferrer 
E. Escobedo 
(13) R. Bautista A 
Y. Nishioka 
(2) N. Djokovic 
D. Istomin 
(3) M. Raonic 
G. Muller 
(11) D. Goffin 
R. Stepanek 
(6) G. Monfils 
A. Dolgopolov 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, Jan. 18
Australian Open (ATP/WTA)
Second Round
(29) M. Puig4 4    
M. Barthel6 6    
(32) A. Sevastova6 6    
K. Kucova3 4    
P. Parmentier4 65    
C. Vandeweghe6 77    
S. Rogers5 1    
A. Barty7 6    
(7) G. Muguruza7 6    
S. Crawford5 4    
(5) K. Pliskova 
A. Blinkova 
(21) C. Garcia 
O. Dodin 
(30) E. Makarova 
S. Errani 
(9) J. Konta 
N. Osaka 
(31) Y. Putintseva 
J. Ostapenko 
H. Watson 
J. Brady 
(6) D. Cibulkova 
S. Hsieh 
(14) E. Vesnina 
M. Minella 
(16) B. Strycova 
A. Petkovic 
(17) C. Wozniacki 
D. Vekic