|'The Foul' lingers for Henderson in Duke-North Carolina game|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 04 February 2008 13:31|
When second-ranked Duke travels to third-ranked North Carolina on Wednesday night, few will talk about Henderson's steady perimeter play or how he's helped the Blue Devils bounce back from last year's struggles. Instead, many will remember his flagrant foul last season that left Tar Heels star Tyler Hansbrough with a bloodied and broken nose.
``Obviously it'll be a hostile crowd,'' Henderson said Monday. ``That's something I'll have to play through, that my team will have to play through. And we're looking forward to it.''
Henderson earned himself a prime spot in the rivalry with the hard foul late in the Tar Heels' 86-72 win at the Smith Center to close the regular season. Hansbrough had rebounded his own missed free throw late in the game and was going up for a putback when Henderson leapt to block the shot.
g to the floor. When he got up, blood was pouring down his face, jersey and onto the court. Hansbrough had to be restrained from going after Henderson before heading to the locker room in an ugly scene.
``It was pretty hostile,'' Duke guard Jon Scheyer said. ``I was worried for G, making sure he was all right. It was an unfortunate thing that happened last year, but he didn't mean to do it. ... For many reasons, it wasn't a good memory.''
Henderson was ejected and suspended for the Blue Devils' loss to North Carolina State in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Henderson and coach Mike Krzyzewski repeatedly said there was no intent to injure Hansbrough, with Krzyzewski worrying that Henderson was going to get a bad reputation he didn't deserve.
Hansbrough - who ended up wearing a protective face shield for the ACC tournament and part of the NCAAs - wasn't scheduled to be available for comment until Tuesday. In a teleconference last week, however, coach Roy Williams noted that Hansbrough ``was the victim'' in the incident.
Henderson said he relied on his pre-college friendship with North Carolina guard Wayne Ellington to help smooth things over, with Ellington eventually providing Henderson with Hansbrough's phone number for a call before the ACC tournament.
Henderson said his relationship with Hansbrough is fine, noting that the two played in several pickup games - sometimes on the same team - over the summer.
``He knew I didn't do anything intentionally,'' Henderson said.
As for whether people will always remember him for one foul, Henderson said he tries not to think about that.
``That's all stuff I really can't control, what people think about me,'' he said. ``That's something I'm not really worried about. I'm just worried about how our team is going to do on Wednesday and stuff we can control.''