Bouncing Back

A failure to make the grade cost Mike Henderson much of his freshman season last winter. But the Iowa guard learned lessons and prepared for a super sophomore campaign. "That was probably the hardest thing that I ever had to face in my life so far," he said. "But it didn't kill me. It just made me stronger."

How did you enjoy working at Coach Alford's camp in Indiana?

It went really good. It was my first time working at a week-long camp. It was a lot of un messing around with the kids. I made a lot of good relationships with a lot of them.

Do you notice that they look up to you guys? And if so, how do you view that responsibility?

Definitely. That was nice. Me and Pierre had a dunk contest, and they were chanting my name.

Who won that?

He got me in the dunk contest (laughs). He can do way more dunks than I can. I'm pretty basic. (The camp) was a lot of fun. I'd love to do it again. I had little time off during a seven-day camp. It was a lot of work, but I had a lot of fun.

Is it good to get back here and get into the action at the PTL?

We've been playing a lot all summer. I think that my game has improved a lot. But it's definitely nice to get back around here playing with the guys and everybody else from UNI and different colleges.

How nice will it be to play with Carlton (Reed) again this year?

It's definitely going to be a lot of fun. We talked about it a lot. He wanted to play with me. I wanted to play with him. I've been trying to get him down since I committed. It's going to be a lot of fun.

What can the Iowa fans expect from Carlton?

He can shoot. He can drive. He can just about do it all. He'll have to learn the system, but he'll pick up on that quick.

Do you feel like you can teach him the ropes having gone through what you did last year?

He'll definitely pick up from my mistakes. He'll learn from that. He won't have any problems like that.

How much did you take out of last year, and did you learn how much basketball means to you?

I learned a lot. That was probably the hardest thing that I ever had to face in my life so far. But it didn't kill me. It just made me stronger.

It was just a big change coming from high school and having that much responsibility. You're on your own for the first time. The first semester, it was just a rough semester for me. Second semester, I came out and picked my grades up a lot.

How did you finish up?

I finished up with a 2.8 (GPA). There's no reason why I shouldn't have done that first semester. I just wasn't focused the way that I was second semester.

What got you? Was it not understanding what you needed to do?

There were a lot of things that went into it. I got away with a lot of stuff in high school, like showing up late to class. You show up late here with the professors, they don't care who you are. They've got thousands and thousands of students coming in. I just learned to be places on time and just to be responsible.

You weren't able to get Big Ten experience on the court, but what were you able to get out of practices?

My biggest adjustment was the speed of the game. I'm used to playing a fast-paced game coming out of high school. It's even that much faster in college. The bodies are bigger. I've been in the weight room a lot this summer. I've been working on my shooting a lot.

How is your outside shot coming along?

It's coming along good. Actually, me and coach a nice little 3-point battle when we were down in Indianapolis.

How did you do in that?

I mean, I lost, of course. But we played plus-one, minus-one, and I lasted a really long time. He was shocked.

What have you worked on technically with your shot?

They just worked on my base. I took a lot of off-balanced shots. Nothing was really wrong with my form. They just worked on getting my base really under me.

What do anticipate your role being this coming season?

I think they're just going to let me play; getting people involved; scoring when I can. Then, of course, adding on the defensive end.

Have you gotten stronger?

Yeah. I got a lot stronger. I was 205 last year. Right now, I'm a solid 200. I think that 205 is a little too much.

Was it extra potato chips?

Nah, it wasn't that. I was lifting and I got too big. My weight coach thought that it took away a lot of my speed. I like where I am right now at 200.

What do you expect out of this season?

Really, I can't see us not making to the NCAAs and having a chance to go far. I think once everyone really gets on the same page with one another, I think we're going to be a really special team.

Do you feel like you guys have something to prove?

We have something to prove, but we don't have anything to prove to others. It's proving things within ourselves. We know what we can do on the court. It's just within ourselves; just going out and playing and taking care of business.

Do you feel like you can challenge for the top spot in the Big Ten?

Definitely. I think the only difference from us last year was athleticism. We've got a lot of athletic players that came in. We have it on the perimeter, and with Erek and Doug down low, that's pretty hard to score on.

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