Tim Henderson "more than ready" for Cards

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has said several times this season that he's not afraid to use any player on his bench. With the injury to Kevin Ware, Pitino will likely have to turn to walk-on Tim Henderson. Cardinal Authority has a quick update on Henderson and his abilities.

University of Louisville junior guard Tim Henderson may only get two minutes of action when the Cardinals play Wichita State on Saturday in the Final Four.

But after the injury to Kevin Ware against Duke, Henderson becomes a key player for the Cardinals in a quest for the school's third national title.

The 6-foot-2, Henderson will be forced into action more than normal as a backup to Peyton Siva and Russ Smith in the backcourt. Luke Hancock and Wayne Blackshear also might play some in the backcourt.

If I have to come in and play two or 15 minutes, I will do whatever coach wants me to do," Henderson said. "If that means giving Peyton (Siva) a quick break then I will do it. I will go compete and do my best.

"I am ready to do whatever."

Pitino said several weeks ago that Henderson was "just fine" when he had to play and on Monday the coach said the former Christian Academy standout was going to "have to step it up."

"Tim has earned the right, he's worked hard in practice, he's a junior and coach feels comfortable putting him in the game," assistant coach Kevin Keatts said. "He's fine when he gets in there. He's more than ready."

Henderson came into the game against Duke after Ware's injury, playing seven minutes and coming up with several key plays. He closed out on a defender to stop a three-point attempt the first time he came in and then picked up a rebound.

In the closing minutes, Henderson hit a three-pointer.

"I believe in Tim, we all do," junior Stephan Van Treese said. "He's going to have to step up and he will."

Several teammates pointed to the fact that Henderson has been practicing against Russ Smith and Peyton Siva all season, making him better.

"Tim is always ready," sophomore Wayne Blackshear said. "He's a great player. He has to guard a lot of guys since he has been here. He's had to guard Russdiculous every day in practice. He can play with anybody."

Henderson has played in 54 games during his career at U of L and had his career high 14 minutes against Pittsburgh when Ware was serving a one-game suspension. He's hit 4 of 17 from three-point range on the season.

"It's all about me being comfortable," Henderson said. "I practice against them every day and I feel like I do great. I score and I do everything.

"I just have to get more comfortable out there. I'll do whatever coach and this team needs me to do."

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