Interest Rising for Henson

As the fall evaluation period draws near an end, college coaches are out getting last looks at as many prospects as possible. Because of that, Round Rock (Texas) High has turned into a popular destination spot as coaches have been coming through to eyeball junior John Henson, a talented 6-9 power forward.

"A lot of them have come by the past couple of weeks," said Henson. "Rick Barnes (Texas), Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech), Lute Olson (Arizona), of course Roy Williams (UNC) came, Scott Drew from Baylor came and Tim Floyd from USC came."

Just as thoughtful and intelligent off the floor as he is talented on it, Henson has gotten over the jitters of playing in front of college basketball's heavy hitters by focusing on playing hard and taking care of business in the classroom.

"I try to play my hardest and do my best and hopefully they'll like what they see. I've gotten over the nerves, I got over that pretty quick," Henson said. "I kind of treat it like something that's normal, I try not to treat it as something special and go as normal as possible. It's going pretty good, and I'm focused on school."

Among the other programs involved are Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Kansas State, which means that Henson has a pretty long list at this point. However, he's got no timetable set up for cutting down the list or making a choice.

"I guess I'm going to take my time," said Henson. "If it's the right situation I'll go ahead and commit. I don't really have a time frame - it could be now it could be later."

While he'd been a hot name regionally during the spring, it wasn't until after June and July that Henson became a hot prospect nationally. The skinny big man impressed with his ability to score inside and out and it's that potential that caught the attention of the North Carolina staff.

"They kind of came in after the summer ended," he said. "They called me with interest, then it slowed down a little. They came out to the school and it's picked up since then."

In fact, Roy Williams swung by Henson's school in September and tendered a scholarship offer after watching him work out.

"They told me he was coming out on September 20th and he was there," said Henson of Williams' visit to Round Rock. "After I worked out, he went ahead and told my high school coach that he'd offered. He couldn't really say much to me [because of NCAA rules] but he [told my coach] that I was a good kid and their type of player."

In addition to being recruited by North Carolina, Henson also has some ties to the area. His father, Matt, played basketball just over the N.C. border at Norfolk State in Virginia and there is still some family in North Carolina.

"I was born in Greensboro and some of my family kind of lives in that area on the Virginia and North Carolina border," said Henson. "My grandparents live within a half an hour of UNC. I've kind of thought about that but not really. It would be kind of nice to be close to family but it's not all I'm thinking about."

For now, Henson is more concerned about getting in the gym and adding to his 180-pound frame.

"Most of all strength and ball handling would be the things I want work on," said Henson. "I think I can play inside and outside, I can shoot and do a lot of things. Whatever the team needs."

With no set timetable on his decision, Henson plans to start setting up some unofficial visits in the next couple of months. He isn't sure which programs he'll visit, but he'd like to see as many of his suitors play in person as possible so that he can get a feel for the environment of each school.

When he does decide, the environment will be just one of many important factors. "Coaching, the strength and conditioning program and academics too, they've got to have good academics," said Henson. "The atmosphere, I'd like to be in a good positive atmosphere. That's the kind of stuff that you see when you go on visits so that's why you've got to do those."

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