Henson Returns to Chapel Hill

Last December, John Henson took an unofficial trip to Chapel Hill and shortly thereafter he committed to play his college basketball at North Carolina. Last week, the the Round Rock (Texas) junior was back in Chapel Hill again.

Even though his future team didn't pull out the win against Duke, Henson still enjoyed his time in North Carolina and noticed some differences.

"It went well, I hung out with the players some more so that was pretty cool," said Henson. "You know they treat you the same but now they kind of let you know that you are part of the family and stuff so that was pretty good."

In addition to checking out the game, Henson was able to sit in on the pre-game meal, go over scouting reports and spend more time getting to know the players. Once again Henson was surprised at how many people knew who he was and that recognition from Carolina fans has increased back at home as well.

"Actually, I see the occasional Carolina fans come out to watch with Carolina gear on now so that's pretty cool – it's kind of wild," Henson said. "I think people are treating me the same. It's just that now I'm the guy who committed to North Carolina instead of just John Henson."

Since his commitment, the easy going Henson has watched with satisfaction as the Tar Heels have racked up commitments from fellow juniors Dexter Strickland and David and Travis Wear to go along with sophomore Reggie Bullock. If anything, he thinks it will make it easier for UNC's other early commitment Kendall Marshall and himself to develop relationships with the guys that they'll play their college ball with.

"I thought it was pretty cool to see those guys commit right after me," said Henson of the commitment frenzy. "We don't have to worry about who we are going to have to recruit and we already know who we have to build relationships with."

With his commitment out of the way, the Texan feels less pressure to perform for college coaches. While that allows him to focus more on just playing, he still knows that people are going to judge him a little differently because he's committed to one of the nation's elite programs and he'll have to continue to develop.

"I feel like I can focus a little more now that I've committed," said Henson. "But when people are coming to see you, you feel like you want to make it worthwhile for them having to come out to watch. Also, the pressure is still on to work on my game and get better."

The time to focus on his game will be easy to find after Henson completes his junior season on Tuesday night. He's going to be expected to play both forward positions, which will include some time on the wing at UNC when he arrives on campus as a freshman and he's looking forward to working on the parts of his game that Tar Heel boss Roy Williams has asked him to focus on.

"He told me that he expects me to come in and play the small forward position," said Henson. "He says that I've got the skills, but now I've got to work on defending the 6-5 and 6-6 guys. So now I've got to work on that and things like my lateral quickness."

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