Josh Henderson Granted Sixth Year

The good news keeps rolling in when it comes to returning players on the Commodores men’s basketball team. A week after All-SEC center Damian Jones announced he would return to the Vanderbilt front court as opposed to entering the NBA Draft, news filtered through that his backup will be back with the black and gold for another year.

Josh Henderson was a fifth-year senior for the 2014-15 season, but he will have the chance to do it all over again in 2015-16 after he was granted a sixth year of eligibility due to medical hardships which severely limited two of his previous five seasons. The 6’11” center’s eligibility was confirmed by the Vanderbilt athletic communications office on Wednesday.

Henderson has played 72 from Vanderbilt over his stop-start career. In the 2012-13 season he started 21 games, but his progress was slowed significantly by injuries to his foot as a redshirt freshman and knee as a junior. In those two seasons combined Henderson played in just 15 games.

This season Henderson appeared in 24 games with two starts. He averaged 2.2 points, 1.2 rebounds and 7.3 minutes per game. Those numbers don’t look like they are anything special, but Henderson played almost all those minutes getting Jones valuable rest to keep Vandy’s best player fresh in games. This system was used very effectively toward the end of the season, coinciding with the Commodores strong finish to the year.

With Henderson coming back Vanderbilt will return eight of its top nine players next fall. With the roster still being so young, Henderson will be a vital cog in keeping players grounded and leading by example during the offseason. Now that the ‘Dores have Jones, Henderson and 7-footer Like Kornet all returning, Vanderbilt will not lack for size in the paint next season. When you add in that the top 25 recruiting class includes 6’11” Djery Baptiste and 6’9” Samir Sehic, then you get a rotation which is going to cause problems to any team in the country.

Henderson may have expected the run to the quarterfinals of the NIT to be his last act in a Vanderbilt uniform. With this news coming down, and the way Vandy finished this fall, he can now dream of finishing his career in the NCAA Tournament.

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