Andy, ‘Heels’ how I see it!

Duke-Carolina is sports most intense rivalry and Gerald Henderson’s hard foul on Tyler Hansbrough was like throwing gasoline on a blazing fire. Of course one’s view of the situation depends on where you are coming from. For UNC fan it comes off as one of the most egregious acts in the history of sport. To the Duke denizens it was an accident. The truth lies somewhere in between.  Though in my opinion it does tend to lean towards the former, then again I am biased as I bleed baby blue.

First off Coach K’s assertion that Hansbrough should not have been in the game just does not hold water. Duke, to their credit, was playing hard to the end, but Mike Copeland was waiting to get into the game for Hansbrough when the sequence went down. Also several Carolina backups were already in the game, so Coach K why was Henderson out there? To make a comment like that is another example of how Duke is the most hypocritical program in the country. And for that matter it does not excuse what was at the very least a reckless play, if not out and out malicious and criminal in intent.

Looking at the replay Henderson comes down in a swiping motion and his elbow and forearm cock inside clocking Tyler right across the kisser. The manner in which he went after the ball in and of itself is dangerous in execution. Therefore it is not unrealistic to say that it was done intentionally. If it was done with intent to injure then Henderson should be suspended for the rest of the season and Coach K should be held culpable as well.

Now no one but Gerald Henderson can say for sure what his true motives were. However one thing that tells me Henderson not only did this on purpose but that his goal was to take Hansbrough out is his body language afterwards. Someone who would have done that by accident would become demonstratively apologetic. Even his post-game apology comes off as insincere. Henderson had the stone cold look of a killer and Hansbrough was left wearing the crimson mask. Now he will have to almost wear a hockey mask thanks to these shenanigans. 

What Carolina does with this will tell the true manner of the men playing for Roy this year, if this doesn’t galvanize this team nothing will. Hansbrough also has to step up and truly be a team leader from here on out. Much has been made of Carolina’s overall intensity, or lack thereof. Tyler however has always shown lots of emotion and now that must be transferred to his teammates. In many ways he is the face of the program, and it is appropriate that he has been the one to take literally for the team. From here it is up to the Heels collectively to turn this raw emotion into focus and intensity. If Carolina can do this then a trip to Atlanta in three weeks will be the reward.

As for Duke, the stain of this incident will not come out soon. Not only does this bode potential trouble against State on Thursday. It will also pose problems for Coach K in the living rooms of recruits. Duke has to recruit a certain type of player due to the stringent academics. Less of those players will want to go with a program with the reputation Duke is starting to get. Unlike say a Miami in football, or Bob Huggins when he was at Cincinnati programs like Duke cannot go gangster in their approach. Though Gerald Henderson did manage to ‘keep his pimp hand strong’.

Paul Lambeth

Freelance Correspondent



3 thoughts on “Andy, ‘Heels’ how I see it!

  1. Henderson is the ONLY victim in this whole deal, he will be labeled a dirty player when he is far from that, I know of 2 punches Hansbro has thrown this year but Roy said he was only celebrating, Coach K runs a first class program and would never allow that at Duke, for the last 20 years Duke is the program that ALL others are compared too, K said Henderson is not that type of kid, if Hansbro had not lost the ball on the way up it would have been a good block.

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