SFN: Hansbrough vs Henderson

This topic was stealing center stage…so, we wanted to extricate it from the State-Duke entry that should be focused on…well…State and Duke!

With 14 seconds to go in today’s Duke/Carolina game – and with the game firmly in the hands of the Tarheels who had a 12 point lead – Duke’s Gerald Henderson connected with a forearm across the bridge of Tyler Hansbrough’s nose on a put-back attempt after a rebound of missed Carolina free throw.

The N&O continues:

The contact was after the ball left Hansbrough’s hands and Henderson was ejected. Hansbrough exited the court with blood pouring from his face and fuming at the intensity and timing of the foul.

The game referees released a statement after the game explaining the call.

“By rule, this is a flagrant foul for combative and confrontational action. It is ruled a fight. By rule, it is an automatic ejection. By NCAA rule, he must sit out the next game.”

Hansbrough rebounded a Bobby Frasor missed free throw with 14 seconds left and instead of kicking the ball out to let the clock expire he was playing tough and trying to physically position himself for more points – preferably on a dunk in the face of the Blue Devils. What was Duke supposed to do? Just allow Tyler Hansbrough to go up for a posterizing dunk on a play that never needed to happen in the first place (why was Hansbrough on the court up 12 with 14 seconds to go)?

Absolutely not. Duke should be allowed to play just as hard as Hansbrough.

People who have never played basketball/sports don’t understand how quick things happen in real time. From the comfort of your couch and the endless slow motion replays, you can’t help but get the impression that these athletes can control things that are happening at phenomenally quick speeds. This is not reality.

I just watched some Charlotte news footage that was taken from behind the basket in real time. Folks, this happened SO FAST that NOBODY could have stopped their swipe at full speed in mid-air. It just doesn’t work that way. This ain’t The Matrix. People can’t contort their movements like that by stopping time no matter how spoiled your high definition viewing in slow motion makes you.

If you watch the replay, Henderson’s swat would have been very close to where Hansbrough would have had the ball if the ball hadn’t been blocked/swiped by another Duke player before it got to Henderson. But, the block of the ball from behind changed the whole play and the positioning of Hansbrough.

By then it was far was too late for Henderson. He was committed to his anticipation and was swinging hard and trying to make a block on a big guy trying to dunk. When the ball was deflected and was no longer at the projected spot, Henderson’s follow through came right into Hansbrough’s face. Had the ball not been knocked out of Hansbrough’s hands .19 of a second before Henderson tried to dunk then all would have been fine. The worst thing that Gerald Henderson did was forget his black trench coat and Keanu Reaves super powers.

It was unfortunate. But, it was also uncontrollable at that speed and in that situation.

No. Wait. I take that back. It was completely controllable. All Hansbrough had to do was kick the ball out to a guard to hold for 14 seconds instead of trying to get some nasty slam designed to rub salt in Duke’s wounds. Or, all Roy Williams had to do was to not have his starters in the game up 12 with 14 seconds. That would have controlled the situation.

But…of course…Hansbrough has the unalienable right to play hard and the Duke players aren’t given that same right? Why is that Tyler Hansbrough has the innate right to be intense and playing extremely hard at the end of the game but nobody else is allowed to do the same thing?

The play was hard; I personally think that it was meant to be hard; I definitely do not believe that it was meant to be intentional; The problem lies in the interpretation of ‘flagrant’

“By rule, this is a flagrant foul for combative and confrontational action”. OK. I buy that. If that is the rule for “flagrant” then I buy it. The problem therefore is that we have all seen dozens of fouls this season that constitute “combative and confrontational action”.

Ironically, it is the very Tyler Hansbrough who is involved in this situation that literally took a swipe/swing at the head of Brandon Costner in the Tarheels visit to Raleigh earlier in the year. Hansbrough barely missed conncecting with Costner, but did that somehow diminish the “combative and confrontational action” of taking a blatant swing at an opposing player in behavior that IN NO WAY was related to the play of the ball?

In the end, I think that I generally agree with these comments made by ESPN’s Pat Forde in this entry.

After viewing the replay several times, I agree that the blow to the face did not appear to be intentional. Henderson was going to block Hansbrough’s shot, then Hansbrough’s arm was pulled down and the ball flew out and Henderson’s forearm smashed Psycho T’s face. This was not a premeditated knockout.

However, Henderson appeared to be going in with the intent to deliver an enthusiastically hard foul. There is a place in the game for hard fouls, for forcefully preventing easy baskets, for occasionally planting an opponent on his rear end.

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06-07 Basketball General Media

114 Responses to SFN: Hansbrough vs Henderson

  1. xphoenix87 03/05/2007 at 12:37 AM #

    It’s absolutely indefensible to suspend Henderson for a game (and I’m saying this despite the fact that it would help us a great deal). The play happened so fast that it took me several replays to see what exactly had happened. For the refs to look at the replay and still come to that conclusion was just another example of the rampant poor officiating in this conference. The worst part of this is that Hansbrough now becomes a saint for displaying no class and getting what he deserved.

  2. packfanstk 03/05/2007 at 12:45 AM #

    To me, hey, it’s Dook vs Carolina. They deserve each other. Handsblow wanted to show up Dook, Henderson wanted to make sure the Traveller paid a price if he tried. I don’t think Henderson tried to deliberately smash poor little Tyler with his elbow, but you know, when you’re trying to be extra macho, you might get a little more than you bargained for. So it is here. Handsblow got a bloody nose, and Henderson gets to sit on the pine for a game.

  3. Red 03/05/2007 at 12:49 AM #

    I’m glad Hanbrough got smashed. Does that make me a bad person? Shit, he’s just lucky it was Gerald Henderon and not Rick Mahorn.

  4. ShootingGuard 03/05/2007 at 2:50 AM #

    I definitely feel sorry for Henderson and not Hansbaby.

    I have played enough ball to know that, hey, if you are going to try that crap at the end of a game like that, you better be prepared to face the consequences. Henderson would definitely not have done that had he known Hansbaby was going to bleed like Rocky, but, with Hansbaby trying to muscle in another basket, Henderson definitely threw every bit of force he had behind stopping Hansbaby cold—even if his intent went terribly awry.

    I sincerely hope Hansbaby goes pro this year, not because I fear his talent, but because I hate looking at the guy and all the crap he gets away with. It was pretty obvious down the stretch of the season that opposing players were getting tired of the golden boy and his antics too as Costner stood his ground, GT hacked the guy like mad, etc.

    It is a shame that a jackass like Hansborough takes a swing at a 40-minute warrior like Costner and all media dorks like Jimmy Dykes can talk about is Hansborough’s “will” and etc.

    Had Hansborough played for State or any other team besides UNC or Duke, he would have spent most of tenure on the bench with 4 fouls when not being called for 12 walks a game.

    As it is, the golden boy has enjoyed and used the media hype and the favoritism to the fullest. As Clint said in The Unforgiven, “we all have it coming to us…” Well, “Psycho T,” definitely had it coming to him, and I don’t feel one bit sorry for the guy.

  5. Buddygreen 03/05/2007 at 7:28 AM #

    Truth be told probably a few Carolina players glad to see Hansborough get smashed in the face. Hansborough is a physco and that comes from inside the Carolina camp. Look at his eyes when he plays, that kid either hyped up on something or nuts, I love to see that kid drug tested. He plays too hard and crazy in practice, at the wrong times. Nothing wrong with playing hard when you should but there are times to lay off and Hansborough does not do that. Ticks off his own team mates in practice too. I am just glad to see some refs actually call him for walking this year. It has been absolutley terrible to watch the Hansborough shuffle (someone should do a video of him shuffling his feet and put music to it and if he comes back next year play it at home games) time and time again and the refs turn a blind eye to it.

    Did everyone see Roy had the team cut down one net after the game for being co-ACC champs. He said Va. could come to Chapel Hill and cut down the other one. Has everyone noticed since Roy had UNC cut down the nets two years ago for winning the ACC regular season championship that the media and everyone is chiming in on the ACC Regular season champ. NO ONE made a big deal about it before, everyone before recognized that the ACC champion was determined by the tournament. Roy and the Chapel Hill media are undermining the true champion. Guess since they haven’t won it in a while and Roy has never won it, they going to undermine it and ACC Commish true Blue Swafford is letting them do it.

    I even saw in the Charlotte Observer this past week where they claim the ACC office must recognize the Acc regular season champ since they have kept up with who finished first in the league since the Acc was formed. I have news for the CO, they have also kept up with who finished last.

  6. BJD95 03/05/2007 at 8:04 AM #

    I need to go watch the replay this morning. All I know is that it was the most satisfying outcome of a Duke/UNC game ever. The UNC win combined with the Henderson suspension really helped us, bigtime. Plus, a guy making a punk play gets smacked in the nose. I only wish Wes Miller found a way to get tapped for his prickish 3 at the end of our game a few weeks ago.

    NOTE: This all assumes that nobody is seriously hurt. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, no matter how punkish the provocation.

  7. Texpack 03/05/2007 at 8:38 AM #

    We bailed on the game in the last minute so my 11-year old and I were on the way to Home Depot when the reports came across the radio about the blow to the head. His comment was “Hey, it’s Duke vs. Carolina, as long as somebody got hurt it’s a good thing.” Times like that make me realize that even a kid growing up in Texas can still be taught to appreciate the rivalries of the Big Four.

  8. 82grad 03/05/2007 at 8:54 AM #

    wow, i can not believe the lack of class shown here regarding this topic.

  9. BJD95 03/05/2007 at 8:55 AM #

    After watching the replays this morning, I lean towards the Packer/Brock point of view. I don’t think it’s completely conclusive, however.

    Let’s keep in mind that this in no way guarantees victory. George Mason’s Tony Skinn was tossed in their conference semifinal loss, and suspended for their first round NCAAT game. They upset Michigan State anyway and went on to the Final Four.

  10. Dan 03/05/2007 at 8:59 AM #

    I feel for Henderson here.

    At the end of our contest with FSU (when they were going out of their way to get easy dunks while the clock expired on a 20 pt win) I really wanted someone, anyone, to send a message.

    They didnt. I hope we send one next season.

    With that in mind. I’m sure there is history here. Has Duke done this to Carolina in recent years? Running up the score?

  11. choppack1 03/05/2007 at 9:04 AM #

    It certainly looked intentional. But you know what – we can’t say whether it was or wasn’t.

    I’m thinking Gerald was going to commit a hard foul on Hansborough – then Hansborough’s arm were brought down and essentially he was leading w/ his face. I do know this much – as someone who has been accused of being a small time goon one more than one occasion – sometimes you start off w/ nobel intentions – and let’s just say, the opportunity presents itself…I’ll also say this – you can committ a very hard foul and not intentionally hurt someone. I’m not saying that either of these are what happened, but the replay looked pretty damning.

  12. PittsburghPackFan 03/05/2007 at 9:04 AM #

    Let me preface by saying that I have a STRONG bias against Dook. There, I feel better now.

    I will go along with SFN when you guys say that it all happened so fast, that Henderson couldn’t control his actions in midair. I will whole-heartedly agree that Hansbrough shouldn’t have been out there, either. I must disagree that Henderson is innocent however.

    If he was truly reaching for the ball, wouldn’t he have extended his hand, and not his ELBOW? I don’t reach for things with my ELBOW, does anyone else? I don’t think Henderson was trying to break Hansbrough’s nose, but it really looked to me like he was reaching with his ELBOW.

    Also, wouldn’t Henderson have apologized if it was an accident? Did he just walk away after Hansbrough hit the deck? I’m trying to remember.

    One more point: This isn’t the first time that Dookies have lashed out after the game has been decided. I specifically remember the UNC-Dook game in Durham last year, and at the end one of the Dookies hit Hansbrough in the head with about 14 seconds or so left. Anyone else remember that?

    So, all in all, I think that the suspension is fair (so long as it stands), and maybe Hansbrough will think twice about dunking a putback at the end of the next close game.

  13. TNCSU 03/05/2007 at 9:07 AM #

    SFN: People who have never played basketball/sports don’t understand how quick things happen. From the comfort of your couch and the slow motion replays you get the impression that these people can control things that are happening at phenomenally quick speeds.

    I’m surprised that ONE of the site administrators would presume they know something about the posters — a personal attack — albeit, incorrect, is not the best way to get your point across, as you mention on this Blog numerous times. I STILL play Hoops 2-3 times per week, so I know how fast the game is played — let me know if you’d to play sometime. I also know how athletic the players are, that’s why I know it was not inadvertent. I think a guy who can catch a half court lob in mid-air, and dunk it, would have the ability to hold back his elbow under the basket.

    Henderson basically admits that he tried to HARD FOUL Hanbro — he was NOT going after the ball. Did he mean to bloody his nose? NO, I don’t think so. I agree with ShootingGuard in that I believe it went awry.

    I’m not saying I like Hansbro, — I remember the State game vs. Costner. He’s tough guy (looks like he’s on ‘roids) that gets away with a lot. But for someone to bash him for the way he reacted, is crazy. When was the last time you got a flying elbow across the face?? I’m sure you’d just get up and say, “Hey Bro, nice hard foul.” Hell NO, you’d be pissed off!

    Am I terribly upset about the whole thing? NO not really, it’s DOOK and UNX, but I won’t stoop to say “he deserved it.”

    BTW, great article by Pat Forde

  14. TNCSU 03/05/2007 at 9:08 AM #

    ^^82grad — I AGREE!

  15. Rick 03/05/2007 at 9:09 AM #

    I quit watching that game because I cannot stand to see UNC win. Anyone have a clip?

  16. noah 03/05/2007 at 9:10 AM #

    Hard to see where the flagrancy is on that foul. Henderson is just trying to prevent a dunk. When you’re going up against a guy who is 6-8, 240, you have to go hard and strong.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your vantage point), he caught TH in the nose.

    You don’t have to be a genius to realize that if you get poked in the nose, it WILL bleed. If Henderson had bonked him on the head, he probably would have just been called for a simple foul.

    Reviewing the play, the only truly malicious intent that I see (judging the foul within the context of the game) is on Hansborough’s part. Henderson’s foul is totally understandable within the ebb and flow of the game. Hansborough is the one who had to be restrained from retaliating as he blubbered and bled all over the place.

    Dude, you really better learn that hard fouls are going to occur. You damn sure better learn that before you get to the NBA. And when they occur, you don’t get to go after the person.

  17. BJD95 03/05/2007 at 9:14 AM #

    I have no doubt that Henderson meant to give a hard foul. A hard foul is an appropriate response to a punk move like Tyler’s. Because Tyler’s arm got pulled down, the hard foul turned into an elbow to the nose.

    Shades of the “bloody Montross” game against Duke when I was in college. With the exception of Montross using his wound as motivation rather than a reason to bitch and moan.

  18. PittsburghPackFan 03/05/2007 at 9:22 AM #

    After watching the clip (check “henderson hansbrough” “unc duke” or something like that on youtube) Henderson didn’t swing a fist like Tar Holes are saying, but after it happened, all the Dookies just stood over Hansbrough. No one bothered to offer a hand up, ask if he’s okay, anything. I’d like to believe that one of our guys would have asked if he was ok or offered a hand up or SOMETHING.

    I understand that’s your rival on the floor, but we are all humans and gentlemen here, right?

  19. Rick 03/05/2007 at 9:34 AM #

    I just saw it. It did not look intentional but I do have to ask why TH was in the game and why was he trying to score?

    I watched the FSU game. At the end Thorton had a wide open layup to take the all time scoring lead in FSU history but did not take it. That is how you handle yourself not dunking on the other team.

    It reminds me of a story. I was playing on a league team. My team was not very good. We were down 30 some points with 6 seconds left. The ball was thrown into me and I was just going to run down and maybe throw up a useless three. One of their players steals the ball from me and shoots it. I was as mad as I have ever been. I did not hack him but am not sure I wouldn’t have if I could have caught him.
    My point is there is no reason to go up for that dunk.

  20. Dan 03/05/2007 at 9:46 AM #

    Rick, not sure which FSU game you are talking about, but FSU raced up the floor to dunk the ball on us with time expiring. On top of their 20+ lead at the time.

    In fact it was Casaan Breeden who dunked the ball with 9 secs left with FSU already up 21. And they got the rebound with 16 secs left. They raced up the court in 5 secs to get that dunk.

    FSU has some payback coming Wolfpack style.

  21. Rick 03/05/2007 at 9:56 AM #

    I am talking about the Miami game this past weekend.

  22. CaptainCraptacular 03/05/2007 at 9:56 AM #

    Too bad the brackets don’t line up for Duke to play Carolina again in the quarters. Usually, I can’t watch Duke-Carolina for more than a few minutes at a time before reaching my threshold of nausea. But a rematch in an early round game would be very entertaining (not on Sunday, cause I always want someone besides duke or unc to win it).

  23. BJD95 03/05/2007 at 10:02 AM #

    I am very glad UNC doesn’t loom in the quarters. The potential for immediate revenge would be a great motivator for Duke on Thursday.

  24. tractor57 03/05/2007 at 10:04 AM #

    I didn’t see the game but after watching the replays (and hearing the ESPN announcers decry the flagrant foul) it looked to me to be a hard foul (in a situation where it is not unreasonable to expect a hard foul) but not flagrant. That being said the situation is the fault of K and Roy. With the game well beyond being decided why are these players in the game? If it was me I sure wouldn’t want to chance and injury to either that might make for an early out in the ACCT. Lucky for us we get the benefit of just such a situation with Henderson’s suspension.
    I think the ref’s reacted to the blood (maybe the rule is “no blood, no ejection”)


  1. StateFans Nation » Blog Archive » State vs Duke on Thursday + Hans/Henderson - 03/05/2007

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