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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

John Henson’s needless last-second dunk draws Maryland’s ire

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

It won't be hard for Maryland coach Mark Turgeon to motivate his players entering their Feb. 29 rematch with North Carolina.

All Turgeon will have to do is show the Terps the video of North Carolina's John Henson throwing down a needless dunk with one second remaining in the Tar Heels' 83-74 win on Saturday evening. Boos rained down on Henson from the Comcast Center crowd and Maryland players and coaches said afterward they thought the junior forward should have dribbled out the clock.

"I didn't like the dunk," Turgeon told the Baltimore Sun . "[Roy Williams] knows that."

Added Maryland star Terrell Stoglin, "I felt it was a bad play, personally."

[Related: College basketball's top five games for the week ahead]

If the emphatic dunk was Henson's answer to those who have criticized North Carolina's lack of a mean streak this season, then it was still the wrong means of doing it. Even after a hard-fought come-from-behind road win during which the opposing crowd had no doubt been heckling him since the opening tipoff, the sportsmanlike move from Henson would certainly have been to dribble the clock out.

Henson didn't apologize for the dunk when asked about it after the game, telling reporters he was pleased to finally get one after being denied by Maryland big man Alex Len earlier.

"I don't know if I initially wanted to dunk," Henson told North Carolina's student paper. "But instinct — he's running at me and I'm under the basket and it just kind of kicked in. That's how it happened.

"I'm happy with the decision. He'd been blocking my shot all night, and it's good to get at least one shot on him."

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