Who’s The Best Player On UNC? John Henson Not Harrison Barnes


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Before I get into this I want to give a little disclaimer.  I’m not saying John Henson is the better prospect, athlete, or overall player in this comparison.  I simply believe Henson has been the better player for UNC than Harrison Barnes has.  The assumption that Barnes was definitely the best player for UNC is off.  The expectations for this kid have been sky high since he came to UNC the first freshman preseason All American in history.  If you remember way back to Henson’s freshman season he was hyped as one of the best players of his class also.  A growth spurt and a position change slowed his development, now his game is coming together on both ends of the floor.  That’s what separates him from Barnes.

Why Henson is UNCs best player, with statistical proof after the jump

While Barnes is a fantastic player on the offensive end he is probably the forth best perimeter defender on the team.  In my book if you want to be considered the best you have to be a very good defender at the very least.  Henson on the other hand, is a monster defensively and has developed this season into one on the offensive end as well.  No one in college basketball changes shots underneath like Henson, nobody.  Sometimes, it’s hard to see Barnes on defense, he disappears.  Barnes also disappears on offense far, far too often.  A talented athlete, gifted at finishing at the rim, Barnes also has a tendency to settle for the jumper or fade away from contact instead of taking it to the defender.  Henson on the other hand is tough.  He takes it strong to the rim when he has an opening.  He’s calculated and confident with his post moves and finishes strong, going at the defender.  Outside of his weak a$$ last shot in Lexington Henson takes it strong every time.  He’s definitely got the aggression factor over Barnes.

The three main things that win basketball games are as follows.  Scoring points, defense, and rebounds.  Unless you haven’t watched a single UNC game in the last 2 years, you understand that Henson crushes Barnes in the rebounding department.  Defensively, Barnes, while not quite a liability, isn’t an asset either.  Henson is the possibly the best defensive player in the nation, enough said.  Let’s take a hard look at their offensive games side by side.  Up until this season, Henson was almost a liability offensively.  Sporting an ugly jumper, no post game, awful foul shooter (still is).  The only thing that saved him was he was great at throwing it down.  Now, he’s awesome, joining Barnes and Tyler Zeller as the top scorers on the team.  Henson is the team second leading scorer at 14.5 ppg just 2.3 behind Barnes 16.8.  Compare their shooting percentages, Henson has the advantage at .547 to Barnes .476.  A 7.1% advantage for Henson.  Take an even closer look Henson has made 3 more field goals 81 to Barnes 78, while attempting 16 less shots (148-164).  But that’s not even the most surprising statistic.  Barnes has the ball in his hands far more than does Henson.  Yes Henson has 10 more assists beating Barnes 22-12.  Henson has no business having anywhere near the amount of assists, let alone almost twice as many as Harrison.

To recap: Henson is clearly the better defender and rebounder.  He’s the better passer, more efficient shooter and is more active than Harrison Barnes.  Ladies and Gentleman, I hate to break it to you, John Henson, not Harrison Barnes is the best player on the Tar Heels.

Don’t believe me, take a look at their stats side by side.  If your still not convinced, I’d love to hear your Barnes argument in the comments section.

Game Statistics
Harrison Barnes1326.816.
John Henson1328.614.510.
Season Statistics
Harrison Barnes34878164466617352192934631226135
John Henson3728114826530018836951312221443

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