In an overtime loss against the Miami Heat, rookie John Henson put up 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Milwaukee Bucks in just 27 minutes. In Milwaukee’s next game Henson played a mere minute and eighteen seconds in the Bucks 93-86 home loss to the Chicago Bulls. The Bucks were hammered in that game on the offensive glass 20-10.
Milwaukee had a scheduled rematch with the Bulls forty eight hours later and Bucks Head Coach Scott Skiles decided to insert Henson into the starting line-up to offset Chicago’s advantage in the paint. Henson struggled against Chicago’s frontcourt due to his frail 220 lb. frame but managed to shoot 5-for-8 from the floor in fourteen minutes.
Henson, a University of North Carolina Tar Heel, was a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA Draft going fourteenth overall to the Milwaukee Bucks—he has promise. The heady 6’11” power forward is a good defender and has shown some offensive acumen early on in his NBA career. The only thing working against Henson is his size, or lack thereof. Being thin is nothing the weight room can’t correct, and it never seemed to hinder Kevin Garnett and Tyson Chandler.
John Henson is a good kid with a good work ethic who has the privilege of playing under Scott Skiles. Henson also has no pressure to carry the Bucks who are already chocked full of talent. The situation is perfect for Henson to blossom on the Bucks.
SS: How’s your rookie season going so far?
John Henson: It’s going well. We’re playing for the lead in the Central Division right now and just trying to come in every day to be ready to play and win.
SS: What’s it like playing for Coach Skiles?
John Henson: It’s great. He’s a great basketball mind. He knows his stuff. He puts you in the right situations and gives you opportunities. I think that’s something that everybody on the team, including me, needs to take advantage of.
SS: Has the coaching staff informed you of what your role is on the team?
John Henson: Right now, specifically this game is to rebound. The Bulls killed us on the offensive glass in the last game. Right now we have to rebound and be ready.
SS: A couple of games ago you had a big rebounding game. What was your mindset against Miami?
John Henson: Just attack the glass and be energetic on the court and everything else will take care of itself.
SS: Would you say rebounding is the strongest part of your game?
John Henson: For this team I think so. I think we have enough scoring. How I’m going to help this team is defending and rebounding so that’s what I’m going to do.
SS: What part of your game do you need to work most on?
John Henson: Probably just overall getting more comfortable in the flow of the game and knowing certain things that you can’t do in the NBA that you can do in college. Slowly I’m starting to figure it out.
SS: Have any of the vets taken you under their wing?
John Henson: Not necessarily taken me under their wing but they’ve shown me the ropes. They tell me what to do and what not to do in certain situations and that’s good.
SS: Who has been the toughest person to guard so far in the NBA?
John Henson: I’d probably have to say the Grizzlies bigs were the toughest for us to guard because they go through them on every play. It was a tough game for us.
SS: Have you been in contact with your college teammates Harrison, Kendall, and Tyler about their rookie experiences?
John Henson: I talk to them every once in a while. Harrison is starting and he’s been playing well lately. Kendall is working hard and Tyler had an injury but he’s still playing well. I think everybody is fine.
SS: What did you think of that dunk Harrison had the other night?
John Henson: Oh man, that was a big-time dunk. I told him I never seen him do that in college. Hopefully he keeps it up.
SS: Have you had to endure any rookie hazing?
John Henson: Basic rookie stuff like getting food, donuts, and carrying bags–nothing too drastic, which is good.
SS: What are your personal goals for your rookie season?
John Henson: You want to win because winning makes everything better but I just want to start by the team winning our division and playing well. When you win, the awards and rewards come with that.
SS: You’re from Florida and played in North Carolina in warm weather, are you prepared for the upcoming Wisconsin winter?
John Henson: Ah man, it’s funny because I walked outside one day and I had to go back inside to get my coat. I’ve never done that in my life—it was interesting. I got a nice big coat now so I’m doing fine.