Sunday, March 18, 2012

Was Hacking John Henson The Plan for Creighton?

Courtesy SBNation
While Creighton fans might not want to admit it, the game turned when Grant Gibbs hacked John Henson on his sore wrist.  After Henson was called for the technical, Gibbs winked towards the Creighton bench, which was a clear admission that Gibbs had succeeded with a deliberate strategy... and if that was the case, North Carolina's response proved that to be a dismal failure.  Before Creighton even knew what hit them, the Heels were up by double digits...and it was game over.

Frankly, I was impressed by how close Creighton kept it the rest of the way.  I expected North Carolina to name their score, and win by 30.  Which raises the question, could Creighton have pulled off the upset if they hadn't tried to take Henson out of the game?

(Footnote from the comments:  as the Tar Heels began their run, Gregory Echenique took out his frustration on North Carolina's Tyler Zeller. Wow.  CBS' Seth Davis wonders how the refs missed this one; ESPN's Doug Gottlieb and Jay Bilas concur.)


Jack said...

Certainly looked that way to me. They did it at least 3 times that were caught close up on camera. Plus there were numerous other unbelievable attempts to get physical, including the intentional foul to possibly end Kendall Marshall's season. Plus, there was this:

Husker Mike said...

Not sure that Ethan Wragge was intentionally going after Marshall...but that Echenique forearm sure looks, well... yikes.

Critica said...

Let me help you with the words you're looking for, HM: Thug Basketball. More recently known as Saints Basketball, or the Greg Williams league (partic w/that wink; what a corn-fed fool that child truly is). Or, as Clinton might have put it once, the basketball of personal destruction.

Once, it's an accident. Twice, hey, stuff happens. Three times plus? You have to convince us (and yourselves) that it's __not__ standard operational procedure.

Fortunately N.C. was just visiting. Apparently you all have to live with it.

ajwhite10 said...

It was a really physical game and I think Echenique got carried away on that forearm. Regardless, it was a cheap shot and he should have been ejected? Creighton knew they had no shot at going toe to toe with UNC, so they did the only thing they could do. A lot of people don't realize this, but on the play before Henson got the T, #10 for Creifhton took a swipe at his wrist as they artery Ning down the court, which is what rally preferred and fuels the exchange under the bucket. The wink tells you everything you need to know, regarding the intent. The kid was obviously lying in the post game presser when he attempted to dismiss the notion of him targeting the wrist. You can't feign innocence and then wink at your bench. Creifhton may not be a dirty basketball team, but they chose to play dirty Sunday night. The foul that injured Marshall, while not nearly as violent as Echenique, was totally unnecessary. Almost zero effort was made to play the ball. On the lay where Henson was hurt in the first half and had to leave e game, the wrist was obviously targeted by the Creighton guard. It was a little embarrassing to watch an overmatched team resort to those kinds of things, but I guess that's the only way they felt they could compete.

Jack said...

Welp, here are a few more that show that the overly physical, bordering on thug ball, was indeed the game plan: