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Terry Henderson Says Experience Will Guide WVU

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MORGANTOWN -

A rookie turns into a veteran so quickly in college sports.

With just four years at their expense, a student-athlete must show real growth from year one to year two and no longer display the habits that may have been acceptable as a freshman learning the ropes.

Terry Henderson is one of those players for West Virginia. His freshman season showed Mountaineer fans just what sort of potential he possessed, but there were setbacks and signs of the inconsistency that is expected with youth and inexperience.

A year ago, those things could be dismissed, chalked up to Henderson being in his first season of college basketball and the positives would still provide hope for the future.

The future is now, in Henderson's case, and the sophomore guard is looking forward to putting the 13-19 freshman year in the rearview as he and WVU work toward a more successful second season in the Big 12.

"Going through that year, not knowing if you're going to play early on and then, boom, there you go, you're playing, starting a couple of games doing this, doing that and by the end of the season, you're relied on as being one of the players that needs to show up on a nightly basis," Henderson recalls. "I was blessed to be put in that situation as a freshman and now that I've got a year under my belt, I'll know what to do and what not to do and we'll have a great year."

Averaging eight points per game and leading the team in 3-point field goal percentage, Henderson showed plenty in the way of potential. He believes now, the highs and lows of that first season will work to WVU's advantage as they prepare for this fall.

"I would say experience," Henderson says when asked what the major difference will be between this coming season and the last one.

"Me coming in, not knowing what to do and just that whole year changed me as a player and as a person, so I know what to do on and off the court. I'm going to tell [the freshmen] as best as I can what to do and what not to do and just keep them focused and make them have a good season."

Henderson lights up when he speaks of the incoming additions to the roster. Looking at a list that includes six players each listed at 6-foot-7 or taller, the sophomore recognizes the different make up his team will have just by looking at size alone.

If those freshmen and the transfer who join them can be molded by Coach Bob Huggins' coaching, Henderson believes there is reason to be excited.

"They're going to be very big," Henderson says, referring to more than just their height. "I'm telling you that right now, they're going to be very big for our program. I'm excited for them coming. We've got good relationships with them and I'm just very excited for them to be coming."

Henderson has played open gym sessions with some of the newcomers and likes what he sees, and he got to take in the Scott Brown Classic in Beckley back in April to see all four of the freshmen in action at the same time.

"It's going to be great because it's going to change our team to where we have different pieces to go to and not just going to have the three ball or whatever," says Henderson. "We're going to have the inside presence going, our defense is going to be way better and it's just going to be very exciting."

The optimism of an offseason often has no ceiling. When all that can be seen is the improvement of your own team, it is easy to overlook that every other team out there is doing just as much to get better.

In West Virginia's case, that means bad news when considering that the Mountaineers finished with a 6-12 record in the Big 12, good for eighth place in a 10-team conference. For Henderson, knowing what they experienced last season is enough to push harder every day through this summer.

"It's definitely motivation," he says. "That's just the kind of person that I am and I'm sure everyone else is on the team. Nobody wants to be on a losing team, especially when we've got some great players coming in. We're not going to let them have the kind of season that we did last year."

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