Terrance Henry (photo by Nathan Latil)
Feb. 29, 2012
VIDEO: Henry spotlight in episode 4 of The Season: Ole Miss Basketball
By John Holt, Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations Graduate Assistant
Ole Miss Basketball standout Terrance Henry isn’t sure why he’s like this. He swears he doesn’t have insomnia. But for some odd reason or another, he doesn’t get much sleep at night. In a typical 24-hour day, Henry sleeps on average four or five hours.
“I’m probably up eating, watching TV, anything,” Henry said of his nightly activities. “I’m not being loud or anything. I’m just up and awake.”
If not eating or watching TV, he’s probably playing XBOX (Call of Duty and Madden are his favorite video games), listening to music (preferably R&B/rap) or critiquing a movie (the best film he’s watched lately is Safe House, with his favorite actor Denzel Washington in the starring role).
Who knows what Henry’s family thinks about his unusual sleeping patterns these days (or if they are even aware)? But one thing Henry admits about his family is that nobody calls him by his listed name, Terrance.
They refer to him as Trey.
His friends and teammates at Ole Miss classify him as T-Henry, while friends back in his hometown of Monroe, La., embrace him as T-Hen.
Yet regardless of how one chooses to approach or greet him, Henry has been the face of the Ole Miss men’s basketball program this season.
“That means a lot to me,” Henry said. “It means I’m getting recognition as a player and being respected as a player, but it also doesn’t mean anything if I don’t go out there and do what I have to do.”
The 6-9, 210-pound senior forward is the leading scorer for Ole Miss this season, and Saturday he scored a game-high 21 points in the team’s 72-48 dominating win over LSU, becoming only the second player in Rebel men’s basketball history to reach 1,000 points and 100 blocks in a career. In the very next game on Tuesday, he scored 19 points and converted the game-winning three-point play with eight seconds left in a 77-75 comeback win at Arkansas.
The basketball journey for Henry began when he was nine years old. His uncle was the one who introduced him to the sport. But Henry also participated in football as a kid, which he played up until ninth grade. It was while attending Carroll High School that Henry said basketball became his calling.
“I was tall for my age,” Henry said. “In seventh grade, I was 6-4. In eighth grade, I got to 6-7. My height definitely played a factor in me choosing basketball.”
Henry shined throughout his career at Carroll High. In both his junior and senior seasons, he was a first-team All-State selection, and his senior year he finished runner-up for Louisiana’s Mr. Basketball. He also led Carroll to a 36-5 record and state semifinal appearance in his final season. He committed to Ole Miss over programs such as Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Arkansas and Miami (Fla.).
“I really saw what he is today,” Rebels head coach Andy Kennedy said of recruiting Henry. “He’s a guy that is a talented, versatile player that can do a lot of things to help your team. I liked the kid from a personality standpoint from the first time we met. I thought that he brought a lot of talent, and could help us in a variety of ways. I’ve always said that his greatest strength is his versatility. It’s not one thing. It’s kind of the way he can play the game from a versatility standpoint, and that’s been the case throughout his career.”
Henry’s freshman collegiate season on the hardwood had its share of ups and downs like most freshman seasons do. However by the end of it, Henry had seen action in all 31 contests and started seven games.
“I think I’ve really improved my focus,” he said. “Coming in as a freshman, you get distracted by things. It’s your first year away from your parents and stuff like that. As the years went on, I kind of matured and grew into a man, and learned more about myself.”
The following season Henry made it known that his most significant improvement during the 2009 offseason was his perimeter shooting. After only shooting 11.8 percent from beyond distance the season prior, his sophomore year he led the team in three-point field goal percentage with an average of 40.4 percent.
The Rebels as a team also saw plenty of success during the 2009-10 season, capturing a share of the SEC West regular season crown and advancing to the NIT Final Four. Henry said the Rebels’ 68-66 road win that season at Arkansas, which clinched a share of the Western Division title, is the team memory that stands out most during his career.
From an individual standpoint, Henry labels his 20-point, eight-rebound performance in Ole Miss’ 74-67 home win over Alabama that season, as the top on his list. In that contest, which took place on Feb. 7, 2010, the Rebels trailed the Tide by 23 with 19 minutes remaining before rallying for a decisive win.
“Terrance came out in the second half and just played like a man that game,” Rebel teammate, junior Nick Williams said. “It was great to see him having fun, and he led us to the win.”
Over the course of his career, Henry has also added strength to his 6-9 frame. When Henry arrived in Oxford in the fall of 2008, Kennedy estimated that Henry didn’t weight more than 180 pounds. Today, four years later, Henry checks in at 210.
“He’s a hard gainer,” Kennedy said. “You can just tell by his body type, and it hasn’t been easy for him to hold weight. But I think he’s certainly gotten stronger. He’s gotten more confident, and he’s evolved into more of a face-up guy.”
Henry echoed his coach’s statement. “Every offseason for me, it was all about gaining weight. It was just gaining weight, and getting stronger every offseason. I think that’s helped me out a lot.”
A left-handed player that can knock down perimeter shots as well as play in the post, Henry’s game has drawn comparisons to NBA stars such as Tayshaun Prince and Lamar Odom, while this season he’s displayed numerous moments of stardom.
He was recognized as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week during the week of Jan. 23 after averaging 18 points, 6.5 rebounds and two assists following a pair of Rebel wins against No. 15 Mississippi State and at Georgia. Back on Feb. 18, he produced 16 of his 18 points in the first half in the Rebels 77-62 loss at No. 1 Kentucky. And against South Carolina on Jan. 28, he connected on a three-pointer with 16.1 seconds remaining that lifted Ole Miss to a 66-62 home victory. Earlier in the season, after Ole Miss concluded play at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, Henry earned a spot on the five-member All-Tournament Team.
“He’s certainly a guy we’ve asked to provide leadership,” Kennedy said. “He’s got the most experience of anybody from our team. He’s one of only two seniors, and the only guy that’s been in our program now for four years. So more than anybody, he has a better understanding of what it takes on a day-to-day basis to be successful at this level.”
Williams added, “I’ve seen great improvement in him being more outspoken. This year, he and myself felt like we had to step up and be more vocal. Terrance has come a long way, and this year he’s made great strides in becoming a better leader.”
This Saturday marks senior day at the Tad Pad, and for Henry he believes the day will have a bittersweet taste to it. His family will be in attendance for the occasion and Henry admitted that it will be a very emotional day.
“He’s like a brother,” Williams said. “He got me here from where I was (Indiana). We connected. I knew him before I came to Ole Miss. I’d seen him at a couple camps and we played on the same team at the (Top 100) NBA Camp in high school, so I got to know him there. Ever since I got here, he’s been like a brother to me. We’re going to really miss him.”
The Rebels are currently riding a two-game win streak and with postseason play possibly looming ahead, Henry is determined to do all he can to extend his collegiate career.
“I set a bunch of goals,” he said. “I set the bar high for everything I do because that’s just how I am. Some goals I haven’t reached and some I have. But I’m still fighting for a couple of those goals now.”
In May, Henry will graduate with a degree in criminal justice and begin planning the next step of his journey. He hopes the journey will lead him to a professional playing career either in the NBA or overseas. When asked how he’d like to be remembered and portrayed by the Ole Miss community, Henry simply answered, “As a hard working guy, who never gave up or quit.”
“I think Terrance certainly is going to have opportunities,” Kennedy said. “He’s got the physical abilities to continue to play this game after college. When, and where, and how long, that’s completely up to him.”
Williams is confident his teammate and friend will be making a living playing somewhere.
“Terrance is just a good guy,” Williams said. “He always plays hard and he’d be special on anyone’s team.”
For the Ole Miss basketball program, T-Henry has been just that.