WVU basketball: Henderson out indefinitely, has been sick for 'a while'
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Specifics surrounding the health of West Virginia guard Terry Henderson remain scant, but the sophomore has been sick for almost three weeks now and might be out a bit longer as the Mountaineers push toward postseason play.
Randy Meador, WVU's coordinator of athletic training services who works primarily with the basketball team, told the Charleston Daily Mail on Thursday he and his staff have kept tabs on Henderson since the Feb. 8 loss to Kansas. Meador said Henderson hasn't been practicing or working out since a few days after the Texas game a week later and is only now showing signs of coming out of whatever's bothering him.
Meador declined to say what illness has kept Henderson, the team's third-leading scorer, out of the last two games, both losses in which WVU has shot below 40 percent.
"He's being monitored and checked by our physicians and he's slowly improving, but that's about all I can say," Meador said.
Meador wouldn't say whether Henderson will or won't play in Saturday's 1:30 p.m. home game against TCU (9-18, 0-15 Big 12).
"He's been sick for a while, so it's going to take a while to come back," Meador sad. "Just saying he's slightly improving each day, that's good, but having been sick this long, he's not going to have much energy, stamina, power or strength.
"But the good news is he is feeling better. I just can't tell you exactly when he'll play again."
Henderson was 0-for-3 from the floor and finished with two points and three turnovers in 22 minutes in the loss to Kansas. Two days later, Henderson scored 15 points in a 102-77 victory against Iowa State and coach Bob Huggins said afterward that Henderson had apologized to his teammates and coaches following the loss to the Jayhawks.
"He could have said, 'I was sick.' He didn't," Huggins said. "He just said, 'This one's on me. I've got to be able to play through it.' "
After a week off, WVU played at Texas and Henderson had 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting in the first 15 minutes, but took one shot and didn't score the rest of the game. Meador said Henderson was kept out of practices and workouts not long after the loss to the Longhorns. With the illness and inactivity, Meador said Henderson has lost some weight, but wouldn't say how much.
"Weight loss is definitely a concern," Meador said. "That's your fuel tank and right now his fuel tank is a lot lower than what it normally is."
Henderson missed two games with back problems last season. The Mountaineers lost both of those, as well. He was held out of the opening game this season with a shin injury, but WVU had no trouble with Mount St. Mary's.
WVU (15-13, 7-8 Big) is a game ahead of Baylor for sixth place in the Big 12 Tournament, where the top six teams get a bye in the opening round. The Mountaineers play TCU, at Oklahoma and at home against No. 5 Kansas to finish the regular season. They need a big run there and in the conference tournament to make the NCAA Tournament, but also need to win some more games just to make the NIT.
"We've got to have somebody step up," point guard Juwan Staten said. "When one person goes down, it's a great opportunity for somebody else to step up and show something they haven't been able to show. We're searching for that person right now."
Henderson had been a key part of WVU's quick-shooting, high-scoring attack with 12.1 points per game and 37.2 percent shooting from 3-point range (42-for-112). He contributed on defense as well and the Mountaineers confess they've missed what he was giving them on that end. They've surrendered 84 points in the paint the past two games and allowed both Baylor and Iowa State to shoot above 50 percent from the floor on the way to 88 and 83 points.
"Terry was playing better defense than he'd played in a long time," Staten said. "He was playing hard and going a great job rebounding and blocking shots. We need somebody to step up in that role, too."