Bishop Alemany High killed it in ’11-’12. Finishing the season ranked #5 by Maxpreps the team threw up an impressive (33-4) record and went (10-2) in Conference. Although seniors Marqueze Coleman and Max Guercy grabbed the lion’s share of headlines, sophomore Bear Henderson more than held his own. Contributing 12.7 Points, 7.0 Rebounds, and 1.3 Assists per game the 6’5 195lb Guard/Forward made clear the Alemany program would remain in good hands as Coleman and Guercy wrapped their High school careers. I’m a huge believer in self-awareness and love the frank manner the young man goes about summarizing his game:
Bear Henderson is a strong versitle lefty power guard/wing that can finish strong at the basket. He also have a pull up mid range game. Able to knock down 3′s and can draw defenders to kick the ball out for the Assist. He is a good rebounder for his size, he can post up smaller guards and can defend guards, wings and power fowards.
Albeit easier to sum one’s positive traits and areas of strength, Henderson is equally as straight-forward when asked to review his areas of opportunity:
Right now I’m working on my overall perimeter game. I’m working on my right hand, extending my range in shooting, increasing my quickness and just more basketball IQ and decision-making.
Clearly dominant-handed hoopers are easily sniffed out as the competition level improves. The fact Henderson has recognized this flaw to his game is encouraging. As he works his right hand to a more effective level he will force his defender to play straight up, no cheating. Improving his consistency from range will force his defender to honor his outside shot and again, play straight up. In terms of developing a complete offensive package dual-handedness and effective inside/outside play is a perfect launching point. Henderson shot a respectable 47% from the Field and an above average 77% from the free throw line. Given his relatively low volume of shots from 3PT (19 of 41 ’11-’12) Henderson will need to take his FG% into the 51+ range to prove an effective #1 option. There’s also room to tighten up ballhandling and pass accuracy. Turnovers (75 in ’11-’12) far exceeded Assists (47 in ’11-’12) and will need to improve. With Coleman and Guercy no longer with the team, best guess has all eyes trained on Henderson when Alemany has the ball. The stress level will increase, but with that so will the opportunity to secure and/or up his recruit stock. If Henderson reacts well to the added pressure, Alemany may not miss much of a beat. If he responds poorly to the pressure, I may have to take my previous statement as a reminder when next considering a sophomore prospect. Either way, Bear Henderson qualifies as one for the radar.
Colorado and Nevada have already seen enough of Bear Henderson as each has extended an offer. Henderson reports “high interest” on the part of Notre Dame, Portland, Rice, San Francisco, Stanford, and USC. Still kicking the tires (each has made contact) are Arizona, Cal, Oregon, UNLV, and a host of others. Given his Class of ’14 status it’s premature to project Henderson’s impact at a collegiate level. Taking a stab at another season at the High school level and ’12-’13 stats is far more manageable. Gone with the graduation of Coleman and Guercy are the 1300+ Points and 400+ Rebounds contributed by the duo. Henderson will not take up the entirety of the slack, but there should prove significant opportunity to bump his statistical impact. I project Henderson to average (’12-’13) in the 17-19 Point and 7.5-8.5 Rebound range and contribute 2-2.5 Assists per game. There may exist an early period of transition as he feels his way thru an increased leadership role, but I expect that to decrease with play. Citing ’12-’13 team goals as “to win tournaments, league, State and CiF again”, there’s little doubt Henderson aims to keep the Alemany bar raised high.