Aaron Henry looks like a different player than a year ago.
Yes, he's been one of Michigan State's top contributors in the past, but not to this level, and the scariest part for opponents is, he's only going to get better.
Tonight, Henry gave scouts a reason to believe he will be a good player at the next level one day while showing Spartan Nation the shoes he's able to fill in the absence of two cornerstones from the past three years.
"He's starting to show his ability to get in the paint, his ability to handle the ball," MSU coach Tom Izzo told reporters during the postgame presser. "We rode him like a horse; I don't know how many minutes he played. It had to be 36-37 minutes, and he had to guard, play the point … I'm so proud of him."
We knew what Henry was, a defensive talent, but tonight he stepped up for his team, who needed him to be an answer offensively.
He willingly took shots and kept the Spartans in it throughout.
"Being the person that I am, I'm not going to ever fold, or quit, or put my head down when times get hard," said Henry. "I've been hit with a lot harder things in my life, and I feel like on the court, I can respond to anything no matter how big the punch is … we see the team we could be, and I hope we can sustain consistency throughout the season."
Henry ended his night with 14 points (7-of-21 from the field), five assists, five rebounds, three blocks, and three steals.
It wasn't the junior captain's best shooting night, but he left Cameron Indoor Stadium with the one thing he wanted most.
"I missed a lot of those touch shots around the rim, some free throws … I missed too many shots, to be honest, around the rim," Henry said. "That's not like me, but to come out and perform the way I did, I felt it was enough to win, and that's all that matters to me."
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