Henson, Zeller To Return; Barnes Undecided
Photo: Mark Dolejs-US Presswire
Photo: Mark Dolejs-US Presswire

Posted Apr 6, 2011

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - John Henson and Tyler Zeller will return to UNC for the 2011-12 season, the school announced on Wednesday. Freshman Harrison Barnes is still reviewing the possibility of declaring for the NBA Draft.

Henson, a sophomore from Tampa, Fla., and Zeller, a junior from Washington, Ind., were each second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selections in 2011.

"I want to come back to school next year because I enjoy all aspects of being a college student and I truly love being a Tar Heel," Henson said in a press release. "We had a fun and successful season, but we all want to improve on what we accomplished. I know at some point I want to play in the NBA, but right now I want to enjoy my college life. My teammates and coaches are great and I want to help them reach the big dreams we all share."

Zeller stated: "I came to Carolina because it had the balance of academics and basketball I wanted and it was the best place for me to prepare for life and a career in the NBA. That's exactly what we have here. I want to finish my college career, compete for championships and graduate on time. That means a lot to my family and me. Plus, I know I can get stronger and improve my all-around game with another year. We had a great season getting to the Elite Eight, but I would like a chance at going out with another title."

Henson averaged 11.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and an ACC-leading 3.2 blocks per game this past season. Zeller led UNC in scoring at 15.7 points per game, to go with 7.2 rebounds per game and an ACC-leading field goal percentage of 54.7.

Added Roy Williams: "John and Tyler certainly considered their options, but in the end it came down to how much they enjoyed not only college basketball, but being part of the collegiate experience both on and off the court. I spoke to about 10 NBA teams on their behalf and gave them that information, but their individual decisions are less about the NBA and more about what they wanted to do right now and the experiences they are enjoying at the University of North Carolina."

Barnes, who was named Second Team All-ACC and earned Freshman All-America honors, is projected the highest of the Tar Heel trio on NBA Draft boards.

"Harrison is not as far along in his decision-making process as were Tyler and John," Williams said. "I am still gathering information on him from NBA teams and hope to provide him with all of that information by the end of next week."

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