ASHEVILLE Gerald Henderson and Matt Carroll have been named captains of the Charlotte Bobcats.
They’re among the longest-tenured players on the roster (technically, reserve center Gana Diop has the longest tenure). Also Henderson and Carroll were among the most committed players to the offseason workout program new coach Mike Dunlap has emphasized.
Henderson, last season’s leading scorer at 15.1 points per game, appreciated that Dunlap consulted with him about this, rather than just designate captains.
“He asked me if I wanted to be captain. He wanted me to take it on,” said Henderson said Wednesday. “I don’t like just being called a captain. I wanted to earn it.”
Carroll doesn’t play much – he could be the fourth shooting guard on the roster – but Henderson said he knows just why Carroll earned the distinction: “He’s the best teammate I’ve ever had. We play the same position (competing for playing time) and he’s always quick to help me or anyone else.”
Open practice: The Bobcats will open the evening session of practice Thursday to the public at UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center. Admission is free and doors will open at 5:45.
Injuries: Byron Mullens suffered a hyper-extended right knee Wednesday morning and missed the evening session. Tyrus Thomas suffered a leg cramp in the evening session that sat him for the last hour.
D-up: Dunlap has devoted about three-quarters of practice time during training camp to defense.
Much of that time Wednesday was tightening up halfcourt traps, concentrating on applying pressure without allowing opponents to throw passes over players’ heads for easy baskets.
As if it wasn’t already apparent, Dunlap hollered to the players, “Our highest value in this franchise is defense.”
Free throws: Dunlap has set a goal of shooting at least 75 percent from the foul line and taking more free throws than the Bobcats’ collective opponent. Last season the Bobcats shot just below 75 percent and their opponents finished the season with 24 more attempts.