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Risk vs Reward

John Henson hurt his wrist yesterday.  Henson is the ACC Defensive Player of The Year and a critical player for the University of North Carolina basketball team and their hopes for a National Championship.

Henson was hurt in an ACC Tournament game.  Nobody really cares about the ACC Tournament any more.  Coach Roy Williams has to watch his words so he doesn’t offend anyone on this subject, but it is clear that he would much rather not play in the ACC Tournament with the NCAA Tournament starting in a week.  So if Henson or any other important player is hurt in this tournament and can’t play in the big tournament starting next week, it will be a real shame.  Assuming he is going to be okay, the Tarheels should keep him out of the next two games this weekend to avoid the risk of further injury.  The goal is to win a National Title, not to win this weekend.

The risk is they could lose all reasonable chance of winning a National Title.  The reward would be a potential ACC Tourney Title.  Not worth it.  We see this kind of thing in sports a lot.  Late in the year when their playoff spot is assured, NFL coaches will hold out their best players to avoid risk of injury.  In recruiting we see this when we push the hiring manager on a candidate that is not going to get the job.  Once you know that a candidate is not going to get the job, it is best to drop it.  The reward potential is gone, and now there is only risk.


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