Mikey Henn has played in only 12 games this season and hadn’t started a game for Penn State.
But Sunday, he got a surprise start at center over freshman Kebba Njie.
Coach Micah Shrewsberry felt he needed to make a switch from the true freshman to the seventh-year senior now on his fifth college program.
Henn rewarded Shrewsberry’s faith. He scored 10 points, going a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor, and grabbed two rebounds. Arguably his biggest impact was helping hold Michigan’s All-Big Ten center, Hunter Dickinson to six points and two boards.
Let January 29th be the date that they learned the name… MIKEY HENN pic.twitter.com/jxK1FEmctE
— Legion of Blue (@LegionofBluePSU) January 29, 2023
After the game, Henn spoke about how he prepares for opportunities like the one he got Sunday.
“Just like before I put the extra work in,” Henn told reporters. There are games that I don’t play and that’s when I get in extra work. I get in the weight room and get in extra conditioning but I know that there will be a time when my name is called and luckily that day was today, and I was ready for the task at hand.”
Henn was excited to show Penn State fans what he was capable of.
“I feels great,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for the opportunity, and I feel like I played my best. This team has a lot to give and has a lot more exciting basketball ahead of it.”
Shrewsberry said in his postgame press conference that he decided to start Mikey Henn and Caleb Dorsey after seeing them perform during recent practices.
“We had a spirited practice on Wednesday after the Rutgers game,” Shrewsberry said. “It wasn’t anything that he (Njie) didn’t do. I though that Mikey and Caleb played really well in practices those two days and I wanted to reward them for what they did.”
Shrewsberry went more into Henn’s preparation through the season and the biggest thing is Henn doing things the way Shrewsberry wants them done as he has been in a lot of systems in his college career.
“I think he practices well; he stays with a good attitude when he doesn’t play, or when he does play and gets a quick hook,” Shrewsberry said. “I just been trying to do it our way and do it the way I want him to do it. It’s hard because when you play in a lot of different programs there are a lot of different habits to break.”
Henn, Shrewsberry and Penn State will little time to bask in Sunday’s performance. The team will face another big man, 7-foot-4 Zach Edey top-ranked Purdue on the road Wednesday night.