No. 16 Ole Miss is off to a school-best start of 17-2 and an undefeated record in SEC play and Marshall Henderson is the passionate and vocal leader with range for days that has been a big reason for the team’s success.
After stops at four different colleges, Henderson has finally found a home in Oxford, Ms. where the junior leads the conference with more than 19 points per game and in made three-pointers (3.8). He also unofficially leads the conference in range and I think he could hit some jumpers from Tupelo, Ms.
He is the type of player that Jimmer Fredette and Seth Curry were when they starred in college–albeit with a little bit of an edge and a proclivity to talk trash to the opponent, something that Fredette and Curry weren’t known for.
If you haven’t heard of Henderson and his exploits until now, here’s a little snapshot of his season so far. On Saturday he hit two free throws with seven seconds left to give the team a narrow win over Auburn and then for good measure taunted the home fans to the derision of the Tigers faithful in attendance.
On Jan. 15, Henderson drains a 35-footer to tie the game at Vanderbilt where the team eventually won in overtime by 10 points, but his best game of the season and his coming-out party came Jan. 9 at Tennessee when he dropped a career-high 32 for the team’s first road win against the Volunteers in 22 years.
Kentucky was the latest to get an up-close look at Henderson (as they cling to their tournament hopes tonight), college basketball’s version of Heisman trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, he commands your attention when he’s on your television screen and continually does something that makes you say, “How did he just do that?!”
Just don’t tell Auburn fans that, because Henderson may be college basketball’s biggest villain, but the fans cheering at C.M. ‘Tad’ Smith Coliseum this season love their breakout star.
And while Kyle Wiltjer, Archie Goodwin, Nerlens Noel’s defense and The Wildcats proved to be just a little too much for the Rebels and Henderson tonight, it’s a great time to be a fan of Ole Miss athletics with the basketball program having a season for the ages, and a top-10 recruiting class that football coach Hugh Freeze is assembling that may include the top player in the nation, Robert Nkemdiche.
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