Love him or hate him, Marshall Henderson’s ability to put the ball in the basket prevented the Ole Miss Rebels from being a sure bet to the NIT. The flamboyant and outspoken guard averaged 20.1 points per game last season. His efforts launched head coach Andy Kennedy off of the proverbial hot seat, and into an extension. Henderson’s antics on the court have made him a spectacle to watch. His off-the-court antics may keep him from scoring another point for Ole Miss.
Henderson’s status with Ole Miss is currently in limbo due to a very public drug-related suspension. He was suspended in late July because of multiple failed drug tests. The marijuana and cocaine found in his vehicle during a traffic stop in May could doom him from wearing a Rebels jersey this season. The SEC and Ole Miss will wait to see if Henderson is cleared to play this season, or if his lifestyle choices will doom his future in Oxford.
Without Marshall Henderson, the Rebels will be losing their top three scorers from last season. Sophomore guard Jarvis Summers will need to make huge strides on offense and defense to fill the void of losing Henderson. Summers started 31 games last season, averaging nine points per game. You expect him to get more shots and be able to improve his production. Without Henderson, the spotlight and the pressure to produce may be too much for the sophomore guard to handle.
Even with Marshall Henderson on the court, coach Andy Kennedy’s team may take a step back from last season’s squad that won the SEC Tournament Championship. Veteran frontcourt players Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner are not walking through those doors. Henderson’s status on the team is crucial for Ole Miss to have any hope of building upon last season’s successes. Without him, the Rebels will struggle in the midst of mediocrity.
Brian Lewis is an SEC Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. You can add him to your network on Google for more of his work.