Everyone knew that Marshall Henderson was good when he led the SEC in scoring last season. Everyone expected that he would once again be one of the best shooters in the country in the 2013-14 basketball season. However, no one expected him to eclipse that this season because the Ole Miss Rebels lost their two big men, Reginald Buckner and Murphy Holloway, and would have to rely on outside shooting for point production.
Henderson put up a career-high 39 points against the No. 13 Oregon Ducks in a 115-105 loss. He was 10-for-23 shooting from three and carried this team on his back at times late in the game. Henderson looked a little shot-happy early, but once they started falling he was unstoppable.
If performances like the one against Oregon are any indication of what Henderson will be able to do against conference opposition like the Kentucky Wildcats and Florida Gators, then the SEC should be very worried. Henderson may be borderline crazy, but there isn’t a more clutch three-point shooter in the nation. His ability to come through late in the game could be the difference between a trip to the NIT and a trip to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
I’m not sold on the Rebels as a top three or four team in the SEC just yet, but Ole Miss and Henderson will have multiple opportunities to prove themselves worthy of a 2014 NCAA Tournament berth. Expect Ole Miss to be just as dangerous as they were in the SEC last season, and even a little more with Henderson being encouraged to shoot.