Less than a year ago, college basketball fans couldn’t go a single day without hearing something about Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson. Whether it was one of the many incidents related to his time prior to becoming a Rebel, or just another in-game meltdown, deserving or not, Henderson had arrived on the national scene.
Amid countless tales of his transgressions however, even those who despised the outspoken guard couldn’t deny Henderson’s ability on the court last season. Yet, instead of devoting himself to an offseason packed with workouts on the heels of his new-found celebrity status, Henderson peppered his summer regimen with the type of behavior that initially got him in trouble.
Highlighted by another run-in with authorities that resulted in the discovery of both cocaine and marijuana in a car he was driving, the Henderson managed to escape with a citation, but the folks at Ole Miss weren’t as understanding, As punishment for his actions, the University suspended him for a total of three games. But since returning from the short break, things have been much different both on and off of the hardwood.
Currently the program’s only senior, Henderson has picked up exactly where he left off last season and has averaged 19.1 PPG during his final year in the NCAA. Paramount to his ability to put points on the board however, the often immature Henderson has finally begun to grow into the man that so many believed he could one day become.
Outside of an incident in late January involving Henderson, Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray, an alleged obscenity and an equally unpleasant response, the former ”jersey popper” has been noticeably absent from the headlines almost all season.
While the Rebels haven’t enjoyed the same level of success that they achieved in 2013, the upcoming SEC conference tournament will offer Henderson one final shot at a run in mid-March. Seeded sixth after posting a 9-9 mark during the conference schedule, Ole Miss will play the winner of the opening round contest between Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.
Whether you loved his energy and fearlessness, or despised his brash arrogance, the fact remains that Henderson is on his way out the door, and he’s one character that college basketball won’t soon forget.