Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson is fast becoming the league’s most liked (in Oxford) and most disliked (everywhere else) star. With his scowls, trash talk, and in-game celebrations, the juco transfer from Utah — who was the SEC’s Player of the Week last week — is simply doing what he’s already done before. Three years ago The Las Vegas Sun called Henderson “The Mountain West’s newest villain” for his antics.
“We’ll beat (Tennessee) 10 times out of 10. We still feel like we’re a little disrespected. That’s why we think Tennessee was talking so much, because they’re Tennessee and we’re Ole Miss. We’ve been in the (NCAA) Tournament, what, eight times out of 103 years? Who are we to have a target on our back? We still don’t feel like we have a target on our back still, except for the fact people think they shouldn’t lose to Ole Miss.”
First, if Tennessee’s players were talking, they should learn to pipe down. Henderson has dropped 60 points on the Volunteers in two Ole Miss wins this month.
Second, did we mention that Henderson backs up his talk with his play? He’s averaging 19.4 points per game on the season and he can sink three-pointers from all over the court.
Third, did we mention Henderson is a polarizing figure? He made waves at Utah. Then he transferred to Texas Tech, never played and transferred to a junior college before landing at Ole Miss. From his gums to his gestures, Henderson gets under the skin of UM opponents and their fans. And if he were wearing Mississippi State maroon, Rebel fans would view him as Public Enemy #1 rather than as a well-meaning, confident, demonstrative youth.
Love him or hate him, Henderson is the SEC’s most interesting player in a down, drab year for basketball.
And he also shot a scowl at the back of Bobby Knight’s head during last night’s broadcast. So he’s got that going for him.