Henderson has quickly become a celebrity on the Ole Miss campus.
By: Seph Anderson
Seph Anderson currently serves as the student loan coordinator for the Office of Financial Aid at Ole Miss, where he has worked for the past eight years.
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Marshall Henderson is quickly becoming a living legend for Ole Miss basketball.
In the words of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother playboy character Barney Stinson,”He’s legend … wait for it … dary!”
Not since the two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning played for the Rebels nearly a decade ago has an Ole Miss athlete garnered such love and attention from the fans in Oxford.
While the Ole Miss legend status accompanying Marshall Henderson has been slowly building all season, Rebel fans will forever talk about “The Vanderbilt Game” as Henderson’s national coming out party.
In a game the Rebels fought to even be in near the end of regulation, Henderson sunk a near half-court three-point launch, shoulders squared, with seconds remaining to send the Rebels to overtime where they eventually went on to win.
The 2011-2012 Junior College Player of the Year transfer, Henderson, shows more heart and passion on the hardwood than conceivable of anyone in college basketball this season. Often maligned by media and opposing teams alike for instinctively wearing his emotions on his sleeves, it’s nearly impossible not to not be a fan of the flashy Rebel floor leader. Marshall Henderson is what makes college basketball so great—he opens his heart and literally shows the crowd how he’s feeling inside every single game.
Currently the leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) posting an average of 19.2 points per game, Henderson averaged 3.9 three-point buckets per game (good for fifth nationally) and has made 27 more three-pointers (74 total) than his nearest competitor in the conference (47 by Texas A&M’s Elston Turner).
Yes, that’s right, Henderson has made an astounding 27 more three point baskets than anyone in the SEC. Additionally, Henderson leads the SEC in free throw percentage at 86.7 percent.
The statistics are great and could be analyzed all day long, but it’s Henderson’s pure passion for the game and “leave nothing on the floor” attitude that separates him from other premiere players of Ole Miss basketball lore.
There have been Rebel greats—like Denver Brackeen, Don Kessinger, Johnny Neumann, John Stroud, Sean Tuohy, Carlos Clark, Rod Barnes, Gerald Glass, Keith Carter, Ansu Sesay, Jason Harrison, Rahim Lockhart, and most recently Chris Warren—but none of them had quite the flare for drama that defines Marshall Henderson’s play from opening tip to final buzzer.
Whether fervently engaging the Ole Miss student section, Club Red, or physically feeding off taunting from opposing teams, Henderson displays his true heart on the floor more than any player in recent memory.
Some in the media feel Henderson may be too expressive with his emotions, but you have to admire a student-athlete that truly plays for the love of the game and can make an entire stadium come to its feet in a matter of seconds. He has the “it” factor, and it’s impressive.
So, where does the Marshall Henderson legacy grow from here?
In the midst of a run to be remembered for ages in Oxford, Henderson has currently led the Rebels to their best start in school history, 17-2 (6-0 SEC). With 12 conference games remaining before entering SEC and NCAA Tournament play, the junior star has really only begun to show what he is capable of at Ole Miss. With mixing in a few more special plays and performances in the remaining regular season before setting his eyes on postseason successes, the legend that becomes Marshall Henderson can only continue to grow in stature.
Heck, he’s still got another full season in Oxford.
If I were a coach or player sitting in front of the television on Selection Sunday watching to see which team I would be playing in the NCAA Tournament, Marshall Henderson’s Rebels would be the last team I would want to draw in the first round. Henderson is about as hard to contain as Texas A&M QB Johnny “Hesiman” Manziel.
That’s quite a tall talk.
At this rate, Marshall Henderson may go down as one of the most loved Rebel greats of all time.