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The Tournament's most interesting player stays in the field by dispatching Wisconsin
The Marshall Henderson Experience continues.
College basketball’s most divisive player will be mandatory watching for at least one more game as the Oe Miss guard heated up in the second half in the Rebels’ 57-46.
Henderson struggled to make shots for most of the game, but the law of averages being what it is, Henderson scored 16 of his 19 points in the final 11 minutes. Henderson started 1 of 13 from the field, but starting midway through the second half, he hit five of his final eight shots, including a 30-footer.
Wisconsin entered the game allowing opponents to make 3.9 three pointers per game and shot 29.2 percent from the field. Ole Miss didn’t even match that but still earned a comfortable win. The Rebels hit three three-pointers (all from Henderson) and shot 20 percent from beyond the arc.
During his post-game press conference, Henderson, as usual, departed from the sports cliches:
MARSHALL HENDERSON: "Yeah, I was just waiting for that first three to go down. Couple of you guys in here followed us throughout the entire year. Y'all know I told you all along Coach Kennedy has told me I've got to be, what is it?"
COACH ANDY KENNEDY: "Serial killer. But we won't say that in this environment."
And then a moment of introspection on his early struggles:
"How does this happen? I've shot like 20 hundred million shots in my day. Now that I make the NCAA tournament, why does this happen? The only thing that was running through my head was the Pittsburgh game, Tray Woodall, he's done so much for that program. I thought he shot 1 for 12, probably played his worst game. I felt so bad for him after everything that he had done, that was kind of going through my head. 'Man, I'm a fluke.'"
As a side note, how much of an intriguing coaching candidate will Andy Kennedy be? The Ole Miss coach started the season on the hot seat after going to the NIT in five or six seasons, and now he’s led the Rebels to their fourth NCAA Tournament win in school history and first since 2001.
Will he be considered a product of Henderson’s play or will he be given credit for not letting Henderson’s antics derail the season? It’s worth noting Ole Miss held Wisconsin, a 42.5 percent shooting team, to 15 of 59 from the field. The Rebels’ underrated frontcourt of Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner combined for 19 points, 21 rebounds and six blocks.