In a development that surprised absolutely no one, guard Marshall Henderson was suspended by Ole Miss this week for unspecified reasons, but it is believed that he failed drug test. This came in the aftermath of a cryptic Twitter post where he made reference to an ‘interesting’ #whitegirlwednesday.
It was not the first time Henderson has made waves on social media, during March Madness he returned fire on who he thought was a University of Kentucky player, except it was an impostor.
Maybe Henderson should have gone pro after all. Never mind that the NBA remains a pipe for the Ole Miss shooting guard, it was still probably the best option he had available. But some nights this past year at the college level, Henderson could not hit the broad side of a barn, shooting 38 percent on the season.
But when his three-point shot was on, it was enough to lead the Rebels to the SEC Tournament title, lifting the Rebels to the NCAA tournament. At that point, Mississippi gave coach Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin Badgers one of their more embarrassing losses in school history.
Lets face it, losing to Marshall Henderson is not a good way to end a season.
So in the past four years, Henderson’s bumpy road has looked like this:
• Recruited by the University of Utah and was actually second on the team in scoring as a freshman, but was one of four players to leave the program after the season as the tenure of then-coach Jim Boylan fell apart.
• Transferred to Texas Tech, but never played a game in Lubbock, and transferred again after coach Pat Knight was let go.
• Played one season for South Plains Junior College, leading his team to an undefeated season and a Junior College national championship.
• During his just-completed junior season at Ole Miss where he was named SEC Newcomer of the Year, he drew the ire of opposing players and fans with his gestures and style of play. Henderson was last seen basketball-wise giving a double-fingered salute to fans after the Rebels lost to La Salle in the NCAA tournament round of 32.
In the aftermath of the final game, one blogger said the following:
He’s volatile, he’s brash, he’s crazy.
The writer ended his article using the incident as proof of why Henderson needed to come back for his senior season. Except that senior season will likely not be happening since he can’t seem to stay clean.
Henderson made no secret of the fact that he wanted to wade int the professional waters, saying during the season that he’s “tired of doing this stuff for free.” The only question is will any NBA team ever actually pay him, possible substance abuse and attitude issues aside.
In college game, Henderson is an erratic 6-2 shooter who can take over a game at any time, or take his team out of a game. Guys with that skill-set are plentiful in the NBA, but they typically have better accuracy.
Earlier this week, Ryan Phillips did a piece on the possibility of the Sacramento Kings dealing Jimmer Fredette, which drew heated debate in the comments section. Dating back to his BYU days, no one in basketball, college or professional, has driven traffic to Midwest Sports Fans like Fredette.
Take away the emotions (good and bad) Jimmer brings and you have a player who was legendary in college who now projects as a journeyman three-point specialist in the pros. He’s basically an NBA version of Tim Tebow.
That’s Jimmer Fredette. Marshall Henderson couldn’t carry Jimmer Fredette’s jock.
Henderson is a long-shot to make an NBA roster at any point, and if you don’t believe me look at his low pre-draft projections when he was considering making the jump to the league.
Of course, pro basketball is played internationally, but it wouldn’t be a smart move for Henderson to take his antics to the hardwood overseas. There are some parts of the world where incidents such as his March Madness tantrum would get him torn apart by fans.
But like him or not, you cannot deny that Henderson’s mic skills are very good, in fact they’re exceptional.
Henderson has mastered the art of being a villain. He knows how to draw heat, he knows how to draw a reaction and attention. He is basically CM Punk who can hit a three-pointer here and there.
Which leads me to my personal career advice for Marshall Henderson (besides an intervention):
Marshall, buddy, hit the gym, put on some pounds, ditch the hardwood for the squared circle, and join a pro wrestling federation.
The WWE would welcome you with open arms.