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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Auburn students flip off Marshall Henderson as he taunts them after Ole Miss win

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

Ole Miss star Marshall Henderson can't keep his emotions in check any better than SEC defenses can keep him in check.

Moments after sinking the go-ahead free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining to lift the No. 23 Rebels over Auburn 63-61, Henderson approached the Tigers student section, popped his jersey and pounded his chest. Auburn students responded predictably to Henderson's taunting, doing everything from flipping him off, to throwing objects in his direction, to showering him in curse words.

Henderson's behavior won't appeal to those who value sportsmanship and humility in athletics, yet his bravado makes him easily the most entertaining player in an otherwise bland SEC. In addition to leading the SEC in chest thumps and impossibly deep threes, Henderson is the league's high scorer, averaging 19.2 points per game to lead Ole Miss (17-2, 6-0) to a surprising unbeaten start to conference play.

Saturday actually wasn't one of Henderson's better games as he finished with 15 points on 4 of 15 shooting, including 4 of 13 from behind the arc. Nonetheless, he drew a foul on Shaq Johnson on Ole Miss' final possession as the Rebels were inbounding under their own basket, enabling him to put away the game at the foul line.

Perhaps the ultimate measure of Henderson's entertainment value comes from the fact that football-crazed Auburn actually sold out Saturday's basketball game even though the Tigers are struggling through a discouraging 8-11 season. Yes, Henderson is polarizing, but when he comes to your town, he's must-see.

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