Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson celebrates during a 88-74 win over LSU at Tad Smith Coliseum on Jan 15, 2014. …
Admit it. The college basketball season just hasn't been the same without Ole Miss sharp-shooting, sharp-tongued guard Marshall Henderson beating his chest, antagonizing opponents and their fans and constantly adding to his bad-boy mystique while winning - a lot.
Well, he's back. No, really. He said so.
Things just got considerably more interesting in the SEC.
Henderson returned to the court for his first conference game of the season Wednesday night against LSU after sitting out the final two games of a three-game suspension from the school back in October. He also missed the season opener against Troy.
Ole Miss originally suspended Henderson indefinitely in July. In October it announced he would have to sit out three games for his conduct during the SEC and NCAA tournaments last season when he, at times, behaved badly. It also likely had something to do with an offseason traffic stop in which he was found to have marijuana and cocaine in his car, but in such small amounts that he wasn't ticketed.
So there he was Wednesday looking like the Marshall Henderson of old high-stepping down the court after a teammate made a basket and pulling the cord on a make-believe chainsaw after another play. He was, of course, asked about it afterward by reporters who cover his team.
“I was sitting there and thinking about it, watching those games,” Henderson told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger of his two most recent missed games. “I was like, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I can’t be calm.’ It’s hurting me, which is weird. I can’t do it anymore. I’m sorry. I’m going back to being me, because we need it.”
Henderson scored 25 points on 16 shots against the Tigers, helping to lead his team to an overtime win.
It remains to be seen how far Henderson will take it this time around. He is a senior with 15 regular-season games remaining in his career. If he goes a bit overboard with his showmanship or showboating and taunting, will the school step in and risk short-circuiting another possible NCAA tournament appearance by suspending him again?
Whatever happens, it will be interesting watching it unfold.
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