Don't think anything just yet. Just sit back, hit play and watch this video. It's six minutes long, but just watch it, all of it. Once you're through, we'll pick things up and have a quick chat.
OK, that's not a collection of Ole Miss junior Marshall Henderson's behavioral patterns over the course of his career, or even this season. That is merely what could easily be culled in one game, when national TV happened to be broadcasting Ole Miss at Vandy.
"Emotionally intoxicated" is the phrase that Dino Gaudio used on Wednesday night's telecast to describe Henderson's personality on the floor. That's a pretty apt examination of Henderson's character. You see it above: Henderson is a magnetic figure to watch, and it goes way beyond the exclamation-point-of-a-shot that he sank to extend the game. When you see future Ole Miss games this season, your eyes will track him whenever he's on the floor. When he's not making a huge play, he consistently looks on the verge of blowing up at anybody: officials, opposing fans and himself, most of all.
Look at his response to missing a couple of foul shots. You'd think he just got news that his dog died. Those eyes house dark, thick pools. That scowl in slow motion at the 4:40 mark is another moment of passion that me pause, a glimpse at who Henderson is when possessed on the floor. His coach, Andy Kennedy, was all too quick to corral his star. And that's what he is: a star player on a team a lot of college basketball fans and most sports fans know nothing about. In his lone year on the team, Henderson is becoming the identity for Ole Miss hoops. Is this a good thing? It's at the very least intriguing due to the man's background.
Henderson's at his fourth school in as many years. His 19.1 points per game leads the SEC. He's likely to propel this team to its first NCAA tournament under Kennedy, effectively and possibly saving his coach's job in the process.
The Rebels are now a 14-2 team and remain undefeated in a relatively weak SEC. Rarely has Ole Miss basketball been relevant, let alone must-watch. But with Henderson hitting that huge shot to save the game on Tuesday night, this team is trending toward something much more than an SEC afterthought. They're moving closer and closer to mainstream discussion in college basketball's world. I hope Henderson's ready for all that attention.
(H/T to Grantland for alerting us to the video)
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