Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway was asked the team chemistry question when he met with media Thursday afternoon in the aftermath of the Rebels’ 63-62 loss at South Carolina.
While some NCAA bracketologists haven’t written them off for the big boy tournament, the message is clear: Win out.
“I think it’s OK. I think it’s the same as it’s always been. It’s always better when Marshall hits a lot of 3s. That makes it funner,” Holloway said. “Last night we struggled as a team.”
Marshall Henderson came out of the Mississippi State game having hit 13 of his last 25 3-point shots.
In the four games that have followed he hasn’t shot 30 percent from the arc a single time.
At Missouri and at home against Georgia he manged to score from the free throw line, going 14-for-14 against Georgia and 20-for-21 for the two games.
But in road losses at Texas A&M and South Carolina he didn’t get a single free throw attempt. Adds some credibility to the idea that playing at home matters in terms of officiating.
Since the MSU game when he was 6-for-14 from 3 (42.9 percent), Henderson is 8-for-34 (23.5 percent) with his signature shot. He’s a hustler, and he does often score in other ways depending on whether the opponent can guard him off the dribble.
But Henderson wasn’t signed, because of his overall basketball skills. He was signed for one very important one, and he’s shot better than 30 percent from the arc 15 times this season. Often when he’s shot less than 30 percent he’s hit big shots at crucial times.
The bottom line is for the second half of this season the Rebels have gone as Henderson has gone with not enough of their path determined by others, the Holloway and Reggie Buckner in particular but not only them.
There have been times in games where Jarvis Summers has taken over, but that hasn’t happened lately when a game has been on the line. LaDarius White has shown flashes but not enough consistent scoring punch.
Holloway did his part at South Carolina with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
The Rebels still lost. That’s a reminder that NCAA tournament teams have more than one part clicking at the most important times.