Henderson’s last shot of the season

I posted on Twitter Marshall Henderson’s quote about his last shot of the season after we got back from the locker room following Ole Miss’ 76-74 loss to La Salle in the NCAA third round.

I posted it because it had some amount of intrigue, not because I thought Ole Miss got jobbed by officiating in the game. You don’t have space to explain that in 140 characters, so you just go with it. It generated a response from former Texas coach Tom Penders, by the way. He went on to question the Rebels’ defensive philosophy of sitting back in a zone for La Salle’s last shot. Personally, I’m not sure a man would have been better given the way the Rebels were having trouble guarding La Salle off the bounce.

Back to Henderson and the official. After Henderson rebounded his own miss with less than a minute left he missed a follow-up attempt in the lane. There was contact on the play, and Henderson said he was fouled. He says he told the referee he was fouled, and the official’s response was, according to Henderson was, “He did, he did, but I’m not calling a foul with 1 second left on the shot clock.”

I’m not one to slam officiating when a team loses. There are too many other plays to be made offensively or defensively to change the course of a game. That was certainly the case for Ole Miss against La Salle. However, calls made in the final minute are magnified for obvious reasons.

I did find the official’s response — if true — to be questionable. It seems to put too much power in the hands of game officials.

Basketball officiating is often discussed as a “style” as is an umpire’s strike zone. Pitchers have to adjust, coaches say. Basketball players have to adjust to a physical style of officiating or one in which referees are calling a game “tight.”

Players are accustomed to this.

It seems, however, that an official would choose his style and go with it regardless of time on the clock. I know there are other examples of this. The last play by the 49ers in the Super Bowl had some contact around the goalline, and part of the dialogue to follow was whether the official was “going to make that call at that time.”

This official’s response, if true, was to the time on the shot clock, not the game clock.

I’d be interested to hear more thoughts on this, especially from any high school officials or others with experience who might be passing through.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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  • Rebelproud

    That was a hard loss to accept. Especially considering what all happened in and around the lat minute of play. If the offical saw a foul, whether it be with 20 seconds on the SHOT clock or 1, he shoudl call it. It was only easily the biggest game for Ole Miss in more than a decade. And I and most people know Marshall would have made both shots. La Salle down by 2 with the ball would have played out alot different than when the game was a tie. So, the fact is that the “no call” changed the outcome of the game. I would think any offical wouldn’t want to have that kind of influence on the final outcome.

  • bclark2202

    If they had just hit 50% of their freethrows, this would be a moot point

  • No9fan

    Players are taught to play for 40 minutes. Officials should officiate for 40 minutes and all 35 seconds of the shot clock. If that was the officials response, I have a few questions. How did the official know that there was only one second on the SC? If he was watching the SC instead of the play, maybe thats why he didnt call the foul. He actually didnt see the foul. If the official is going to watch the SC then why do we have the buzzer and light to determine when the SC expires?

  • Sweet Sixteen

    What about the totally blown out of bounds calls preceding Henderson’s ridiculous heaves? Video replay showed it was plainly off Miss. Although La Salle actually benefitted by getting the ball with the shot clock off. And where was your big mouth in the post-game presser? With the assistant coaches arms firmly wrapped around his double middle finger salute or perhaps around his mouth? You should be so proud of the image he’s given your school.

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