By Parrish Alford
From a fan perspective, the return of Marshall Henderson could look like any other game.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy hopes his play on the court looks the same, too.
The SEC’s leading scorer last year, Henderson sat out the Rebels’ exhibition game and their 69-54 season-opening win over Troy last Friday.
He will make his season debut Saturday at 6 p.m. at Coastal Carolina.
While averaging 20.1 points, Henderson’s flamboyant behavior and interaction with opposing fans made him a favorite target for verbal assaults on the road.
Coastal’s HTC Center seats only 3,600 fans, but Kennedy expects them to have a venomous welcome for Henderson.
“I’m sure the fans are right on top of you. It’s going to be loud,” Kennedy said. “I know they’ll be excited to yell at Marshall. Get in line. A lot of people are.”
Henderson was 6-for-13 from 3-point range and scored 27 points as Ole Miss defeated Coastal 90-72 in Oxford last season.
The Chanticleers got a double-double in that game from Michael Enanga with 10 points and 12 rebounds. He’s averaging 11 points and five rebounds through two games this season.
Freshman guard Elijah Wilson leads Coastal (1-1) with 15.5 points a game.
The Rebels (1-0) have had a week between games and after Coastal will have another week before a Nov. 26 home tip against Mississippi Valley State. The games start coming faster after that.
While Henderson’s first game has been delayed, Kennedy says he’s tried not to read too much into his week of preparation.
“Last year we played 36 games, and that’s really what I’m judging him on more than what he’s done this past week,” Kennedy said. “I hope (experiencing) last year, he’ll be much more equipped to handle all the things that are going to be thrown at him.”