By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Marshall Henderson will face no discipline for his role in a verbal exchange that resulted in an apology from Mississippi State coach Rick Ray on Sunday.
Ray issued a statement through social media saying he “responded” to an Ole Miss player. He did not name Henderson, but television cameras identified Henderson as the subject of Ray’s attention when Henderson was leaving the floor with 6.3 seconds remaining in the Rebels’ 82-63 win over the Bulldogs.
Ole Miss plays at Tennessee on Wednesday night at 7.
“That’s not an issue for us. I don’t foresee anything happening moving forward from our standpoint,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said at his Monday news conference.
Kennedy said Ray approached him in the hallway outside the media room at the Rebels’ Tad Smith Coliseum.
“At the end of the game we were in the hall when I was done with you guys, and he came up to me and apologized and said he had said something to Marshall,” Kennedy said. “I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I see it on the tape, and obviously the camera caught him mouthing something.”
The Southeastern Conference issued a statement Monday saying it would not get involved in the matter:
“The commissioner received a call from coach Ray this morning to discuss the matter and coach Ray also reiterated his public apology.
“The commissioner is satisfied with the way Coach Ray has handled this matter in the aftermath of his actions following Saturday’s game.”
The next matter on Kennedy’s plate is replacing sophomore guard Martvaious Newby, the team’s best defender.
Newby broke his hand against the Bulldogs. He had surgery on Sunday and is out indefinitely, and his status will be reevaluated week to week.
Newby was averaging 13.3 minutes a game. His absence could mean more minutes for freshmen Dwight Coleby and Janari Joesaar.
“Coleby is starting to help us, and Janari will now have an expanded role just based on the injury to Newby,” Kennedy said. “We’ve got to continue to get contributions from a number of difference guys.”
Coleby’s 6-foot-9 frame and his make-up give him potential as a shot-blocking defender in the mold of former Ole Miss standout Reggie Buckner. Coleby had two blocked shots in nine minutes against MSU.
“He gives us more of that Reggie (type) basket protector, but he’s a freshman, and theres are high-level games,” Kennedy said. “I’m not quite as patient then as I am now.”
Sophomore Anthony Perez is averaging 14.6 points and shooting 59 percent (13-for-22) over his last three games.
“It’s the best three-game run of his early career,” Kennedy said.