By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy picked up a junior college verbal commitment Monday that could go a long way toward filling a great need the Rebels had this season – shooting.
Marshall Henderson, a 6-foot-2 guard from South Plains (Texas) Community College is a leading candidate for national junior college player of the year, his coach says.
Henderson just scored 32 points in leading South Plains past Howard College to qualify for the national tournament.
“I’ll be surprised if he’s not the national player of the year. I think he’s the clear-cut best player in junior college,” said Hank Plona, a South Plains assistant coach.
Henderson is averaging 19 points and shooting 45 percent from the floor, 42.4 from 3-point range. Of his 369 field goal attempts, 236 are 3-point attempts. He’s also an 85.9-percent free throw shooter. Ten times this season he’s scored at least 25 points in a game.
Henderson was also recruited by Clemson, South Carolina and Southern Miss. He signed with Utah coming out of Hurst, Texas where he played for his father at L.D. Bell High School. He transferred to Texas Tech but enrolled at South Plains after coach Pat Knight was not retained in Lubbock.
Plona says Henderson is much more than a spot-up shooter.
“He can fake and attack the basket and finish at the rim,” Plona said. “He’s got a great basketball IQ. He knows what the right play is. Lots of times the best play is for him to shoot the 3, because the 3-point shot is the best aspect of his game.”