By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Neither the leading scorer nor the leading rebounder in the Southeastern Conference made the coaches’ all-conference first teams when the league’s basketball honors were announced Tuesday.
Flamboyant Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson – on Monday named the top player in Mississippi – settled in as the SEC’s leading scorer early in the season and remained at the top for the rest of the ride.
He goes into the SEC tournament averaging 19.7 points a game, leading the league in 3-point field goals, free throw shooting and ranking sixth in 3-point percentage.
Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway – early on mentioned as a player of the year candidate by Rebels coach Andy Kennedy – led the SEC with 9.6 rebounds a game. Those numbers slipped in conference play to 8.6 a game, still third in the statistical rankings.
Ole Miss was also represented by senior forward Reggie Buckner, second in the league in blocked shots at 2.7 per game, who made the all-defensive team.
Mississippi State was represented by Gavin Ware and Craig Sword, both making the all-freshman team.
The first team includes 10 players.
It does not include the conference’s leading scorer for the first time since LSU’s Ronald Dupree failed to make first team in 2001.
Henderson and Holloway both reacted to their first-team absence on Twitter, each expressing support for the other.
Henderson took issue with the selection of LSU sophomore Johnny O’Bryant ahead of Holloway.
“Johnny O’Bryant over Murphy Holloway? You have got to be kidding!!!! JOB can’t even hold Murph’s jock strap,” wrote Henderson in all capital letters.
Holloway said he thought Henderson’s non-traditional personality was reflected in his lack of first-team votes.
“Coaches hated on Marshall in the votes for the All-SEC team, because he beat u (you) and talked trash at the same time,” Holloway wrote.
Ware led MSU with 6.4 rebounds a game, 12th in the conference.
Sword ranked 10th in the league in steals at 1.6 per game.
MSU (9-21, 4-14 SEC) rose from the cellar in the final week of the regular season and will open SEC tournament play tonight at 6:30 against South Carolina (14-17, 4-14).
Ole Miss (23-8, 12-6) received a double-bye and will play its first tournament game Friday night at 9 against either Auburn, Texas A&M or Missouri.