BLOG — Ole Miss junior shooting guard Marshall Henderson was candid and open about several subjects during an 16-minute interview with the print media Friday at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum.Henderson, who became a highlight star on ESPN due to his game-tying shot at Vanderbilt Tuesday night, reflected on his past in both basketball and life and talked about how much Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy has meant to him. There were other comments made about his playing time in Utah and his thoughts on the crowd not liking him.
“I’m pretty sure it started in seventh grade, whenever I started playing junior high basketball,” Henderson said as to when fans started disliking how he played. “When I went on the road for the first time and the school I went to was a small school, graduating class probably about 80 people. I was there seventh through ninth grade and started going on the road and playing people. The community always goes to these little junior high games and there would actually be a sizeable crowd and they would just be going off on people in junior high. It was so fun.
“I had the worst temper ever when I was a little kid. When I got to high school, I was a freshman, I started chirpping some at people and people were just chanting at me the whole game. It was annoying. So I was like, ‘well, if they can say stuff to me, I can say stuff to them.’ If anyone gets film of me, my best games are always on the road. Thats when I perform at my best.”
Having said all of that, it’s no shock then that Henderson was at his best, on the road at Memorial Gym, when the stakes were very high for the Rebels.
Before Henderson started to answer the question, he blew out of his mouth for a second, pondering where to rank the shot because he had some other buzzer beaters to take into account.
“I had one in junior college last year. It was probably close to the same time as now. I hit a buzzer beater and that one was actually for the win,” Henderson said. “We got into a little mini brawl afterwards. It was fun. We threw a lot of chairs in the hallway when we got in the hall. That was great. But it wasn’t at Vanderbilt, that’s for sure. That was crazy. I hit a buzzer beater one time when I was a freshman in high school. Our school hadn’t been to the playoffs in about 20 years and my freshman year we were playing a team and I hit a 3-pointer that won us the game and sent us to the playoffs and that little town just went crazy. The whole town was on the court going crazy. But nothing tops that Vanderbilt one. That was crazy.”
Henderson went on to say he didn’t even remember the shot at Vanderbilt going in.
“I was just running around in a circle screaming my head off. I didn’t really know what I was doing at that point until I figured out ‘oh wait a minute, we got to go to overtime. I’ve got to chill out,’” Henderson said. “I remember shooting the shot but I don’t really remember the ball going in or running around the court. All the other times I know what’s going on.”
Henderson added that he always thinks positively, that he can hit any shot to win the game.
“Maybe I’ve just been in the situation so many times in my life where my team has been down or vice versa,” Henderson said. “My coach at Utah is really the one that engraved it in our heads, put it in my head, to just grind the whole game. It doesn’t matter how far you get ahead, no matter how far get down, you can always come back, you can always come back.”
On his early skill compared to others his age:
“I was so much more skilled than everybody growing up being a coach’s kid. When I was younger, I was the only one that knew to jump for a rebound and actually dribble the ball and run. A lot of those kids didn’t even know to run back on defense,” Henderson said. “Ever since first grade, I’ve gotten the ball and gone. I play all the time and when I get a rebound here, I just go. That’s how my dad taught me how to play the game.”
On his dad, his coach growing up, teaching him how to shoot:
“He taught me form. Repetition. He was a college player back in his day and he was a great shooter and scorer. He taught me everything he didn’t learn until he got older. He vowed to himself that he was going to teach his son all of that,” Henderson said. “The rest of it is just me out there practicing and doing it all the time. When I was younger, I could make it on a 10-foot goal, a 3-pointer. That was easy. I don’t know, I just kept going and I played games when I was younger. I always tried to beat my dad’s players that he coached when I was younger and I would shoot like they shot. So I would shoot a bunch of different ways.”
On him meeting his coaches in the middle based on the way he plays emotionally:
“If I come out just dead, I am highly ineffective because I’m not as athletic as everyone else I play against,” Henderson said. “They don’t have to come out and be a hyper, crazy dudes. They’re just big athletes and God gifted them with way better bodies. So my dad always told me I had to wake up ready to go, all the time, you have to be ready to go because you’re lacking in other things so you have to make up for it. You also have to do something to separate yourself. You can’t be the same. You can’t be just a white guy that shoots 3s. You got to be different, you got be different.”
On how he felt about getting a chance to play in the SEC after starting his career at Utah:
“You don’t even know. Everything happens for a reason. It’s just crazy, crazy last four years really,” Henderson said. “I don’t think I could have wound up in a better situation, right here on this team, this year. There is not a better situation than right here or a better coach to play for or a better team to have come in to than this. It’s great.”
On how Kennedy has helped make him a better player:
“I love Coach Kennedy. Most of my coaches, well my dad has really been my coach, but we don’t see eye-to-eye on alot of things, me and my pops. The coach at Utah, we got into it and never saw eye-to-eye. My junior college coach is the most laid back guy ever,” Henderson said. “Coach Kennedy, we see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. We’re actually kind of similar. He always likes says that I’m like he was back when he played.
“He always says let me let you know that he sees things through the eyes of a 44-year old. He said trust me, when I was playing, I had to go apologize to people on the court because of what I was saying or I was doing something crazy. He said trust me, I know, I’ve been there and done the exact same things you’re doing right now. He said I just had to trust him and let him help me and he’s done that since day one when he came to my junior college at Loveland, Texas. He said we got to have you and you got to come on. He said you just got to trust me. I said alright.”
On the relationship with his dad currently:
“I’m glad he’s not my coach anymore. Shoot. We can actually talk without mom having to be hold on, Dad, go to your room and Marshall, go upstairs. It used to be father and son at gym and then coach and player at home,” Henderson said. “We would always get it messed up. I feel like that’s always how it is with coach’s kids. It’s miserable but also the greatest thing too. It’s nice now because back in the day we always used to get in some arguments but now our relationship is just soaring. He still coaches me kind of but he doesn’t yell at me. He tells me to do this and do that because nobody knows my game better than him.”
To watch Henderson in action, check out the SEC Network at 12:30 today as the Rebels host Arkansas. (January 19, 2013)