Ole Miss Star Marshall Henderson Removed from Starting Lineup

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 23, 2013

February 2, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Ole Miss Rebels guard Marshall Henderson (22) reacts after he was called for a foul during the first half against the Florida Gators at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Mandatory USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Controversial Ole Miss Rebels star guard Marshall Henderson was removed from the starting lineup for Saturday's game against Southeastern Conference foe Auburn.

UPDATE: Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7:11 p.m. ET by Alex Ballentine

Missing the start didn't slow Henderson down in the least. The guard lit up the Tigers for 28 points on the strength of eight three's. According to Ole Miss Basketball's official twitter, he tied a school record.


---End of Update---

Ben Garrett of the Ole Miss Spirit initially broke the news on Twitter:

Although he is shooting under 38 percent from the floor for the 2012-13 season, Henderson is the focal point of the Rebels offense. He is averaging a team-high 19.3 points per contest and makes Ole Miss a very dangerous team when he's on.

Henderson does come with some star baggage, though, and has flashed a hot temperament at times with teammates, fans and even his head coach Andy Kennedy.

As USA TODAY reporter Scott Gleeson documented, Henderson taunted Auburn fans in the teams' last matchup on Jan. 26, which was a 63-61 victory. When his own fans didn't like a call in a game against Kentucky by throwing ice on the court, Henderson threw it back at them.

The Rebels started off 17-2 and 6-0 in SEC play, but have struggled since then. Now they have a 19-7 overall record, including five losses in the conference to the Wildcats, Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M and South Carolina.

If Ole Miss is meant to seriously make some noise in the NCAA Tournament in March—or avoid slipping out of it entirely—it will need Henderson to tone down the antics and play more efficient basketball on the offensive end.

More than anything, Kennedy's squad simply needs to turn it around, which will help offset the negativity that comes with Henderson's personality.

The experiment in Oxford to sit Henderson is going rather well in its infancy stages, as Henderson has come off the bench and knocked down two of three three-point attempts for a team-high six points. Mississippi leads Auburn at home midway through the first half.