Garland’s driving layup gave No. 13 seed La Salle a 76-74 win over No. 12 seed Ole Miss, a loss that may mean that we have seen the last of Marshall Henderson, the country’s most entertaining and polarizing college basketball player, at the collegiate level.
It begs the question: why didn’t Henderson get one last look?
Garland’s shot went in with 2.5 seconds left on the clock. Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy had a timeout left. He has a guy on his team in Henderson that has done things like this before. I understand the coaching theory that not calling a timeout will keep you from having to go up against a set defense, and usually I agree with it.
But 2.5 seconds left is not enough time to get anything better than a prayer without setting up a play. And that’s exactly what Ole Miss ended up with — a shot fired up from beyond half court. Hindsight is 20-20, but I think it was a pretty obvious move to make at the time, as well.
It’s pointless to argue now, but it does make you wonder: did that play a role in what happened after the game, when he flipped off the crowd leaving the court?:
I asked Marshall Henderson why he flipped off the crowd: “someone yelled that my sister is a whore and said something about cocaine.”
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.