The NCAA was busy on Wednesday, as the governing body handed down sanctions to the University of Oregon football program and reprimanded Kansas head coach Bill Self for his behavior during an NCAA tournament game.
Also of note was the NCAA issuing a public reprimand of Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson regarding his actions following the Rebels’ NCAA tournament loss to La Salle. Henderson, in response to some verbal shots from fans, gave the “one-fingered salute” while leaving the Sprint Center floor.
“A point of emphasis with the committee over the last several years continues to be ensuring that championship participants act in a manner that represents the highest standards of sportsmanship,” said Ron Wellman, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, in the release.
“Mr. Henderson’s actions failed in this regard.”
In announcing his decision to return to Oxford for his senior season, Henderson did point out his need to take steps in the right direction from a maturity standpoint. As entertaining as some of his antics were last season, the fact of the matter is that if he’s going to be a professional down the line (be it the NBA or overseas) that kind of behavior is more likely to cost him money than land him lucrative endorsements.
In a story done by Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion-Ledger, it was noted that Henderson is starting to take those steps this offseason and teammates say that they notice a difference in the shooting guard.
“He’s been working pretty hard this summer. He’s working harder than he did last summer, I can tell you that,” forward Demarco Cox said in the story. “Last summer he was kinda so-so, but this summer he’s been out there putting in work with the coaches. I think he’ll be a pretty good player this year.”
With Henderson being the lone senior on the Ole Miss roster for the 2013-14 campaign, it’s even more important that he display the ability to take the reins from a leadership standpoint.
h/t USA Today
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.
LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.
While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.
Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?
Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.
Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.