Primer: Ole Miss - Vanderbilt

Ole Miss (12-5, 3-1 SEC) travels to face Vanderbilt (9-7, 1-3) today at 8 p.m. What to watch for? We take a look.


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Game: Ole Miss - Vanderbilt
Date: Jan. 22, 8 p.m.
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
TV/Radio: CSS/Ole Miss Radio Network


The Lede:

A 35-foot 3-pointer started it all. Marshall (Henderson) Mania.

The game was just over a year ago, between two teams in desperate need of a Southeastern Conference win. Memorial Gym had never been kind to Ole Miss, and here the Rebels were again, locked in a tight game with a reeling Vanderbilt team.

With his team trailing, 78-75, with three seconds remaining in regulation, Henderson caught a pass from point guard Jarvis Summers. And he was alone, no Vanderbilt player anywhere near him.

So, up he went, the distance from shot to goal be damned. The celebration was on when the shot fell and, as Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy says, a "phenomenon" was born.

Marshall Henderson, who finished the game with a team-leading 26 points, had announced himself to the college basketball world.

"We didn't call a timeout," Kennedy said of the play. "We got the ball in the guy's hands that we wanted. I would give Jarvis more credit than I would give anybody else, because he was the one that didn't panic and got Marshall to at least where he was square to the basket. And then he knocked down a shot at the end of a crazy game.


Marshall Henderson
Associated Press

"The last time we were in the venue they hit a Memorial Gym record number of 3s. And it was one after another after another after another. For us to withstand that and still find a way to win and still to garner some momentum in our 6-0 start was huge."

The 3-pointer sent the game into overtime, where the Rebels outscored Vanderbilt 11-1 to secure their first win in Memorial Gym since 2001. Ole Miss (12-5, 3-1 SEC) makes a return trip tonight at 8 p.m.

"It was just one game, but honestly it was probably the jump-off to this phenomenon that has continued 365 days later," Kennedy said. "Marshall Henderson phenomenon. That was closely followed up by going to Auburn and the jersey popping, and this thing took on a life of its own."

"Last year was a crazy shot," Ole Miss guard/forward Anthony Perez said. "I was really happy after he made it. I think I knew it was going in. I saw it coming. He shot it, and I was jumping already and running at the court. I was really glad he made it. That was a really close game."

What's in store for Henderson this time around? He currently leads the SEC and ranks second in the nation averaging 4.43 3-pointers per game. He's made a 3-pointer in a school record 50-straight games, and he is just nine points shy of becoming the fourth player in school history to score 1,000 points in just two seasons.

He was recently named SEC Player of the Week after averaging 22.0 points and 3.5 assists per game in Ole Miss' wins over LSU and South Carolina last week.

"Memorial, that's a hard gym to play," Kennedy said. "Marshall made an incredible shot last year. We came from a big second-half deficit to win that game. That's a tough place to play, not only with where the benches are but it's so unusual.

"If history is any indicator, it's going to be a close game. And that's where players have to take ownership of the team."

As Henderson did against these same Commodores a year ago.




Scouting Vanderbilt:
(Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations)

Vanderbilt is 9-7 on the season and 1-3 in the SEC after splitting games against Missouri (W, 78-75) and at LSU (L, 81-58) last week. The Commodores are down to seven scholarship players and nine overall on the roster after Josh Henderson was lost for the season with a left knee injury on Dec. 5 against Marshall and Eric McClellan was dismissed from the team. Senior Rod Odom leads the team with 14.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. The Commodores lead the SEC in field goal percentage defense with a .281 but rank last in the league with a -3.0 turnover margin.


Rod Odom
USA TODAY images

Wednesday's matchup will be the 116th meeting between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt on the hardwood. The Commodores hold a 74-40 lead in the series, which began in 1925, and are 47-7 in games in Nashville. Last year's overtime win in Nashville snapped a six-game losing streak to the Commodores in Nashville and was the first win in Memorial Gym since 2001. Vanderbilt had prevailed in five-straight before Ole Miss' pair of wins last, but has won 10 of the last 13 meetings overall. Rebel head coach Andy Kennedy is 4-6 against Vandy in his career. In addition to a 3-6 mark with Ole Miss, he picked up a 92-83 victory at Vanderbilt during the 2005-06 campaign, his lone season as Cincinnati mentor.


Leftovers:
(Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations)

* Ole Miss is 23-8 (.742 winning percentage) versus SEC opponents over its last 31 games dating back to 2012, which is tied for the best mark over 31 games in school history set from 1936-38.

* Junior G Jarvis Summers is one of the most improved players in the league this season upping his scoring 9.0 points per game (18.1 from 9.1), field goal percentage 11.2 percent (51.6% from 40.4%) and his 3-point field goal percentage 19.6 percent (53.4% from 34.0%) over last year's totals. Summers has led the Rebels in scoring a team-high eight times including a career-best 29 points in Ole Miss' overtime loss to Dayton. He has posted 7 20+ points games this season and is averaging 21.4 points per game over the last seven contests. Summers ranks eighth in the league in scoring (18.1 ppg), fifth in field goal percentage (.516) and third in assists (3.6/game).

* Ole Miss leads the SEC, and ranks third in the nation, averaging 7.1 blocked shots per game. Junior F Aaron Jones is ranks third in the league and 32nd in the nation averaging 2.6 blocked shots per game, while junior C Demarco Cox is tied for 9th in the conference averaging 1.3 blocked shots a game.


Ole Miss guard/forward Anthony Perez meets the media to preview the Rebels' upcoming road trip to Vanderbilt.


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