Over and Out

Ole Miss, for only the second time in eight seasons under head coach Andy Kennedy, won't be participating in the postseason.

The National Invitation Tournament selected four Southeastern Conference teams for its 32-team field Sunday night.

Ole Miss wasn't one of them.

The Rebels have "absolutely no interest" in participating in either of the pay-to-play tournaments, which includes the CBI, a source confirmed. Ole Miss ends its season at 19-14 overall.

"I was not surprised we weren't selected by the NIT," Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy told the Ole Miss Spirit.

"With 13 lower-level conference regular season champions not winning their conference tournament and receiving the NIT automatic bid, I didn't think they would take five from the SEC and anticipated us being fifth, because of RPI/BPI, despite us finishing ahead of both Missouri and LSU in the SEC standings and beating them both head to head."

The 2013-14 season was frustrating for Kennedy and the Rebels. Nine of their 14 losses were by 10 points or less, with three of those losses coming in the non-league schedule to NCAA tournament teams Kansas State, Mercer and Dayton.

Andy Kennedy
File Photo

The losses to Mercer and Dayton were both at home.

"The three home non-league losses were killers," Kennedy said, also referring to a 115-105 loss to Oregon, at the time ranked No. 13 in the country.

Ole Miss has reached the postseason in six of eight seasons under Kennedy. The Rebels played in the NIT five of the last seven seasons, twice reaching the NIT Final Four in New York. They were an NCAA tournament participant a year ago, their first such appearance in 11 years.

Ole Miss now officially says goodbye to lone senior Marshall Henderson, who in only two seasons, shot more 3s than any player in the history of college basketball. He was twice named All-SEC and led the conference in scoring as a junior. He set a league record with 138 made 3s last season – a record that stood for over a decade.

His Ole Miss career ended in disappointing fashion. He scored 19 points on 5 of 21 shooting in the Rebels' 75-73 loss to Georgia in the SEC tournament quarterfinals. He was 2 of 16 from 3. In his last three games at Ole Miss, he shot 17 of 61 from the field, good for 27.9 percent, and 11 of 48 from 3, a shade under 23 percent.

"Go back to Oxford and try and finish up this degree," Henderson said after the loss, on what his future holds. "Be done in May. Get to walk.

"I never thought that was going to be that important, but it's getting a little closer. It's kind of like the season; when it gets a little closer to the end, you start to realize, ‘Oh, now I want to get something done.'"

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