He didn’t disappoint.
Henderson, who transferred to Ole Miss from South Plains (Texas) College, led the Rebels with 22 points on 6 of 12 shooting, including 5 of 11 from 3, in a 93-57 win over Mississippi Valley State.
He scored a team-high 19 points in the Rebels’ exhibition win against Montevallo on Monday.
“It was another decent night. Still could have been better,” Henderson said. “We were able to get it together. That exhibition really helped; able to get those first-game jitters out.”
“That’s why we brought him here,” Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said. “Obviously, we were deficient from shooting last year. We needed to remedy that. He’s a good remedy.”
His performance came as no surprise to senior forward Murphy Holloway, who scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds -- good for his 26th career double-double.
Henderson, according to Holloway, is the key to Ole Miss’ NCAA tournament hopes. Henderson introduced himself to Ole Miss (1-0) fans Friday night, knocking down shot after shot in front of 4,992 fans inside Tad Smith Coliseum.
“Marshall, as he runs a couple off, you’ve got to stick with him,” Holloway said. “When you’re in a slump, he can hit two, three big ones in a row which can turn the game. He’s a good passer, too. He makes everybody better.”
Henderson and Holloway were two of four Rebels to total double-digit points. Reginald Buckner had 10 points and five rebounds, while freshman guard Martavious Newby chipped in 11 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one block.
Thirteen players saw action in the win. Kennedy said he has a pretty good idea about seven players in his rotation, but players like Newby have an opportunity to work their way up.
“We’ve got seven returners. I’ve got a reasonable feel for those seven guys,” Kennedy said. “I’m really trying to figure out where we can use these new guys. Marshall’s really cemented a role in what he can bring to our team. You’ve got a guy like Martavious Newby -- did you look at his stat line? I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it.”
Newby scored his 11 points in 15 minutes. He attempted 12 shots, making four, and was good on 3 of 3 free throws. Five of his eight rebounds were on the offensive end.
“He’s very active,” Kennedy said of Newby. “I’ve always said he’s like Murphy, but at 6-3. It’s true. He’s always around the ball. His energy’s infectious. I think, defensively, he wreaks havoc. We’ve just got to get him to settle in. He’s going to be a big weapon for us.”
Ole Miss returns to action Nov. 13 against Coastal Carolina. Mississippi Valley State (0-1) travels to Cincinnati Nov. 13.
Freshman point guard Derrick Millinghaus played 22 minutes in his first game at Ole Miss. His 22 minutes were five more than starter Jarvis Summers. He scored six points on 1 of 9 shooting … Ole Miss shot 40 percent from the floor for the game, compared to 32 percent for Mississippi Valley State … Davon Usher led MVSU with 19 points. He was the only Delta Devil to amass double-digit points … Ole Miss made just 6 of 27 3s, good for 22 percent … Sophomore reserve Will Norman made his way into the stat book, scoring two points and grabbing two rebounds in two minutes.