It only took a few hours for controversy to find Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson at the NCAA Tournament.
Henderson earned a reputation as college basketball’s most notorious bad boy this year by taunting fans, talking trash, and giving brilliantly unfiltered press conferences.
And he’s living up to that reputation now.
After his team upset Wisconsin on Friday, Henderson was spotted out drinking at a Kansas City bar. Henderson is 22, he isn’t doing anything wrong at all in these pictures. But given his persona, it still became a controversy:
Yep, thats Marshall Henderson at McFaddens twitter.com/TheRealMize/st…
— Ryan Mize (@TheRealMize) March 22, 2013
He was summoned back to the team hotel after the picture hit the internet, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Djork told Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports:
“It wasn’t like he was guzzling a beer … As soon as those pictures were posted, we got him back to the hotel. It’s just not good to be in public.”
Henderson gave a perfectly reasonable explanation for why he went out at a press conference yesterday, “I really just wanted to go out and socialize with all the people here and just enjoy the experience.”
Henderson’s second controversy of the weekend came later that night when he got into an expletive-filled Twitter fight with what seemed to be the account of Kentucky player Ryan Harrow.
The only problem: the account was fake.
It started when the fake account told Henderson to “be quiet” if he didn’t win the NCAA Tournament. Henderson went off, taunting the Harrow account for only making the NIT.
He deleted his tweets after he found out that he wasn’t actually talking to Harrow. But here’s what he said when he thought he was talking to the real Harrow (via USA Today):
Henderson was asked if he regretted the Twitter mix-up at a press conference yesterday and he responded, “I don’t regret anything I do in life.”
Marshall Henderson knows exactly what he’s doing. He has developed a villain persona that’s designed to unnerve opponents and rile up fans and commentators. On the strength of that persona, he has beaten out players with more talent to become the biggest star of the NCAA Tournament.
If Ole Miss continues to advance, you can expect many more mini-controversies and many more swagger-laden quotes.
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