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Ole Miss SG Henderson ready to play

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy believes his flamboyant star Marshall Henderson can get through the season incident-free once he returns from suspension.

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``If I was a betting man - not that I am, but if I was a betting man, I would say that his lesson has been learned and he's looking forward to the opportunity to play in the SEC,'' Kennedy said Wednesday at Southeastern Conference media days.

He said it remains to be determined how many games the high-scoring guard will miss to start the season.

Kennedy says that's ``a fluid situation,'' but that Henderson has so far done everything he's had to do to get back on the court.

``He's been tremendous in his approach and the way in which he's tried to help young guys,'' the coach said. ``I've really found him to be more of a leader on the floor and take some responsibility not only for himself but for those around him.

``I've been pleased with the way he's responded.''

Henderson was suspended from the program in July shortly before Oxford police confirmed that he had been found with what appeared to be a small amount of marijuana and cocaine. He was only cited for not having proof of insurance.

The guard led the Rebels to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002 last season. He was the SEC's top scorer at 20.1 points per game but also drew negative attention for his behavior on the court.

He was reprimanded by the NCAA in June for making an ``inappropriate gesture'' after Ole Miss lost to LaSalle in the NCAA tournament.

Ole Miss is Henderson's fourth college.

There's no questioning his talent. His coach certainly isn't.

Kennedy was asked about Henderson being named a preseason All-SEC first-teamer by the media while on suspension.

``If he wasn't voted first-team all-league,'' he said, ``maybe we'd need to check your credentials.''

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