The Ole Miss Men's basketball team will be one man short this week, as guard Jelan Kendrick will not be traveling to the Big Easy with his coaches and teammates as per a suspension handed down by head coach Andy Kennedy this past weekend. It isn't made clear what exactly Jelan Kendrick did to deserve such a harsh suspension, but if the Twitterverse is to be believed, his behavior leading up to the Alabama game - which included him not working out on the floor with the team during warmups, only to suddenly enter the student section, locate his girlfriend, and whisk her away from the Tad Pad - could serve as cause enough for his punishment.
This isn't Kendrick's first butting of heads with his coaches or teammates. Just this season, Kendrick engaged in mild fisticuffs with Reginald Buckner and found himself in a shouting match against coach Andy Kennedy in a post-Vanderbilt meltdown. This was a couple of months after missing a handful of his first games of eligibility due to the ever vague "coach's decision." And then there's the simple fact that the former McDonald's All-American was booted from the Memphis Tigers during his freshman season during an alleged threat against one of his teammates.
To quote the immortal words of one Kanye West, "that shit cray."
I can't even begin to pretend to understand what's going on in anyone's head, let alone Kendrick's, but I can say that he has become exactly the problem we quietly worried he would when we learned of his transfer to Ole Miss. We took a chance on him, because any Ole Miss coach would be a fool not to and because, and that chance has backfired, significantly. I don't fault Kennedy for rolling the dice on him, just as I applaud him from cutting him out of the SEC Tournament if he deemed such necessary.
Kendrick's skills are raw, but his athleticism and basketball instincts are pretty fantastic. He never really put it together for us this season (to be fair, he may still be recovering from that hernia surgery he had a few months ago), which gives me little cause of concern regarding his absence this weekend during the conference tournament. Perhaps his absence could be a good thing for this team in NOLA, being as how he has garnered a bit of a reputation for, like, screaming and violence and stuff - you know, things that aren't good for team chemistry or, really, any human relationships.
Unnamed, confidential, imaginary sources (okay, they're not imaginary) at the Cup have given us word that this may be it for Jelan Kendrick at Ole Miss, something which I doubt any of us would find at all surprising. Again, this is a rumor, albeit a highly plausible one. Treat it as such. If it is true, I would like to wish Jelan the best of luck at Jacksonville State next season.