If you follow Marshall Henderson on Twitter (you’re doing Twitter wrong if you don’t), you might know that he’s enlisted an impressive group of former Ole Miss hoopers to compete for a $2 million prize in a Nike-sponsored tournament this summer. Chris Warren, Terrico White, Jarvis Summers and Murphy Holloway are among the nine former Rebels that have signed onto what Marshall calls a “fairy tale fantasy team.”
With the deadline for fan voting coming up this Thursday, Marshall got on the phone with me to talk about The Basketball Tournament and what Rebel fans can do to support his team, Ole Hotty Toddy.
The roster is loaded.
That starts with a solid front court:
- Murphy Holloway, Ole Miss’ all-time leading rebounder and a critical piece of the 2012 NCAA Tournament team.
- Terrance Henry, who was just the second player in Rebel history to post 1,000 points and 100 blocks in a career.
- Dwayne Curtis, who averaged 15 points and nearly 10 rebounds as a senior in 2007-08.
- Aaron Jones, who started 27 games as a junior and ranked third in the SEC with 69 blocked shots that season.
But it’s the backcourt that really impresses:
- Chris Warren, a two-time All-SEC point guard and one of the most clutch shooters in Ole Miss history.
- Marshall Henderson, who holds SEC records for 3-pointers made in a single season and Auburn fans pissed off in a single GIF.
- Jarvis Summers, an All-SEC point guard who holds the second most career assists in school history.
- Terrico White, the only Rebel in the last decade to go in the NBA Draft (though he’s currently out of the league).
- Snoop White, who came off the bench for two NCAA Tourney teams and led the 2014-15 club in 3-point percentage.
The group will be coached by former Andy Kennedy assistant Robi Coker, who’s currently coaching high school ball in Alabama. Marshall had originally recruited Bill Armstrong—the Ole Miss assistant who left for LSU earlier this month—but he backed out after his decision to move to Baton Rouge.
Wait, what is this tournament again?
The Basketball Tournament is an open-application five-on-five hoops tourney that began in 2014. Open-application as in you and your buddies at the Y could put together a team, though you’d have to be voted in by fans or hand-selected by tournament organizers to make the field of 64.
Just like the NCAA Tourney, it’s single elimination. Unlike the NCAA Tourney, the players on the last team standing split $2 million.
Marshall’s been playing in the Tournament since its first year of existence in 2014, when 32 teams competed in Philadelphia for a $500,000 prize. He happened to be training in Philly and joined up with a group of local pros who were subsequently dropped in the second round by, as Marshall described them, “some old guys from Chicago who could just hoop.”
Determined to improve his odds the following year, Marshall put together his own team—including former Rebels Aaron Jones and M.J. Rhett—but a rash of injuries and no-shows led to an opening-round defeat. Chris Warren joined up in 2016 and helped the team break through to the third round.
When Dwayne Curtis expressed interest a few months ago, Marshall realized he had the core of an Ole Miss all-star team. Warren enlisted the services of his former teammates, Terrico White and Terrance Henry, while Marshall went about recruiting guys he had played with: Murphy Holloway, Jarvis Summers and Snoop White.
“What’s cool about this tournament is that you can take the guys from older and younger and put them on one team and see what happens,” Marshall said. “It’s cool that we can get together and play.
“We’ve got some ballers that came to this school.”
Marshall and the rest of the crew need your help.
Specifically, they need your vote. For Ole Hotty Toddy to get into the field, they have to rank among the top nine vote-getters in the South region (there are four regions of 16 teams). There are other ways to get in—each region gives away six at-large spots and one play-in spot—but the best route is through voting.
Ole Hotty Toddy
ranks 11th in the South, sitting 47 votes out of ninth place jumped to second place in the eight hours since we originally published. Y’all keep voting though.
If you want to watch these guys play*, head over to their team site and vote for them before 11 a.m. CT on Thursday, June 1.
*The early rounds will stream on Facebook and WatchESPN beginning July 8, with ESPN2 and ESPN picking up coverage in the sweet 16. “People will actually be able to watch this fairy tale fantasy team do work,” Marshall said.