Kansas CITY, Mo. - It all started with a tweet.
From there Mike Bruesewitz became Marshall Henderson’s counterpart for their round of 64 matchup Friday in the NCAA Tournament. Almost half of the questions the Badgers were asked in Thursday’s media session revolved around the Rebel’s flamboyant star.
“He’s a guy that plays with a lot of energy and passion. I think his team really feeds off of it. That’s fine. But we kind of do things our own way. We’re not going to change it.” said Jarred Berggren.
As for Bruesewitz being the “bad boy” (as a reporter phrased it) counterpart to Henderson?
“I’m not even going to answer that,” the redheaded senior said laughing. “Twitter is a great thing. You can bring people together. We’ve watched a lot of film on him. I haven’t seen him play personally. Whatever antics you’re referring to, I really don’t know.”
The “antics” range from his on the court taunts of opposing fans, including the “gator chomp” in Florida’s direction in Sunday’s SEC tournament championship game to his general inability to stand still. Ole Miss had the first practice on Thursday and Henderson couldn’t wait to take the floor. He impatiently waited in the tunnel, jumping up and down and even doing a few cartwheels.
“It’s 11:20 in the morning when we walk in that locker room. I’m trying to prepare the guys,” Kennedy describes of his morning with his energetic star. “We have to do the media stuff, X-number of minutes on the floor and make sure we get loose somewhat, move around. He’s doing jumping around singing in the back.”
At the end of the day, Henderson can play though. If he couldn’t, he wouldn’t be getting the attention. Jarred Berggren said the player that came to mind as someone who could score like Henderson was Jacob Pullen of Kansas State whom they played 2 years ago in the NCAA tournament. Pullen dropped 38 but Wisconsin survived for a 70-65 win.
As for the “counterpart” Henderson created on his opponent’s side?
“It is what it is,” said Bruesewitz. “Obviously he wants to do whatever on Twitter, and you guys can all feed off of that if you wan.t I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about the 40 minutes coming up.”