Markus Howard Off to a Strong, But Different, Start

Markus Howard Off to a Strong, But Different, Start

As a freshman, Markus Howard shot a nation-leading 54.7% from 3-point range. As we projected his sophomore campaign, expecting him to best or even match that percentage was not reasonable. We expect his 3-point shooting percentage to decline in 2017-18.

How, then, could he improve this year? The answer includes turnover rate and 2-point field goal percentage. So far, so good. We should note that in Marquette’s first four games they’ve played our preseason pick for second place in the Big Ten (Purdue), the nation’s #6 ranked team (Wichita State) and a pesky VCU squad. It’s not as if he’s faced a long string of weak opponents.

Howard is shooting just 36.1% from deep and his 3FGA/FGA has increased (61% vs. 56%), but the impact of the weaker trey shot has been partly offset by an improvement in 2FG%. Markus has hit on 69.6% of his 2FGAs (16/23), with many of those makes over significantly bigger players in the paint.

Per Synergy, the 5-foot-11 Howard has scored 28 points in 18 possessions as the P&R ball handler. That mark of 1.56 ppp puts him in the 99% percentile nationally and is one of the contributors to his strong 2FG% thus far.

While his 60.2% eFG% is down from last year’s mark of 65.8%, #M2N’s Offensive Rating is 127.9 vs. last year’s 118.6 and his usage has increased. The difference is in the turnover column. He’s taking more shots, but giving the ball away a lot less. Last year’s turnover rate of 20.5% has fallen to just 8.8% this season.

ORtg %Poss %Shots TO%
2017-18 127.9 26.1 32.1 8.8
2016-17 118.6 25.4 26.9 20.5

Source: KenPom.com

Now, we project Howard’s 3FG% to rise, his 2FG% to decline and his TO% to increase… but as of now, be careful not to worry too much about a 54.7% vs. 36.1% 3FG% comparison – Howard’s sophomore year has started strong.

For what it’s worth, we used BartTorvik.com to look at high major players who were 6’2” or shorter, played at least 40% of their team minutes and shot better than 55% 2FG% in 2016-17 and 2015-16. The list is short.

2016-17 Height Player Team 2FGM-A 2FG%
1 So 6’2″ Jalen Brunson Villanova 141-227 62.1%
2 Sr 5’11” Tyler Lewis Butler 49-81 60.5%
3 Sr 6’1″ Seth Allen Virginia Tech 98-163 60.1%
4 Jr 5’10” P.J. Thompson Purdue 34-59 57.6%
5 Fr 6’0″ Kamar Baldwin Butler 103-185 55.7%
2015-16
1 Jr 6’2″ Zak Showalter Wisconsin 53-91 58.2%

Source: BartTorvik.com

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