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.
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Markus Howard Compared to Rivals’ Top Freshmen List
Rivals.com released their ‘top ten freshman’ to date and added another seven who they felt were in the conversation. Neither of Marquette’s freshmen were included, but both have enjoyed strong year one campaigns.
Sam Hauser, who sports a top-40 offensive rating, doesn’t make the cut because of his low usage. Markus Howard has a great argument for inclusion, but his minutes played are a bit low compared to the Rivals’ group.
Here’s the list, along with each player’s respective offensive rating and usage (per KenPom.com):
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Marquette’s Catch & Shoot Defense: Unlucky?
There is no denying that Marquette’s defense has been poor this season. One of the uglier stats has been 3FG% allowed, which is now at 38.4%, ranking the team at #315 is the nation.
In Big East play, things have only gotten worse as MU’s opponents are converting 40.1% of their 3-point attempts.
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Three Freshmen Guards We Can’t Doubt
5’10”, 165 pounds…5’11”, 175 pounds…5’7″, 150 pounds… once you get past their freshman designation, height and weight, these are three guards who look great on paper.
Our statistical analysis says these guys will be very good college players. Our in person evaluations of the same guys over the years supports the stats. We’ll be monitoring their performance and progression throughout the year as they provide good tests for our evaluation methodology and beliefs.
Jared Harper, Auburn
Harper’s numbers with the Georgia Stars as a rising senior were phenomenal. When you first see him step on the court, there’s nothing physically that would indicate greatness. But, it becomes quickly apparent through his high usage, high efficiency game that he is a potential gem.
The Georgia Stars certainly were a talent team and Harper benefited from his supporting cast, including bruisers on the blocks, but the year prior with a different type of roster, Harper shined playing up for Southern Stampede.
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