Markus Howard spent four years at Marquette and turned into one of the most lethal scorers in college basketball. Howard was the first player mentioned by every team whenever Marquette was the opponent. He carried the squad to numerous NCAA tournaments and was a major reason for their success each year. Now, it is time to make a spot in the NBA.
The 5’11 guard from Chandler, Arizona had a great career. He averaged over 13 points per game every season, including three seasons over 20 points per game. Somehow, he found a way to increase his scoring by at least two points per game every year. Howard’s senior season was his best in terms of scoring, pouring in 27.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. For his career, Howard averaged 21.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists.
The honors have poured in for Howard. He was a two-time All-American, Big East Player of the Year, and a three-time member of the All-Big East team. Howard was also a finalist for the Wooden Award and Naismith Award multiple times.
Undoubtedly, Howard’s best strength is his shooting ability and range. For his career, Howard shot 43 percent from three on nearly eight attempts per game. Additionally, Howard shot 55 percent from three on five threes per game in his freshman year. In college basketball, there may not be a better shooter than Howard. Like every shooter, Howard did have some cold stretches, but they never lasted too long and never made him shy away.
Additionally, he shoots from deep frequently, which makes those shooting numbers even better. This is more important than it seems because the NBA three-point line is deeper than in college, so Howard has clearly shown that added distance will not be a problem.
Lastly, Howard is very creative with the ball. He has to find ways to score since he is often the smaller player. Howard does a really good job of creating little pockets to score from.
As with all undersized players, size is the first weakness mentioned. Howard is probably smaller than he is listed and is going to struggle against most NBA point guards. Occasionally, Howard was a defensive liability in college and that will be exacerbated in the league.
The other area of concern is playmaking. Howard did average over three assists per game, but it could have been more. In Howard’s senior season, his usage rating was almost 40 percent. That means that he was directly involved in Marquette’s offensive possessions nearly every other play. Not many people can say that. Drawing so much defensive attention and having the ball in his hands so frequently should lead to more assists.
This is not a real concern, but Howard is not a true point guard. He is really a combo guard and shooter, which means his size is going to come into play even more.
Chris Clemons. Howard is small and scores in bunches, much like recent Campbell star, Clemons. Clemons earned a spot on the Rockets roster and should bounce around the NBA solely because of his scoring ability. Howard has a chance to be an impact scorer off the bench at least early in his career.
Late second to undrafted.
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