Don't Sleep on Markus Howard and Marquette

The Marquette Golden Eagles men's basketball team is currently ranked 21st in the nation for a reason, and it's not just their recent scenery change, going from the BMO Harris Bank Center to the Fiserv Forum. The numbers defensively for the Golden Eagles have improved, and they have one of the best offenses in the country, which is thanks to the many three-point shooters that Marquette has. Veteran juniors Markus Howard and Sam Hauser both shoot about 42 percent from beyond the arc, as well as the freshman and younger of the Hauser brothers, Joey, hitting from beyond the arc 44 percent of the time. The Golden Eagles have loads of veteran depth, which is becoming very rare in college basketball, with many players that make it big their freshman year in the NCAA opting to go straight to the NBA.

Not only do they have Sam Hauser and Howard, but transfers Ed Morrow and Joseph Chartouny, and junior Sacar Anim and sophomore Theo John, who is a huge threat in the paint on defense with his tremendous ability to block shots. Marquette also has very big non-conference wins in their pocket, beating 12th ranked Kansas State and 12th ranked Wisconsin at home, and also handling an undefeated 14th ranked Buffalo squad at home, in which Howard had 40 points in the second half after being shut down in the first half of that game. Many of these key victories are thanks to the shooting abilities of Howard, the junior who leads the Big East in points per game, three-pointers made, and free throw percentage. The guard is unlike any other player in not only the Big East but the entire NCAA with his ability to hit shots and draw fouls.

Marquette has a large amount of depth on their roster, with three seniors, Cam Marotta, Matt Heldt, and grad-transfer Joseph Chartouny. With three juniors in their starting five, along with a sophomore and a freshman, the depth for the Golden Eagles is there, and they have many leaders in the locker room, where with other top teams, there are barely any upperclassmen starters, let alone players.

The depth that the Golden Eagles have under coach Steve Wojciechowski is going to be a key factor come February and March, where the shooting, defense, and veteran leadership that they have will pay off for Marquette when they compete in the Big East Tournament, and hopefully March Madness as well.