The 2016-17 college basketball season is right around the corner, so let's get into the Marquette basketball roster and take a look at what to expect from each player this season. We'll be going through the players one by one: First the freshmen, moving on to the two transfer players, and then wrapping up with the returning players, going in order of average minutes played per game last season.
We’re going to organize our thoughts about the upcoming season as it relates to each player into categories:
- Reasonable Expectations
- Why You Should Get Excited
- Potential Pitfalls
With that out of the way, let’s get to our very first preview of the year.....
Freshman - #10 - Guard/Forward - 6’7" - 225 lb.
Hauser comes to Marquette from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. His Stevens Point Area Senior High team won the Division 1 state title in his junior year, then, as an encore, the Panthers went 27-0 on their way to a second straight state title. Hauser ended his prep career on a 37 game winning streak that goes all the way up to 55 straight when you keep it to teams based in the state of Wisconsin.
As the 2015-16 Gatorade Wisconsin Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Hauser averaged 18.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 3.1 blocks while shooting just short of 44% from behind the three point line. That’s actually a bit of a drop off for him, as Hauser shot 50.6% on threes during his junior year when he "only" averaged 18.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.
Hauser was ranked #83 in the country in the final 247 Sports Composite rankings for the class of 2016. 247 had him at #113 in their internal setup, ESPN had him at 86th, Rivals slotted him at #135, and Scout was actually the highest on Hauser with a #74 ranking.
First and foremost, I think we’ll see a version of Sam Hauser that has been grossly underrated by the recruiting services. Here’s the thing: All of them list Hauser at 6’6", and two of them list Hauser at under 200 pounds. ESPN actually lists him at 180 pounds. He was 6’6", 210 lb. when he signed with Marquette last November, sure, but over the past year he’s grown another inch and gained 15 pounds. He’s gone from a kid who could be physically dominant purely by his height in the high school game to a guy who fits in just fine amongst the players at the collegiate level.
I think this is going to pay dividends immediately for head coach Steve Wojciechowski, particularly since Hauser is the third tallest player on the team. From watching SPASH in the state tournament last year - and by that, I mean watching the first 15 minutes of their games because HOO BOY were they over early - Hauser never made the wrong decision. Sure, maybe the guy he passed to didn’t make the shot. Maybe his shot didn’t fall. Maybe maybe maybe a lot of things, but his instinct was never wrong. He’s the kind of player where you lose track of what he’s up to on the court, never really showy, and then you look at the box score at the end of the game and Hauser has absolutely wrecked you.
I think - and there are definitely indications to this end out there already - that we’ll see a guy who gets a chance to contribute for the Golden Eagles early and often, and he does a little bit of everything. Even at his size, Marquette lists him as a guard/forward combo. Sometimes he might be zipping around the perimeter to knock down a three, sometimes he might be in the paint doing his share on defense. I don’t know if he’ll accrue the kind of stats to be on the Freshman All-Big East team at the end of the season given how deep the MU roster is and how much Wojo claims he wants to go deep with it, but I think we’ll see more than than enough of Hauser to be impressed with him at the end of the season.
Why You Should Get Excited
Man, how great would it be to see a freshman step in, play gutty minutes at the four on defense on this size starved roster, and then turn around on the other end and bang home threes from the corner? It’s entirely possible that, given his ability to shoot the long ball, Sam Hauser is the prototypical "stretch four." Given how this roster is assembled, anyone who can play inside defense alongside Luke Fischer (and Matt Heldt, I suppose) is going to get as many minutes as they can handle. If that’s Hauser, then I’m all in favor of that. I think Hauser’s ceiling - at least as a freshman - is making the conference’s all-Freshman team at the end of the season, and that would be more than welcome.
With the current roster construction at the Al McGuire Center - two centers, a lot of guards and wings - anyone who can defend in the paint and/or rebound is going to be indispensable to this team. Guys like Traci Carter and Duane Wilson aren’t going to be asked to do that, so that role will have be filled elsewhere. If Hauser isn’t going to be able to at least switch onto bigger players and defend them here and there, it’s going to be hard for him to get minutes.