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, we wrap up our look at the debuting Golden Eagles with a guy who was actually on scholarship last season.....
Redshirt Junior - #30 - Guard - 5’10” - 180 lb.
Rowsey comes to Marquette after spending two years at North Carolina-Asheville. He was all-Big South First Team as a freshman as well as Freshman of the Year, and was “only” all-conference second team as a sophomore. Rowsey led UNCA in scoring and assists as a freshman, then followed that up with the team lead in scoring and steals as a sophomore.
I know, I know. You’re saying “yeah, but that’s in the Big South, against the Campbells and Presbyterians of the world.” Fair point. Here’s the thing about that though: Rowsey made a majority of his scoring contribution by being a long range shooter.
He’s a career 39.1% three-point shooter, averaging 3.3 makes on 8.4 attempts per game against Division 1 opponents across the two years as a Bulldog. Rowsey shot 41.2% as a freshman, which was top 150 in the country, before “fading” back to 37.1% as a sophomore. That was still good enough for a top 500 in the country mark, though. Much like Marquette great Steve Novak, he’s also lethally accurate from the free throw line with a career mark of 87.5%. That’s largely powered by a 91.8% mark last year, which was the third best FT% in the country.
This is two-fold.
- Andrew Rowsey will continue to be a crazy good outside shooter.
- Andrew Rowsey is not going to average 19.7 points per game like he did at Asheville.
Both of those things will be caused by the same thing: Marquette is deep as hell at guard/wing this season, and they’re all at least responsible shooters. Merely having five or six teammates who can drain threes on a regular basis will make things easier for Rowsey to get his shots off accurately. However, because of all of the other guys at his position and head coach Steve Wojciechowski’s interest in going 10 deep and attacking, Rowsey’s minutes and shots will be, at least on some level, artificially limited.
There’s probably going to be a few games this year where he replicates what he was doing at UNCA. He’ll hit a shot or two early, get on a roll, and Wojo rides with him for most of the game.
There’s one more thing we should probably talk about. Rowsey’s not a dominant point guard, not to the point where he’s going to take Traci Carter’s job. Yes, he led UNC-Asheville in assists both of his two seasons. However, that’s kind of a technicality. Both years, He averaged 2.9 helpers, but two more guys averaged more than two assists per game. Rowsey had assist rates of 17.0% as a freshman and 18.8% as a sophomore. Duane Wilson had an assist rate of 17.2% last year, and Jajuan Johnson was at 16%. Are either of those guys taking Traci Carter’s job this season? No, they are not. Neither is Andrew Rowsey.
Why You Should Get Excited
Well, if you can’t get excited about a guy who has a career three point percentage better than any Marquette team since 2009-10, I can’t really help you.
However, I could understand that even knowing that Rowsey’s a shooter, you might get worried about his ability to contribute at this level of college basketball at his size. Totally makes sense to me that you could be there.
I completely disagree with you, though.
Flashback to last year’s Legends Classic at the Barclays Center. Ben Simmons draws a charge on Henry Ellenson with just under two minutes to play. And now, a story about what happened next, told in six tweets.
Rowsey calling Simmons a flopper, but that's a foul. Ellenson out.— Paint Touches (@PaintTouches) November 24, 2015
Some kid on the bench in a polo shirt said something to him. He's still yapping. https://t.co/JOsPv7XtNy— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) November 24, 2015
Put the guy in a polo on your draft boards. Simmons or not, he’s not backing down from anyone. Good for him.— Raphielle Johnson (@raphiellej) November 24, 2015
Oh it was Rowsey? Even better.— Raphielle Johnson (@raphiellej) November 24, 2015
Indeed it was. He and Ben Simmons were jawing a little bit after Simmons drew the charge near the Marquette bench. https://t.co/tIqN9D0epj— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) November 24, 2015
The funniest thing about Simmons yelling at Andrew Rowsey is that there’s no way Simmons didn’t think that was just some manager.— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) November 24, 2015
Yes, that’s right, the 5’10” Rowsey started yapping at the 6’9” Ben Simmons, the future #1 pick in the NBA Draft, about how he flopped to draw the foul on Ellenson and, when Simmons went back at him, Rowsey had no backdown in him.
Now, here’s the two key parts of this story. First, as a transfer last year, Rowsey was obviously ineligible to play in the game, but that had absolutely no impact on his competitive nature when he believed that his teammate got completely hosed. Second, and this is probably the best part about this story, transfers are ineligible to play, obviously, and as an ineligible player, Rowsey was not allowed to have his transport paid for by the university. Thus, Rowsey paid for his own trip to New York in order to be with the team and yap at Simmons.
That sounds like a guy who’s going to be highly competitive regardless of the situation and a guy that I want on my team. I didn’t really need a reason to steal Ronda Rousey’s nickname for the guy, but I’m feeling pretty good about the idea of “Rowdy” Andrew Rowsey.
There’s no reason to think that Andrew Rowsey’s shooting ability doesn’t translate from the Big South to the Big East. It’s the same distance, it’s the same height, it should all work. Even if he’ll be seeing better players in terms of opponents, Marquette’s ability to spread the floor around him should balance that out.
In his two years at Asheville, Rowsey played just three games against teams that finished in the top 100 of the end of season KenPom rankings. He shot just 35% from three in those games, well short of his career mark. It’s still clearly inside the efficiency cutoff of 33.3%, mind you, but it’s still not as good as the rest of his numbers. If you want to be worried about Rowsey’s production for Marquette, there’s your reason why.
I have to offer a caveat on that, in fairness to Rowsey. Two of those games - vs Kentucky and vs Duke - came in Rowsey’s first four collegiate games, including his collegiate debut against the Wildcats. The third game was early on in his sophomore year... and he was 6-for-12 from long range against South Carolina.