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2017-18 Marquette Basketball Preview Roundtable: Which Sophomore Makes The Biggest Jump Forward?

The Golden Eagles have two players coming off stellar freshman campaigns. Who makes the most progress this season?

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The 2017-18 college basketball season is quickly approaching, and thus, we turn our attention to previewing the upcoming Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball season.

As you may have noticed, we’ve got a few new voices here on the site since the school year started. We’re going to take advantage of that and do something new for the season preview. We’ve got a stacked up list of questions about the 2017-18 campaign, and each of the new contributors to AE are going to take a crack at answering them. There will be a new question every weekday afternoon between now and the start of the season, so be sure to stop back every day to find the new one.

Onwards, then, to the question of the day:

Which Marquette sophomore — Sam Hauser or Markus Howard -- will have the biggest jump forward in 2017-18?

Pistol Brad: I would say that Markus Howard will take a bigger step forward this season. I think that Howard has a few specific things that he can improve on, with turnover rate and defense being the two main ones. Hauser on the other hand already has a very solid all-around game. Hauser has stated that he wants to hunt his own shot more and add to his post game, but even if he does this, I don’t see it outshining the improvements that Howard should make. Howard should be much better at holding on to the ball with a full season of college hoops under his belt and an entire offseason to work on his handles. The same applies for his defense where he had struggled last year. Even if Howard is not a vastly improved defender, his defensive numbers should improve with the shot blockers that here brought in this year (Theo John & Ike Eke most notably). It is not unreasonable for Howard to average between 18 and 20 points per game this season, that combined with improved defense and ball security will make Howard the most improved sophomore on the team.

NHammertime: Both Sam Hauser and Markus Howard exceeded expectations as freshman, and quickly became an integral part of Marquette's success. I believe Sam Hauser will show more improvement this year for two reasons.

First, there is simply more growth potential. Markus set the freshman three-point percentage record last year, he is now Preseason Second Team Big East, and has been recognized as a top 100 player in the nation... he has earned college basketball's attention. There is certainly room for improvement in his scoring volume, assist numbers and defense. However, I think the margin for improvement is much greater for Hauser.

Second, outside of loyal MU fans, Sam Hauser is kind of under the radar. Last year, he went about his business filling the stat sheet every night, playing within the offense, and taking opportunities when they presented themselves. This year, his role in the offense becomes bigger, and he becomes more aggressive creating scoring opportunities for himself. I think Sam is just scratching the surface of his potential and a big year is coming.

Besay: It’s hard to beat 55.7% from behind the arc. Markus Howard will improve his all-around game but it won’t be as noticeable as Sam Hauser’s improvement. Hauser will be a versatile player for the Golden Eagles playing both guard and forward very well. I see him becoming a better mid-range shooter this year.

CLagore: I think Sam Hauser just has a bigger role to fill with Katin Reinhardt and Jajuan Johnson out of the picture. We know what Howard is: a sharpshooter who can hopefully develop some good passing tendencies. Hauser has a lot more room to mold his game and become a better all-around player, simply because his size and position will allow him to do that.

Broadway Brown: Sam Hauser will have the biggest jump forward. He looked fantastic in the exhibition and I'm excited to see what he improved from last year. While we’re talking sophomores, let’s not forget about redshirt sophomore Sacar Anim, who will also take up quality minutes this year as well.

Ben Snider: This probably comes down to Markus Howard’s defensive improvements vs Sam Hauser’s ball handling improvements. I’m tempted to say Hauser because he definitely showed glimpses of scoring off the dribble while Howard can only go so far to being a good defender because of his size. I also don’t see Hauser’s role changing that much. Despite Jajuan Johnson leaving, I still don’t think driving to the basket will be an issue for the team. Hauser won’t have just the role of a kick out man, but I think that’ll still be his primary role. 30% of his buckets last year came were assisted threes (most on the team) with 13% of his shot attempts coming at the rim, besting only Andrew Rowsey for returning players. He was insanely efficient at what he did and I have the utmost confidence that he keeps it up, but I just don’t see his role being that different when there will be more proven driving options available. Meanwhile, Howard needs to improve on defense. It’s not much of an option for him with Duane Wilson and JJJ gone. He also has the benefit of having a lower baseline of improvement. If he stops grabbing at ball handlers the way Chicago students grab at any opportunity to talk about Portillo’s (naiiiiiiiiled it. Also, we can admit that Portillo’s is merely decent, right?) then that’s improvement. Despite his size limitations, I think we’ll end up saying Howard made the bigger step forward.

Poll

Which sophomore will have the biggest jump forward in 2017-18?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Sam Hauser
    (80 votes)
  • 14%
    Markus Howard
    (14 votes)
94 votes total Vote Now