The 2017-18 college basketball season is right around the corner, so let's get into the Marquette Golden Eagles 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 four freshmen, moving on to MU’s lone available transfer this season, and then wrapping up with the returning players, going in order of average minutes played per game last season from lowest to highest.
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 the final player preview, in which we talk about the now-sophomore who led the team in minutes last season and might just be MU’s best player already.....
Sophomore - #10 - Guard/Forward - 6’8” - 225 lb. - Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Like Markus Howard, Sam Hauser also had an outstanding freshman campaign last season. The sophomore stud from Stevens Point, WI averaged 8.8 points and 5 rebounds a game. He grabbed the final rebound and held onto the ball for dear life at the end of the Villanova upset. People forget that. He played the most minutes out of anyone on the team, and while he did not shoot over 50% from three last season, he did shoot 45% from behind the arc which is pretty impressive. Markus Howard is getting a ton of attention from the media about his three point shooting, which makes me believe this is going to be a great season for Sam.
It is totally acceptable to expect a lot from Sam this year. He has his freshman year under his belt and is now a leader on a young Marquette team. Like Markus Howard, expect Hauser’s minutes to be in the 30-32 per game range barring any foul trouble. I expect Hauser to be more aggressive in the paint and work out some gritty “and-ones,” while continuing to be spot on from three. With Markus Howard receiving a lot of media attention not to mention defensive attention, expect Hauser to get the ball more. When the ball is in Sam’s hands he is capable of anything: He can shoot from behind the arc, he can shoot from mid range, or he can drive to hoop and get some of those gritty baskets. Also, with the announcement of Ike Eke spending this season with a redshirt, expect Hauser to play the four at times. Hauser is more than capable of guarding a big man and will be a nightmare for opposing big men to defend. Expect Sam to average 12-15 points a game this season while upping those rebound numbers towards the upper echelon of the Big East’s stat chart. 6.8 was good enough for the best average in the non-Angel Delgado division last year. Seems possible and reasonable that Hauser could top that, no?
Why You Should Get Excited
You should get excited for Sam because he has already established himself as a leader on this team. He also kind of flies under the radar which will help him a lot during the season. Teams will be focused on Markus Howard a whole bunch and that will open scoring opportunities for Hauser and the rest of the team. The most impressive part about this is that this all plays directly into Hauser’s strengths. He might be the best sneaky good player in the country. Hauser in the Villanova win: five points, six rebounds, two assists, and a block. Usage rate? EIGHT PERCENT. Offensive rating? 138!
Sam Hauser will play all over the court and is capable of getting the crowd out of their seats with his three point shooting or his dribble drive moves down the lane. Sam’s defense has also got a lot better since last season. Fans should be excited about Sam’s drive to win. No one likes to lose, do not get me wrong. Sam Hauser is allergic to losing and has a drive to do whatever it takes to win a game, whether it is shooting lights out or getting up in the paint to grab a final rebound. You think it’s a coincidence that SPASH won two straight state titles in his final two years of prep ball AND that Marquette made the NCAA tournament for the first time in four seasons in his freshman year? Not likely. He will do whatever Wojo asks him in order to win games this season.
Again, I hate writing about flaws in a player’s game especially one as good as Sam Hauser, but it’s part of the blog so I need to. Defense is an area this entire team needs to work on, there is no question about that. With Sam playing mostly the three or four this season, he will need to work on guarding players with their back to the basket more often. He will need to become more active on the defensive side and up his blocks and steals numbers. With more time on the floor, Sam will also need to grab more rebounds.
Sam Hauser isn’t perfect. [Editor’s note: You’re on your own on that one.] Heck no one is, but if Marquette wants to go dancing in March, Sam Hauser will need to provide big numbers for this Golden Eagle team.