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The Anonymous Eagle Mailbag: Markus Howard, Hoopla, Milwaukee, Recruiting, Jordan Brand, and More!

A bunch of fun queries in this week’s edition.

Big East Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Welcome back to the Anonymous Eagle Mailbag, everyone! Did y’all have a productive two weeks during the hiatus? I went to Texas on vacation and did almost nothing but drink beer, visit interesting local eateries, and sit out by the pool, although that was a bit of a trick in the 95 degree sunshine.

Onwards to your questions......

From @ThatsSoOsgood: Who backs up Markus Howard in 2018?

Well, as we look at it right now, I think this guy is on the right track.

The current obvious candidates on the roster are Haanif Cheatham and Greg Elliott, and there aren’t really any not obvious candidates. Sacar Anim? Jamal Cain? I doubt it.

I would presume, right now, that the plan is for Elliott to be Howard’s backup. I have no idea if the 6’3”, 165 pound Michigan native has the skill set to pull that off, but the good news is that he’s got a full year to work himself into position to handle it. The other good news on this topic is that Markus Howard should probably be playing over 30 minutes a game from here on out, so we’re talking about someone covering maybe two minute stretches at a time. Honestly, if we’re being honest about it, if Markus Howard shoots over 45% on three-pointers in 2017-18, he shouldn’t be coming off the floor in 2018-19 unless he’s in foul trouble. Which he shouldn’t be, anyway.

There’s also the alternate future where Howard shoots over 50% this coming season, wins Big East Player of the Year, and ends up playing his way into the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft. Just throwing it out there.

From [REDACTED] in the email inbox: If you are Coach Wojo and you wake up tomorrow with a text from Quentin Grimes and Joey Hauser both telling you they are ready to commit to Marquette but since there is only one scholarship for 2018 you can only take one of them. Who do you take? Not just based on talent but also fit with the team, team need, and potential to leave for the draft early and not reach their college potential.

I organized this with the Markus Howard question first just to run this one right after it on purpose. Quentin Grimes is listed as a point guard, so we have to address the issue of Howard’s backup in 2018 before we get to this recruiting issue. The argument can be made that Marquette would be best served by a point guard taking the final scholarship spot in 2018, and if that’s where you want to plant your flag, I’m not going to argue with you about it.

But, to answer the question, I’d take Joey Hauser.

The benefit of keeping a top 30 recruit in the state of Wisconsin along with keeping that same recruit away from Wisconsin overwhelms the benefit from having a second point guard to potentially pair with Howard for two years. On top of that, Hauser’s versatility in the lineup is a nice balance to the guys that are already on the roster.

From @AndyGold24: If you had one day to sell a recruit on Milwaukee, what does that day look like?

Food, mostly. There’s an amazing wealth of quality eating establishments in Milwaukee, and I’m not talking about the super snazzy places that your standard issue college student can’t afford. Take them to Kopp’s, buy them a burger, some onion rings, a Sprecher root beer, and a scoop of the flavor of the day (Orange Dream or Butter Brickle today), and if they don’t want to move in immediately, then they’re probably not people I’d like to associate with on a regular basis. I could repeat this concept with a bunch of different places in Milwaukee, and the core idea would be the same.

From [REDACTED] in the email inbox: What is/was the best quality of each of the MU coaches that was at the Hoopla Event?

For context, the coaches in question are Kevin O’Neill, Mike Deane, Tom Crean, and Steve Wojciechowski. Here’s the YouTube version of the coaches panel from the Hoopla.

KO’s best quality is his force of personality, Deane gets a thumbs up in my book for being able to parachute in with no relationships with the existing team and pick up where O’Neill left off, I think Crean is the best X’s and O’s coach of the group, and Wojo has the best vision of what he wants the program to be under his leadership and the best determination to get it there.

From [REDACTED] in the email inbox: In terms of playing basketball professionally, who is the most underachieving MU player after college and who is the most overachieving?

I think overachieving is easy, because it’s Joe Chapman. It’s gotta be, right? That dude has been playing professionally ever since leaving Marquette in 2006. College career averages of 5.2 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and he’s just chugging along, cashing checks to play basketball. How great is that?

I think we have to say that Vander Blue is the most underachieving, don’t we? I mean, God bless him for winning that G-League MVP last season, but as great as he’s been in the G-League, he hasn’t been paid commensurate to those performances. I don’t know what Blue’s deal is, but I would really, really like to see him go to Europe or China or wherever to get a six-figure paycheck if he can’t latch on to an NBA squad this summer. The guy left Marquette to start drawing paychecks to play hoops, and the G-League just doesn’t pay guys worth a damn.

From @77NCAAChamps: Has Nike sponsorship contract deal ($ only) been a boon or bust for MU? How does it compare w/Converse? Or w/ similar UA /ADIDAS ones in BE?

With Marquette being a private institution and Jordan Brand being a private company, we have no idea how much money is actually changing hands. So it’s hard/impossible to say it’s benefiting Marquette more than previous contracts or compare it to deals at other schools.

Here’s what I know, though: I own a pair of Marquette branded Jordan XXXIs. Not a lot of fans of other schools can say they can have something like that, or even have a chance for that. I know that Marquette has shootarounds at the Jumpman gym in New York City whenever they play St. John’s or go to the Big East tournament. There’s only a handful of teams that have free reign to use that facility or a facility like that even, so MU’s deal with Jordan is paying off in a lot of ways much bigger than merely the paychecks.

From @SwaggyMo33: Favorite Marquette player to follow on social media?

It’s Harry Froling and not just because of this quote-tweet of an AE article.

He’s the creator of #HeldtasaurusRex, and he’s probably the most creative and/or entertaining Twitter follow on the current roster. I’m not on Instagram or Snapchat, so maybe one of the other guys is fun to follow on those outlets.

Do you have a question for the Anonymous Eagle Mailbag? It can be about Marquette hoops, any other Marquette sports, or whatever strikes your fancy at the moment. Tweet it to us (@AnonymousEagle) or email it to us (anon.eagle@gmail.com). The more the merrier, and we’ll see if we can turn this into a weekly thing.