1 - Markus Howard is lost in the high grass.
In Marquette’s last four games, Markus Howard is shooting 33.9% overall which works out to 42.9% on twos and a horrifyingly bad 26.5% on threes. To make matters worse, Howard is averaging 3.5 turnovers per game across the last four games, and that’s only because we get to average in the lone turnover he had against Northern Illinois. Toss that out, and it’s 4.3 turnovers in the last three games.
To put it in more simple terms, Howard has completely lost whatever touch he had all of last season from long range as well as the touch he displayed on his filthy floater in the first 10 games of this season. His handle is also completely shot, as he has been repeatedly flailing into the lane with no hope of getting a shot off because his control on his drive is gone by the time he hits the paint.
I hesitate to say that Marquette has proved that they can win with Howard struggling, as their three wins in that run were against Northern Illinois, American, and Georgetown. You can flat out argue that if Howard does anything better than the 6-for-19 with four turnovers performance he turned in against Xavier, the Golden Eagles win that game.
I don’t know how head coach Steve Wojciechowski and his staff going about fixing this. If it was just the shooting, I’d say that Howard just has to shoot his way out of it. If it were just the turnovers, I’d say that he has to just slow down and let the game come to him instead of pressing the issue. It’s both, though, and I suspect that the mindsets to fix both of those things are somewhat at odds with each other. There’s a lot of basketball left to be played this season, so let’s hope that the correction comes sooner rather that later.
2 - Sacar Anim deserves more attention.
Late-ish in Saturday’s game against Georgetown, Sacar Anim went down a little awkwardly underneath the basket, half-bear crawled, half-hopped his way out of bounds on the baseline, and then grabbed his knee in pain. It wasn’t quite the same reaction as what happened when Andrew Rowsey got his calf stepped on against Northern Illinois, but it wasn’t a fun time either.
As you do in situations like this, I checked Anim’s line for the game to see what he had contributed to the Golden Eagles. This was going to be somewhat of a crapshoot, as sometimes his game is more of an esoteric contribution to Marquette, providing defense and reliability more than actual countable statistics.
Not this time, though. He had seven points, eight rebounds, and five assists, and thankfully, he would quickly be back out on the floor after a brief check-in with the MU athletic training staff. Anim finished the game with those exact same stats (plus two steals, too), but like I said, that’s not that surprising to see him stay off the stat sheet sometimes.
Anim has been an invaluable part of the lineup. Look no further than the Xavier game, when he was held scoreless and grabbed just two rebounds and had a lone assist. Played just 15 minutes as well. Marquette needs small, yet important contributions from Anim as the season goes on, and he deserves the respect and praise accorded to someone in the Glue Guy role.
3 - Marquette is not getting enough praise from the rest of the country.
Not one single national media outlet/commentator/analyst/whatever you want to call them has given Marquette the praise and commendation that they deserve following this 74-65 win over Georgetown.
I know, you’re probably saying, “hey, it’s a win over a goofy Georgetown team that might struggle to win three games in the Big East this season, why should this be a big deal?” That’s fair, and I see your point.
However, Marquette is the first team to defeat Georgetown in regulation this season. The Hoyas played perhaps the worst non-conference schedule in recorded history this season, and at one point, they were actually earning a vote in the Associated Press top 25 poll. For playing no one of note. Their previous two losses were a collapse late in regulation against Syracuse and a loooong collapse against Butler, both of which went to overtime before the Hoyas were handed the L. Marquette put an official end to the infernal “UNDEFEATED IN REGULATION” propaganda campaign from Casual Hoya and all other points Georgetown, and the Golden Eagles deserve to be properly acknowledged for their work in sending them back into silence.