Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, Sam Hauser is pretty good at basketball, but is he one of the best small forwards in the country?”
Well, if you haven’t, first of all: What’s wrong with you?
Second of all: The question has pretty much been answered by Hauser being included on the 2019 Julius Erving Award watch list. The Erving Award is handed out every year by The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the player named as the best small forward in college basketball. Hauser joins Marquette teammate Markus Howard amongst those earning spots on preseason watch lists from the Hall of Fame, as Howard was included on the Bob Cousy Award list earlier in the week.
Hauser is the only player from the Big East on the preseason watch list, and there are no players on Marquette’s non-conference schedule on the list, either. Well, that’s only technically true, as MU may end up playing Tennessee in the Preseason NIT Tip-Off, and senior Admiral Schofield is also on the list.
The Stevens Point native averaged 14.1 points, a team high 5.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists as a sophomore last season. Hauser was one of the most effective and efficient shooters in the country last season, boasting a slashline of 49.9% shooting overall, 48.7% shooting from long range, and 83.6% from the free throw line. He ranked #7 in the country in three-point shooting percentage amongst eligible players according to KenPom.com, and his Offensive Rating of 130.4 ranked #11 in the country.
Hauser is one of 20 players on the list, which will be cut down to 10 in mid-February. There’s no requirement that any of the 20 be a part of the 10, nor part of the list of five finalists at the end of the season. This is merely a preseason watch list, making an attempt to predict the 20 best candidates in the country, so we’ll have to watch the season play out to see if Hauser can stay in the conversation.
Marquette officially begins the 2018-19 season on Tuesday, November 6th, when they host UMBC at Fiserv Forum. It will be MU’s first regular season game at the new downtown Milwaukee arena.
You can check out the full press release with all 20 candidates right here.