With the 2017-2018 season in the books, let’s take a few moments to look back at the performance of each member of YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles this year. While we’re at it, we’ll also take a look back at our player previews and see how our preseason prognostications stack up with how things actually played out. We’ll run through roster in order of total minutes played (lowest to highest), which means today’s installment focuses on everyone’s favorite hip surgery recipient.....
Sophomore - #10 - Guard/Forward - 6’8” - 225 lb. - Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Sam Hauser Traditional Stats
Sam Hauser Fancy Stats
** - denotes KenPom top 500 ranking
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.
I think Broadway Brown did a solid job at predicting the wider variety of ways Hauser can score. As a freshman, 67.8% of his shots were threes and that number bumped down to 55.8% in his sophomore campaign. However, in terms of volume he shot 56 more threes compared to last year and made them at an even higher percentage. His 48.7% accuracy from range was seventh in the country. It was the type of shooting year that exceeding our already high expectations.
The other main portion of his game was iso plays where he would back a smaller defender down from the three point line to about 12 feet in front of the bucket and then do a quick turnaround shot. He did a lot of those and was effective at it. His two point jumper percentage was at 46.1% for the year, but my honest guess for just his twirly shot is probably around 55%.
The one thing he never seemed to do offensively was get to the rim. Hoop Math pegged him for 26 of his 349 shots at the rim this year. I’ll touch on this later.
Defensively I’d probably say he was the third best on the team, behind Greg Elliott and Sacar Anim. If you disagree with me, make your voice heard. Given how the team performed overall, that’s not a laurel you can rest on, but he certainly wasn’t a negative. He proved himself at least capable of guarding bigger wings by avoiding being backed down. He’s certainly not light of foot and found himself getting blown by more times than I’m comfortable with, but after a hopefully successful recovery from hip surgery in the offseason, that should be somewhat mitigated.
So now we have a perfectly fine defender who is one of the best shooters in the game with the added ability to back players down and grab rebounds at an effective rate after magically growing two inches over one offseason.
So how can we explain a usage rate that lies in the bottom third of all college players when his offensive rating ranked 11th best in the country overall?
While I certainly agree with the generally widespread notion among Marquette fans that Andrew Rowsey and Markus Howard could’ve stood to forego some of their tougher twos in order to work Hauser into the offense more, I think Hauser has more to do with his low usage than most think.
For a guy that mostly lived outside of the arc without driving or bringing up the ball, he sure did rack up his assists. His 16% assist rate ranked third on the team and was in the 61st percentile overall. He’s a passive player. There’s nothing wrong with that since he never made bad passes (just look at that sterling turnover rate for the second straight season), but it’s tough for me to clamor for Wojo to get him more touches when he seems to pass it whenever someone is near him.
“Well there’s an easy solution to that. Just tell him to create his own shot more.”
That is a valid point and I’m not going to completely dismiss that from happening in the future, but I’m going to be skeptical about it happening until I see it. Even before the hip injury that affected him for most of the season, it’s not like he was Lightning McQueen out there. He was assisted on 98.9% of his threes last year and he can’t really drive to the rim with much effectiveness. I’d say he was a solid post scorer, but the offense is never going to be built around post up opportunities unless you have a looooot of confidence in his scoring ability, and for good reason.
He was, however, almost exclusively used as the 4 this past year. If there was a bigger body on the team last year and opponents were using their wings to guard him, he probably would have used his post game more often. Having him being used that way next year, along with the departure of Rowsey, should increase Hauser’s shots next year, but I’m going to wait and see on him becoming that reliable high usage scorer that we all hope for him.
I really didn’t like bringing him down like that. I feel dirty. He’s such a good player and I really don’t want to take away from that. I just want to tamper our expectations of him by just a smidge so that another very good season by him next year isn’t seen as a disappointment.
Overtime/extra inning games either captivate your attention so much that it just can’t end in the allotted time, or suck to high heaven and you want to claw your eyes out for making the choice to continue watching. Marquette’s game at Georgetown was the latter. I actively hated every moment of that game except for the times Hauser touched the ball.
He went bonkers that game. He made 7 of his 8 three point attempts. That just boggles my mind. Remember when I said he couldn’t create his own shot? I lied. He did it once on the last possession of regulation. Down one with 10 seconds left he got the ball on the wing and was immediately hounded. He was forced to the corner and hit a step back three with a hand in his face to put Marquette up 2. Good thing nothing catastrophic happened to send the game into overtime!
Season Score, on a scale of 1 to 10
We’ve been rating players relative to our expectations so, as weird as it sounds for a guy who averaged 14/6/3 and shot 50/48/83, I’ll give him a 6. He pretty solidly added a component to his game and defended to the abilities we thought he had. I’m bumping him up because of the shooting season he had. If it weren’t for the 8-28 finish he had (most likely due to the intensifying hip injury), we would’ve witnessed the second consecutive 50+% three point shooting season BY DIFFERENT PLAYERS.
Oh, and they’re both on the team next year. That seems like fun.