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2018-19 Marquette Basketball Player Review: #10 Sam Hauser

We take a look back at the third and final season in blue and gold for the elder Hauser brother.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Seton Hall Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2018-2019 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 going from lowest to highest, which means today we focus the penultimate player review on the older of the two brothers on the roster this past season.......

Sam Hauser

Junior - #10 - Guard/Forward - 6’8” - 225 lb. - Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Sam Hauser Traditional Stats

Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
34 33.4 5.1 11.1 45.9% 2.6 6.4 40.2%** 2.1 2.3 92.4%** 1.0 6.1 7.2 2.4 0.6 0.5 2.1 14.9

Sam Hauser Fancy Stats

ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% TS% OR% DR% ARate TORate Blk% Stl% FC/40 FD/40 FTRate
ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% TS% OR% DR% ARate TORate Blk% Stl% FC/40 FD/40 FTRate
123.7** 19.30% 23.10% 57.6%** 61.1%** 3.70% 19.5%** 14.50% 11.9%** 1.70% 1.10% 2.5** 3 20.90%

WHAT WE SAID

Reasonable Expectations

Like I did with Jamal Cain’s preview, I’m just going to throw out a projected stat line using data from my brain according to games I’ve watched Sam Hauser play. Let’s sayyyyyy….19.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists. His percentages will still be high. I think it’s fair to guess that his 3-point percentage will drop a bit, likely because he’ll be taking more of them. But I also think his field goal percentage will climb, since I hope he’ll actually start taking some more shots around the rim. Reducing Hauser to a catch-and-shoot guy on the arc wastes so much of his offensive ability. I think he can back some guys down and show off more of his soft touch around the rim, which can definitely get softer. He’s also great at passing out of the post, but the issue there is to whom does he pass that’s making an outside shot, besides Markus Howard? Nobody else, definitively, yet. That’s why I’m not totally sure his assists go up, if by much. If Joseph Chartouny is going to be doing most of the distributing, I don’t think Sam’s adept passing will be as much in demand. No matter. He’s still going to be great.

Defensively, Hauser is not outstanding, but he is solid, as he is with almost everything else that he’s not already great at. He’s not super athletic, but he’s smart with his positioning and his footwork. He only averaged 2 fouls last year while playing 32.6 minutes per game, so he’s at least an intelligent defender, if not a voracious one. And with this defense, that’s more than fine. I think Hauser is going to have a very good year, one that will certainly have him in the conversation for Big East Player of the Year. That idea has been thrown out in our roundtable series this week, and while I wouldn’t bank on it happening, it’s certainly possible. He’s a tremendously skilled player who’s going to play a huge role on a good team. As long as he delivers, he may not fly so under-the-radar anymore.

Reasons To Get Excited

Any reason to get excited about Hauser is among the things I just talked about. He’s lights-out efficient and has only continued to get better. While it would be truly astounding, I don’t think anyone would be shocked if he shot more than 50 percent from behind the 3-point line. It just always feels like he’s on. Speaking of percentages, the holy grail of a slash line in basketball is 50/40/90. That’s 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from behind the arc and 90 percent from the free throw line. A really tough thing to manage at a high volume. But Sam can do it. The hang-up is that most of his shots are from the outside, so he’d have to shoot really well from out there while also being hyper-efficient inside to guarantee it’s above 50 percent. He also has only shot in the low-80s from the stripe, but it’s on a small sample size. Anyway, he shouldn’t be walking into every game thinking “gotta get that 50/40/90 line,” so Sam, if you’re reading this, just play your game, my guy. It’ll happen naturally.

To wrap up the excitement, I mentioned above how Hauser will be in the conference POY conversation. He can absolutely win it. Averaging 20+ points with a lot of rebounds and a lot of minutes played with wild percentages on a good team is a pretty solid invitation to Award SZN. It’s not outrageous to think that Sam’s scoring and his overall game could make him a more important player than Markus Howard (Hauser had 4.6 win shares last season to Howard’s 3.9), and provided Marquette is hanging around the top-25 most of the season, he could find himself edging into All American conversations. That’s how good he can be. He may not hit that ceiling this year, but there are always a few guys every year who continue to take steps forward, and Hauser is the type of guy that can do it.

Potential Pitfalls

Hauser’s shortcomings, or potential shortcomings, are really only able to be spoken in generalities. Yeah, maybe he just doesn’t shoot as well this year, that’s fair. Maybe he doesn’t change much about his game or develop a killer instinct or something. Maybe. But we know who Sam Hauser is at this point and I don’t seem him regressing in some major way. My biggest concern is stepping up into that second guy, especially when Howard, as streaky as they come, is having an off night. When Andrew Rowsey was here last year, it seemed like he and Howard would trade off who had an offensive explosion that night, and Hauser would just quietly chip in his 14.1 points and 5.7 rebounds. But Rowsey’s not here anymore and I don’t see anyone becoming that same player, so Hauser’s 14.1 points and 5.7 rebounds has to become a lot more if Marquette’s offense is going to be leaning on Howard even more. He still has to be Mr. Reliable while doing almost everything at a higher volume. Do I have faith he’ll do it? Yeah, I do. But it’s not a guarantee. Some people were born third bananas. This season is a chance to find out if Sam Hauser is one of those people, or if he can rise to the occasion.

I want to spin off of that last little bit of what Connor wrote and jumble up the order of how we do things generally speaking in these reviews.

Best Game

Only an idiot would pick anything other than Marquette’s trip to Georgetown this season. With All-American guard Markus Howard sidelined after the first few minutes, the Golden Eagles were clearly in need of multiple step-up games in order to pull out a road win against the Hoyas. What did Sam Hauser deliver to us?

31 points on 10-for-20 shooting, eight rebounds, an assist, and a block.

He was INSANELY GREAT in a game when Marquette desperately needed someone to be INSANELY GREAT and it was fantastic and wonderful to see.

Why am I starting with this?

Because we didn’t see that Sam Hauser at all the rest of the season.

Don’t get me wrong: Sam was great in 2018-19. Night in and night out, you knew what you were getting from Sam Hauser, and it was at worst, perfectly acceptable. But that killer, that “we ain’t losing this ******* game” Sam Hauser that we saw on that night in the nation’s capital? Not so much.

The At Georgetown Sam was the Sam that we thought we would see a lot more of in 2018-19 with Andrew Rowsey off to post-collegiate activities. Someone had to step up and do more as a result of Rowsey’s departure, and the sensible thing was to expect it to come from the junior forward.

We didn’t get it.

His scoring was basically the same, 14.1 vs 14.9 per game. Rebounding was way up, which was nice. Shots per game were only up one, with that mostly coming from behind the arc. Assists were down a tad, which feels a little disappointing given Hauser’s traditionally smart decision making.

All of that is merely regretting the maximum possibilities for Sam. Like I said, he was great this season. Let’s check in on the 50/40/90 shooting splits possibility for him. A year ago, Hauser finished at 49.9%/48.7%/83.6%. That’s why Connor thought it was possible for Hauser to get to 50/40/90 this season.

He was so very almost right.

Sam finished the year at 45.9%/40.8%/92.4%.

His two-point shooting percentage went up more than two full points, up to 53.8% this season. Unfortunately, his three-point shooting percentage dropped nearly eight full points. With Hauser taking more shots from behind the arc than inside it, his increased accuracy on shorter shots wasn’t enough to balance out the drop on the longer ones. To be clear, I’ll sign up for 46/41/92 from anyone on the roster any year, but the mythical 50/40/90 was just ever so slightly out of Sam’s reach this season. Ultimately, it was Big East play that let Hauser down here, as he “only” hit 37.5% of his long range shots in the 18 game conference schedule.

I honestly don’t know what else to say here. Sam Hauser was pretty much exactly the great all-around player we expected to see in 2018-19, and we caught a quick glimpse of what his upper end capabilities might actually be for one brief game. The fact that we didn’t get that more often this season might not be his fault much at all, and quite honestly, it might be the reason why he won’t be back for his senior season.

Season Grade, on a scale of 1-10

As great as Sam was this season, I don’t think I can give him a better score than an 8. There was that extra gear there that was possible, he just never got it all the way engaged. As has been talked about across the Marquette podcast landscape at length already, it’s pretty much impossible to say that the Golden Eagles will be better in 2019-20 without him.