By now, you should be more than familiar with our series of regularly updating leaderboards for various Marquette Golden Eagles sports accomplishments. Keep checking back to that link in the previous sentence for our charts as the seasons continue to churn through history and MU’s various teams continue to create new memories and accomplishments.
Here, we’re going to address the fact that Markus Howard is about to knock his way into the top 10 for free throws made by a Marquette senior.
I’m writing this about 90 minutes before Marquette tips off against #13 Butler on January 24th. After the St. John’s game earlier in the week, Howard is sitting on 133 made free throws this season. Jerel McNeal is currently #10 all time for free throws by a Marquette senior..... at 135. At an average of 7.4 made freebies per game this season and 7.7 per conference game so far in 2019-20.... I feel like this article is about to become very outdated very quickly.
It’s possible if not likely that by the time tonight’s game gets to halftime, Howard will have already passed McNeal and Mike Morgan and slid into ninth place all time.
The question, then, is whether or not Howard can break Wesley Matthews’ record for free throws made during a senior season. Howard is currently exaclty 80 free throws away, and so would need 81 to have a brand new record all to himself. With seven Big East games played, Marquette still has 11 regular season games to go plus one guaranteed Big East tournament game. That’s 12 more, and at 7.4 per game, that’s another 88 free throws on the board for Howard if he stays on pace.
So it seems that record is going to fall pretty easily.
There is another interesting aspect to this. Right now, Matthews is the only Marquette player to ever make 200 or more free throws as a senior. In fact, he’s the only one to ever make more than 190. If Howard stays on track to pass Matthews.... and if Marquette has something resembling a deep postseason run..... then we have to wonder if Howard can set this record so far away from anyone else that it might become unbreakable. Howard is currently #2 in the country in terms of free throws made per game this season, trailing only Cal State Northridge’s Lamine Diane. At 8.6 attempts per game, Howard ranks 4th in the country, although one of the guys in front of him is James Wiseman, who maybe really shouldn’t count in this equation. The point here is that Howard is currently attempting and making free throws at a rate that’s borderline impossible. The idea that there will be another Marquette senior at some point in the future able to do what he’s doing is almost impossible to believe.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see where Howard finally wraps things up.
Here’s what the chart looks like after COVID-19 ended the 2019-20 season.
Marquette MBB Senior Year Free Throws Made Chart