StaTuesday: Marquette’s snipers could make NCAA history

The Marquette Golden Eagles like to shoot 3-pointers. They’re also very proficient at it.

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With its appearance in the NIT right around the corner, Marquette has made 354 3s thus far, which is the eighth most in college hoops this season. That total ranks just outside the top 25 for most 3s made since 1996-97 (Belmont in 2007-08 and Florida in 2011-12 are tied for 24th with 357). Of those top 25, six have been done this season alone (and that doesn’t count Marquette)!

The Golden Eagles have made 41.5 percent of their attempts from behind the arc — only one of the seven teams ahead of them in made 3s is above 40 percent (South Dakota State, 40.3). Overall this season, Marquette is fourth in the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage.

Leading the charge for MU is sophomore Sam Hauser, who is making 3s at a 50.8 percent clip (91 of 179). Among those who attempted at least 150 3s, Hauser currently ranks 10th in the NCAA since 1992-93 (min. 150 attempts; you’ll see another familiar name in there as well):

PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR 3PT%
Markus Howard Marquette 2016-17 54.7
Nick Masterson Kennesaw State 2016-17 54.1
Travis Ford Kentucky 1992-93 52.9
Connor Burchfield William & Mary 2017-18 52.0
Pete Campbell Butler 2006-07 .513
Royce Olney New Mexico 1997-98 51.2
Bill McCaffrey Vanderbilt 1992-93 51.2
Mickey McConnell Saint Mary’s 2009-10 51.0
Ross Land Northern Arizona 1998-99 50.9
Sam Hauser Marquette 2017-18 50.8

Even with 91 made 3s, Hauser is third on Marquette in that category. Andrew Rowsey leads with 110 while Marcus Howard has 102.

Since 1992-93 (and likely ever based on how the importance of 3s has increased over the years — even high-flying Loyola Marymount only had one player a season over 100 in its heyday from 1988-91), never before has a Division 1 college hoops team had three players each make 90+ 3-pointers in a season. In that span, we found just seven instances in which a team had two players with 100+: 1994-95 Southern (Mitch Taylor 109, Tim Roberts 108), 2001-02 Duke (Jay Williams 132, Shane Battier 124), 2001-02 Missouri (Kareem Rush 111, Clarence Gilbert 118), 2008-09 Liberty (Kyle Ohman 100, Seth Curry 102), 2011-12 Oakland (Reggie Hamilton 118, Travis Bader 124), 2015-16 Eastern Washington (Felix Von Hofe 105, Austin McBroom 115) and 2015-16 Michigan State (Denzel Valentine 104, Bryn Forbes 112).

So if Marquette can play a couple of NIT games and Hauser can get hot, the Golden Eagles could be the first team with three players to reach 100 made 3s in a season.

But it’s not just 3s Marquette makes at a high rate.

The Golden Eagles are shooting 79.6 percent from the free-throw line, tied for 11th best since 1996-97. Four of the top 11, including the Golden Eagles, are from this season (fundamentals aren’t dead!).

SCHOOL YEAR FT%
Wisconsin 2010-11 81.8
Weber State 2011-12 81.4
William & Mary 2017-18 81.0
Harvard 2010-11 80.8
Central Michigan 2017-18 80.6
Siena 1997-98 80.3
Notre Dame 2016-17 80.0
St. Joseph’s (PA) 2005-06 79.9
North Carolina State 2003-04 79.9
Davidson 2017-18 79.7
Southern Utah 2008-09 79.6
Marquette 2017-18 79.6

Not surprisingly, Marquette’s big three long-distance shooters are also good from 15 feet out. Hauser has made 83.1 percent of his 59 tries, Rowsey is at 90.6 percent (155 of 171) while Howard has missed just six of his 99 free-throw attempts.

For players since 1992-93 who have attempted at least 99 free throws, Howard ranks ninth in that span:

PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR FT%
Blake Ahern Missouri State 2003-04 97.5
Derek Raivio Gonzaga 2006-07 96.1
J.J. Redick Duke 2003-04 95.3
Donald Sims Appalachian State 2009-10 94.8
A.J. Graves Butler 2006-07 94.8
Travis Bader Oakland 2013-14 94.3
Gary Buchanan Villanova 2000-01 94.2
Markus Howard Marquette 2017-18 93.9
J.J. Redick Duke 2004-05 93.6

Sources: sports-reference.com and STATS