StaTuesday: Marquette’s Howard making case as one of top shooters in past decade

Marquette’s Markus Howard had a game to remember last week at Creighton. The junior guard poured in a Big East record 53 points in the Golden Eagles’ overtime win.

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He also had six assists in that contest. According to STATS, Howard was the first Division I player to score at least 50 points and dish out least six assists since 2008, when North Dakota State’s Ben Woodside had 60 points and eight assists in a game.

Howard previously had two games this season in which he scored 45 points. He’s the only player this decade with three games of 45+ points in a season (and the year isn’t over yet). Only two players had two such games since 2010-11 — Iona’s A.J. English in 2015-16 and BYU’s Jimmer Fredette in 2010-11.

In fact, there have been just 12 50-point games this decade — and Howard owns two of them. He’s the only player this decade with two 50+-point games.

50-POINT GAMES SINCE 2010-11

PLAYER TEAM OPP DATE PTS
Jordan Lyons Furman North Greenville 11/15/2018 54
Markus Howard Marquette Creighton 1/19/2019 53
Nate Wolters South Dakota St. Purdue-Fort Wayne 2/7/2013 53
Markus Howard Marquette Providence 1/3/2018 52
Jimmer Fredette BYU New Mexico 3/11/2011 52
Marshon Brooks Providence Notre dame 2/3/2011 52
Mike James Lamar Louisiana College 1/4/2011 52
Chris Clemons Campbell UNC-Asheville 3/2/2017 51
Mike Daum South Dakota St. Purdue-Fort Wayne 2/18/2017 51
Ray Lee Eastern Michigan Central Michigan 2/28/2017 50
Marcus Keene Central Michigan Miami (OH) 1/21/2017 50
Kevin Murphy Tennessee Tech SIU-Edwardsville 1/30/2012 50

After averaging 20.4 points last season, Howard leads the Big East in scoring at 25.8 ppg. He also is fourth in the conference with 4.4 assists per game.

If Howard can maintain near those numbers, it’d be just the 22nd time since 1992-93 that a Division 1 player averaged at least 25 points and four assists in a season.

25+ POINTS, 4+ ASSISTS IN A SEASON SINCE 1992-93

PLAYER TEAM SEASON PPG
Charles Jones Long Island U. 1996-97 30.1
Marcus Keene Central Michigan 2016-17 30.0
Charles Jones Long Island U. 1997-98 29.0
Jimmer Fredette BYU 2010-11 28.9
Stephen Curry Davidson 2008-09 28.6
Reggie Williams VMI 2006-07 28.1
Lester Hudson UT-Martin 2008-09 27.5
Trae Young Oklahoma 2017-18 27.4
Kevin Granger Texas Southern 1995-96 27.0
Keydren Clark St. Peter’s 2003-04 26.7
Marcus Brown Murray State 1995-96 26.4
Keydren Clark St. Peter’s 2005-06 26.3
Reggie Hamilton Oakland 2011-12 26.2
Andre Collins Loyola (MD) 2005-06 26.1
Doremus Bennerman Siena 1993-94 26.0
David Holston Chicago State 2008-09 25.9
Markus Howard Marquette 2018-19 25.8
Keydren Clark St. Peter’s 2004-05 25.8
Lester Hudson UT-Martin 2007-08 25.7
Earl Boykins Eastern Michigan 1997-98 25.7
Jermaine Marrow Hampton 2018-19 25.1
Allen Iverson Georgetown 1995-96 25.0

Howard is shooting 44.0 percent on his 3-point attempts this season, which has actually lowered his total at Marquette to 45.0 percent. Only 13 players have career 3-point shooting percentage of 45 percent or higher since 1992-93, including Marquette’s Steve Novak, who is sixth over that span with a 46.1 3-point percentage.

Behind the arc is not the only place Howard excels shooting the ball. He does pretty well at the free-throw line as well.

This season, Howard is making 90.5 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe. In his nearly three years at Marquette, Howard, entering Tuesday’s game at Georgetown, is 266-for-291 on free-throw attempts, a 91.4 percentage.

Howard needs nine more attempts to qualify for a career leaderboard (minimum 300 attempts and 3.5 per game), which we have a feeling he’ll get relatively soon.

His free-throw percentage currently would be the third-best career mark since 1992-93 and just the ninth player to have at least a 90 percent mark over that time period.

PLAYER SCHOOL YEARS FT%
Blake Ahern Missouri State 2004-07 94.6
Derek Raivio Gonzaga 2004-07 92.7
Gary Buchanan Villanova 2000-03 91.3
J.J. Redick Duke 2003-06 91.2
Johnny Dee San Diego 2012-15 90.9
Fletcher Magee Wofford 2016- 90.8
A.J. Graves Butler 2005-08 90.0
Four McGlynn Vermont/Towson/R.I. 2011-16 90.0

Add it altogether, and Howard can make a claim as to being one of the most prolific scorers and shooters in the NCAA over the past 30-plus years. Not bad for a 5-foot-11 guard.