The guard position group at Marquette is the most experienced bunch returning for Coach Wojciechowski in his fourth season at Marquette. Will the nation’s leader in 3PT shooting Markus Howard be able to have a similar season in his sophomore year with more talent seasoned talent around him? Check out the player-by-player evaluations of the the Golden Eagles guard group ahead of the 2017-18 season.

#0 Markus Howard (Sophomore) 

2016-17 Statistics @ Marquette:

13.2 (PPG) / 2.2 (APG) / 2.2 (RPG) / 54.7 (3PT%) / 31 GP / 22 MPG

Markus Howard arrived in Milwaukee last season as the 44th ranked player in the country by 24/7 Sports, a huge get for Coach Wojciechowski, who is now in his fourth year at Marquette. Howard gives Coach Woj a bulldog point guard that has shown he isn’t afraid to take or make the big shot. Markus reminds me a lot of a player that shares the same number as him, Russell Westbrook. The similarities are apparent when Howard displays his relentlessness when attacking the basket. Not big by any standards, Markus exploits his low center of gravity and patience when driving to the basket with a creative finishing package with either hand. His ability to drive to the basket is a fantastic compliment for his elite three-point shot, which led him to be the NCAA’s leader in 3 point percentage. The goal for Howard this season, now that he is a year older and has talent around him all recruited for Woj’s system, is to use his elite skill-set to consistently get wins. It is apparent that defense is something that needs to be more of a concern collectively for Marquette’s young roster as they are being seasoned to make a run towards the Big East championship.

#30 Andrew Rowsey (Redshirt Senior)

2016-17 Statistics @ Marquette:

11.6 (PPG) / 2.2 (APG) / 1.8 (RPG) / 44.7 (3PT%) / 32 GP / 20.8 MPG

Andrew Rowsey, in his first year since transferring from UNC-Asheville, was the 2016-17 Big East Sixth Man of the Year thus giving Woj’s second unit a proven scorer and someone he could use in late game scenarios when he needed quick buckets. Rowsey, similar to Howard is 5’11, but is very crafty when attacking the basket using defense’s decision to run him off the three-point line to finish and create open shots for Marquette bigs.  Previously used as the starting PG at Asheville, Rowsey showed his veteran leadership last season by using spacing and resilience to come off the bench in a SG capacity.  He brought the ball up the court in transition to score by decisive cuts or pull up three’s. Andrew, being the only senior on the team, needs to carry more of the load on his shoulders. With yet another talented recruiting class coming in for Marquette, Rowsey needs to continue to lead by example by hitting down shots consistently while playing inside the offensive scheme. I would like to see Woj implement Rowsey more in a three-guard set near the end of games.

#25 Haanif Cheatham (Junior)

2016-17 Statistics @ Marquette:

8.7 (PPG) / 2.2 (APG) / 3.8 (RPG) / 45.8 (FG%) / 32 GP/ 25.4 MPG

Haanif Cheatham the southpaw Junior, came into his own last year and proved that his skill-set will prove to be a mainstay in the starting lineup for the next two years. Cheatham provides length for the guard position at 6’5 which allows him to guard PG, SG, and SF. Cheatham is a scorer at heart, who thrives in the half court using his size to body up smaller guards and finish through contact. He isn’t a great shooter from the outside, but when he rotates to the corner he is capable to knock it down at a reasonable rate. Even though he isn’t a proficient shooter, his slashing ability is good compliment to the other members of the backcourt that are better shooters. Cheatham can take the next step if he limits his mistakes while trying to be creative offensively.

#5 Greg Elliot (Freshman) 

2016-17 Statistics @ East English Village Prep:

28.0 (PPG) / 4.0 (APG) / 9.0 (RPG) / 2.0 (SPG) / 52.0% (FG%)\

Greg Elliot was relatively unknown on the national circuit before growing three inches and having a breakout season for East English in Michigan thus making him a top 5 finisher for Michigan’s Mr. Basketball award. Elliot chose Marquette over a scholarship offer from Tom Izzo’s Michigan State. Elliot’s skill set leads the next wave of scoring to Marquette as he can fill it up quickly and will let you know how when he does it. He is an exciting, emotional player that wears his heart on his sleeve and loves the game. When watching film of him in his senior season at East English, it is apparent that he has feel for the game and understands the basic concepts of spacing and pick-n-roll basketball. Woj used Elliot off the bench in the two exhibition contests vs. Mid-Major’s for 19+ minutes in each contest. It appears that there is an immediate opportunity for Elliot to contribute off the bench and it will be up to himself to prove that he’s ready to fill the role as a freshman.

 Walk On:

#52 Cam Marotta (Junior)

 2017-18 Outlook 

This will be a telling season for Coach Woj’s group of guards as all four scholarship guards are going to be expected to contribute in a certain capacity for the team. The Golden Eagles key to success this season is consistent and well-rounded guard play. There is no question that this group can score the ball, but I think with expectations that Sam Hauser will be the top scorer, there needs to be a consistent effort to take a good shot and turn it into a great shot. The two guard positions to start the season will most likely be taken by Markus Howard and Haanif Cheatham allowing Howard to control the pace and scoring, while Cheatham scores opportunistically and locks down the opponent’s top scoring guard. This will also allow Rowsey to come off the bench giving instant offense and leadership at a moment’s notice when things aren’t going the Golden Eagles’ way. There could be late game scenarios this season where Woj will trust the experience and scoring ability of these three guards to will the team to late victories. As I stated before, I believe there is an opportunity for Greg Elliot to make an impact early, he definitely has the skill set to contribute, but it will take time for him to feel fully comfortable at the High Major D1 level.

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