College basketball’s conference play is in full swing. The Big East is one of the most balanced conferences in the whole country.
The Marquette Golden Eagles picked up a road win in Providence Wednesday night. It proved to be a coming out party for their backcourt in a huge conference win in overtime.
Here’s a backcourt that many people around college basketball aren’t talking about. The Golden Eagles are 11-4 this season and lost to all three of its ranked opponents.
Andrew Rowsey and Markus Howard are two guards you may never have heard of. They are the two starting guards for the Marquette Golden Eagles.
They are both shooting over 46 percent from the field and over 40 percent from three. They are combining to score 44.6 points a game on a team that averages 83.5 points a game. In other words, the two combine for just over half the team’s points.
On Wednesday night, the two combined for 68 points of the team’s 95. Howard scored 52 by himself on 17-29 shooting. He shot 15-21 in the second half alone and carried the Golden Eagles to a win.
What Rowsey and Howard can both do is carry a team. By no means should the Golden Eagles have won Wednesday night. Howard and Rowsey made key plays to constantly keep their team afloat.
Rowsey has been Marquette’s most consistent player this season. He has constantly put on big performances in almost all games and has had his biggest performances in loses.
One of his best performances came in a loss against No. 6 Xavier where he had 31 points. He then followed that performance up by scoring 35 in a win against a young and talented Georgetown team.
He has scored under 20 just six times in 15 games this season. In those games, either Howard or Sam Hauser has scored over 25 points. Rowsey is the senior leader in the backcourt.
Haanif Cheatham has left the team, and Markus Howard is receiving some of those minutes. Since Cheatham has left the team, Howard has three games with over 30 points. He has nine games with 22 or more points this season and is shooting 40.3 percent from three.
He is a guy teams can’t lose in transition and someone who can both catch and shoot as well as bring the ball up and drive to the basket.
He is 45 for 45 from the free throw line this season and is proving that in clutch time, he is the go to guy for the Golden Eagles.
In an age where backcourts dictate success, the two stars for the Marquette backcourt can take the Golden Eagles as far as they want to.
Marquette’s Big East rank
Marquette is in the top tier of the Big East. Do they have enough fire power to compete with Xavier, Villanova or Seton Hall? Probably not. They very easily could finish as high as fourth in the Big East and could possibly fall as low as seventh.
They are an extremely talented team, but if one of their talented backcourt members doesn’t show up to play, they will struggle against good teams. The Golden Eagles will make the NCAA tournament and be a tough out come March.
Featured image from anonymouseagles.com.
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