#49 Marquette Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Marquette Golden Eagles
2017-2018 Overall Rank: #49
Conference Rank: #7 Big East
Marquette Logo
Marquette made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament under Steve Wojciechowski in 2017. The Golden Eagles won ten Big East games behind one of the top offenses in the nation. This season, Marquette will be without three double-digit scorers from last year’s squad. The Golden Eagles will add some talented players, but there’s a lot of lost production to be replaced. Repeating their success from a year ago won’t be easy, but if their offense stays efficient, they could be on their way to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
2016-17 Record: 19-13, 10-8
2016-17 Postseason:
NCAA Tournament
Steve Wojciechowski
Coach Record:
52-45 at Marquette, 52-45 overall
Who’s Out:
The Golden Eagles enter the season without three of their top five scorers from a year ago. Seniors JaJuan Johnson, Luke Fischer and Katin Reinhardt have all graduated after each averaged double-digit scoring last season. Johnson played four years at Marquette, improving each season on his way to averaging 12.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a senior. Johnson led the team in assists and steals. Fischer averaged 10.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game as a senior. Fischer graduated as the second player in school history with 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds and 150 blocks. Reinhardt played just one season at Marquette as a grad transfer, averaging 10.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Duane Wilson decided to transfer elsewhere for his senior season. Wilson’s playing time was nearly cut in half last year, and he scored just 4.8 points per game after averaging 11+ per game in his first two seasons.
Who’s In:
Harry Froling, a 6-11 sophomore transfer from SMU, will become eligible for the Golden Eagles after the 2017 fall semester. Froling left SMU in December 2016 after he was disappointed in his role in the offense. Froling, a former four-star recruit, averaged 4.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game. Wojciechowski added four new freshmen to his team this offseason. Jamal Cain is a three-star 6-7 forward who averaged a double-double in high school. Cain could be viewed as a potential long-term JaJuan Johnson replacement. Theo John and Ike Eke are both three-star 6-9 forwards who could replace Fischer’s presence in the post. Greg Elliott is a three-star guard who can become a scoring threat in the future. Marquette will also get sophomore guard Sacar Anim back after he redshirted last season. Anim appeared in 17 games as a freshman and sat out last year in an attempt to further develop his game.
Who to Watch:
Marquette will get back four players who played 25+ minutes per game last season, including two of their top three scorers. Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey are electric scoring guards who each averaged double-digit scoring last year. Howard made the Big East All-Freshman Team behind a team-high 13.2 points per game. Howard led the entire nation in three-point percentage at 54.7%. Rowsey won Big East Sixth Man of the Year with 11.6 points and 2.3 assists per game. Rowsey is a pure shooter, hitting 44.7% from three and leading the conference with a 92.6% mark from the free-throw line. Haanif Cheatham had a setback from his impressive freshman campaign, averaging 8.7 points as a sophomore. Cheatham still contributed on defense and with his passing despite his scoring production dropping off. Cheatham will be expected to play more like he did as a freshman, when he averaged 11.8 points per game. Sam Hauser impressed as a true freshman, starting 28 games and leading the team in minutes played. Hauser averaged 8.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and shot 45.3% from behind the arc. Hauser should see an even bigger role as a sophomore. Matt Heldt should also see more playing time down low with his 6-10 size. Heldt played just 13.1 minutes per game last season, but he will replace some of Fischer’s minutes at center this year.
Final Projection:
Marquette relied on their offense last season to carry them to an NCAA Tournament appearance, but they will be without some key pieces this year. Three seniors have departed and replacing their production and leadership will not be easy. Luckily, the Golden Eagles will get back their talented scoring backcourt of Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey. Marquette will need Haanif Cheatham and Sam Hauser to step up their scoring production to stay on pace with last season’s squad. The Golden Eagles struggled on defense, so it will be important for the offense to keep up to stay competitive in the Big East. If the offense misses a beat, Marquette will have a hard time getting back to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Markus Howard, Sophomore, Guard, 13.2 points per game

Andrew Rowsey, Senior, Guard, 11.6 points per game
Haanif Cheatham, Junior, Guard, 8.7 points per game
Sam Hauser, Sophomore, Forward, 8.8 points per game
Matt Heldt, Junior, Center, 2.3 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.2 (17th in nation, 1st in conference)

Scoring Defense: 75.5 (255, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.7 (15, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.9 (270, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.5 (5, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 42.9 (1, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 78.1 (6, 2)
Rebound Margin: 1.6 (133, 8)
Assists Per Game: 16.4 (20, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (110, 3)
Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#120 Jamal Cain