Marquette received a commitment from consensus top-35 guard Markus Howard on Sunday, bolstering a backcourt that has left questions at times. In addition to committing, Howard made it known that he will reclassify to 2016 and be on campus this year for his freshman season. Howard chose Marquette over Baylor, Indiana, Arizona State and Central Arkansas.
Though he his listed as a point guard in most recruiting sites, he played a lot of his final high school season off the ball, where he displayed tremendous shooting acumen.
“[Howard] can get buckets near the rim, beyond the three-point arc and pretty much everywhere in between,” Sports Illustrated’s Chris Johnson noted earlier this year. “He’s adept at keeping defenders off balance with clever dribbles, charging into the lane and pulling up over defenders for jump shots.”
With Traci Carter established at the point, Howard projects to be a backup point guard and shooting guard along with Andrew Rowsey. Depending on how the transfer market shakes out, Marquette will be playing with a lot of four guard sets, unclogging what projects to be a minutes glut at the off guard spot.
Howard was initially committed to Arizona State, but backed out after the Sun Devils parted ways with coach Herb Sendek. His lead recruiter there was Stan Johnson, who Marquette picked up last offseason. Johnson was also the lead recruiter on Brendan Bailey, a fellow 2016 commit who will not see the court until 2018 when he completes his mission.
With Henry Ellenson close to declaring for the NBA, Marquette will have one more scholarship remaining for next season, barring any transfers.
Recruiting rankings aren’t an exact science, and don’t tell the full story, but depending on where he is slotted after reclassifying, Howard will be the highest rated point guard recruit since Dominic James, who was RSCI of 36:
247 Sports — 25
ESPN — 32
Scout — 50
Rivals — 40