Hauser belongs on an All-Big East team

Sam Hauser

(Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches)

The Big East has no shortage of fantastic players having outstanding seasons. Jalen Brunson, Trevon Bluiett, Mikal Bridges, Shamorie Ponds, Angel Delgado, Marcus Foster, Kelan Martin, etc… In fact, the conference has a legitimate case for getting two or three players on national All-America teams at the end of the season, with Jalen Brunson all but guaranteed a spot on that first team.

But even the second tier has a list 10 players deep of quality players that can make a case to be deserving. Both Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey can make a strong argument, with both being in the top-5 in terms of scoring, but the guard spots are just loaded, and depending on how much the coaches value defense, they will probably get shut out of either team. 

So I wanted to focus on Sam Hauser, someone who is being recognized more and more, but is still on the outside of most All-Big East team discussions, and may have a more friendly environment in terms of openings on the second team.   

I ran a quick search on to filter the Big East players getting at least 69% of minutes (to be able to get Ky Cartwright eligible) and 16% of possessions, to make sure they were at least role players, by KenPom’s definition.  That got us a list of 29 players, but included some clearly inferior players that do not merit a look but simply play a large role on shorthanded teams (Eli Cain, Tre’Darius McCallum, Bashir Ahmed, Marvin Clark and Justin Simon).

Cutting out those 5 leaves us with 24 players worth at least taking a cursory glance at. 

Jalen Brunson Markus Howard Khyri Thomas Paul Jorgensen
Sam Hauser Kelan Martin J.P. Macura Angel Delgado
Mikal Bridges Donte DiVincenzo Marcus Derrickson Kamar Baldwin
Trevon Bluiett Desi Rodriguez Max Strus Kyron Cartwright
Andrew Rowsey Myles Powell Jessie Govan Rodney Bullock
Shamorie Ponds Marcus Foster Khadeen Carrington Quentin Goodin

From this list I’ll make an executive decision to take out Goodin, Bullock, Powell, Baldwin and Jorgensen because they simply don’t have the stats to make a case at their respective position. So now we’re down to these 19.

Jalen Brunson Markus Howard J.P. Macura Kyron Cartwright
Sam Hauser Kelan Martin Marcus Derrickson  
Mikal Bridges Donte DiVincenzo Max Strus  
Trevon Bluiett Desi Rodriguez Jessie Govan  
Andrew Rowsey Marcus Foster Khadeen Carrington  
Shamorie Ponds Khyri Thomas Angel Delgado  

From here, I actually think the first team is pretty clear cut. 

First Team

Jalen Brunson

Trevon Bluiett

Marcus Foster

Kelan Martin

Mikal Bridges

Angel Delgado

There is a case to be made for Govan over Delgado, but I think the pretty double-double numbers and Delgado’s creation for others will set him apart. The other 5 are pretty much untouchable. 

Here’s who that leaves:

Sam Hauser Desi Rodriguez Jessie Govan
Andrew Rowsey Khyri Thomas Khadeen Carrington
Shamorie Ponds J.P. Macura Kyron Cartwright
Markus Howard Marcus Derrickson  
Donte DiVincenzo Max Strus  

If we sort them by their respective position, which isn’t necessarily a hard and fast rule we get the following, with players listed by my handicapped odds of making the second team.

Second Team

Shamorie Ponds/Kyron Cartwright/Andrew Rowsey/Carrington

Khyri Thomas//Markus Howard

Donte DiVincenzo/Desi Rodriguez/Max Strus

J.P. Macura/Sam Hauser/JMarcus Derrickson

Jessie Govan

(I think Govan, Khyri and Ponds are locks for this team, for what it’s worth.)

Looking at Sam’s competition, using the 3 and the 4 spot to be generous, here’s how they all stack up using some advanced statistics. 

Sam Hauser 27 80.5 5.6 133.4 18.3 65.4 67.2 4.5 18.4 16.2 11.7 1.7 1.9 16.1
Donte DiVincenzo 28 73.8 4.3 120.1 22.8 59.6 61.1 5 13.3 18.2 15.9 0.6 2.5 25.4
Desi Rodriguez 28 76.7 4.3 115.5 25 57.3 59.6 4 14.2 14.5 14.9 1.7 1.9 26.4
J.P. Macura 28 70 3.8 116.7 21.2 54.4 59.6 6 10.9 17.5 16.8 1.5 2.6 39.4
Marcus Derrickson 26 77.1 3.8 118.3 21.5 58.8 64.7 8.4 19.6 10.1 18.2 2.5 1.3 48.5
Max Strus 27 88.4 3.5 108.4 22.9 51.8 55.5 4.6 12.8 14.6 16.8 1.8 1.9 28.7

Sam is the fifth most efficient player in the country, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that he’s at the top of this list. And while his usage is the lowest of anyone on this list, it’s not low, per-se, and is within 3 or 4 percentage points of the rest of the competition. He’s the best shooter by far, plays the second most minutes, is the second-best rebounder and has defense that is rated positively by metrics like DWin Shares and DBox Plus/Minus. 

J.P. Macura will probably get heaviest consideration because it’s tough to have the No. 1 or 2 team in the conference have only 1 representative on these teams. That will also hurt Marcus Derrickson, because despite having a breakout year, it will be difficult to have a team like Georgetown have 2 players on the All-Big East team while finishing in the bottom third of the conference. Strus might be hampered here as well, as DePaul will own sole possession of last place. That doesn’t mean they can’t have a player, but the stats really have to pop out, and I don’t think they do. 

Desi has been great once again, but his stats are worse than DiVincenzo’s almost across the board. Yes Desi has a higher usage, and yes, Nova already has 2 players on the first team, but Donte was crucial to Nova’s success, particularly when Phil Booth went down for an extended period of time. 

So that gives us Donte at the 3 and J.P. at the 4. Personally, I think Hauser has been head and shoulders better than Macura from a stats perspective, but it’s just so difficult to overcome the stature that comes with being a 4-year senior helping to lead a top-10 team. 

It won’t matter that Hauser measures as J.P.’s equal in defensive ratings like DBPM or DWS. It won’t matter that Hauser averages more points and rebounds in basic box score stats, or has .1 less assists per game. It definitely won’t matter that Hauser creates 2 more points than a hypothetical replacement player than J.P. does. 

But make no bones about it, Sam Hauser has been one of the best 11 players in the Big East this season. He’s putting up efficiency numbers reserved for low usage big men who don’t take any shouts outside of the paint, yet he’s doing it while shooting over 150 3s. It has been nothing short of amazing, and deserves a spot on that 2nd team All-Big East squad.

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