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Who is Marquette’s most beloved player post-Wade?

Gardner

Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches

Andy Katz posted his list of the 16 names you’ll be hearing about in March, and included Markus Howard, a returning All-American 2nd teamer, at No. 10.

But while the list itself is of very little value, Katz had already named Markus as the 2nd best player in NCAA basketball for next season, one line really piqued my interest.

“[Markus Howard will] go down as the most beloved Marquette player since Dwyane Wade.”

Now, it’s undoubtedly true that there is no correct way to measure “beloved-ness.” You can’t go by jersey sales like in the NBA and love isn’t measurable any real way. Does it mean favorite? Does it mean most liked?

But like the Supreme Court itself said of obscenities, you know it when you see it.

That being said, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Andy’s claim. Sure most Marquette fans love them some Markus, but there are a lot of other players that have played post-Wade and have brought plenty of joy (and Ws) to the MU faithful.

Not being content with just winging it, I decided to put out some feelers on Twitter and MU Scoop to see who would get the most love. With 87 people responding as of 3 p.m. Eastern Time, the results are fascinating.

As expected, Jae Crowder laps the field appearing on 58 ballots. But behind him came something of a cult classic. A player that was never a leading man but nevertheless had a legion of admirers. Davante Gardner came in second with 42 nominations.

After that was a bit of a  logjam with Jimmy Butler getting 38, Markus Howard 37 and Travis Diener 32.

Capture.JPG

After the top 5 there is another cluster, of the 3 Amigos and DJO, closely followed by Lazar Hayward and Steve Novak. You can sort of see the rest from there in the graph above.

However, I don’t think it’s fair to give equal weight to a 1st place vote as to a 5th place vote. So if we give 5 points for 1st, 4 for second and so on, we get similar, though not identical results.

Capture2.JPG

Here we see Diener catch up to Markus in point total because even though he was on 5 less ballots, he received 7 more fist place votes. We also see  the gap between Gardner and Butler expand a bit. The people love them some Big Sheesh.

Since I love me some tiers, I think I would have to tier them this way:

Tier 1: Crowder
Tier 2: Gardner, Butler
Tier 3: Howard, Diener
Tier 4: Matthews, James, Hayward, DJO, McNeal, Novak
Tier 5: Blue
Tier 6: Hauser, Heldt, Rowsey, Frozena
Tier 7: Cadougan, Otule
Tier 8: Everyone else

Some random thoughts:

  • I was shocked to see Diener so far ahead of Novak considering Novak’s NBA longevity and overall MU connections, but it probably helps that Diener was already on the coaching staff and is still being seen in the TBT tournament. Plus he’s a ridiculously likable guy.
  • I think if I ran this poll 2 years ago, Jimmy is neck and neck with Jae. His NBA antics have soured a lot of the MU fanbase.
  • The 3 Amigos probably would get more love if Twitter didn’t skew younger. Although the fact that they get lumped together (like I just did) probably doesn’t help matters.
  • I made the argument that had Vander come back for his senior year, he would have ended up in the Marquette pantheon. His game wasn’t always the easiest to digest, but his 2 shots to clinch a Big East title and then complete the comeback vs. Davidson carry so much weight. If he comes back and Marquette makes it to another Sweet 16, he would be the most successful MU player since the 70s.
  • We need a separate tier for the Heldts, Otules and Frozenas of MU. Their belovedness is 100% legit, but has 0% to do with basketball.
  •  Derrick Wilson receiving 3 times as many votes as Jamil Wilson is wild.

So getting back to Andy’s original claim, it will take some decent NCAA Tournament success for Markus Howard to reach Crowder’s status, but I think he’s actually much closer than I originally thought.

And in case you want to dig around the data yourself, have at it.

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2 Comments on “Who is Marquette’s most beloved player post-Wade?”

  1. John Benson
    August 2, 2019 at 6:04 pm #

    Markus Howard??? Fool’s gold. He’s the player who refuses to distribute the basketball, turns the ball over consistently during key moments of the game, and shares responsibility for the early departure of the Hauser brothers. MU fans “rejoice” that he’s returning for the upcoming season. He HAD to! No team In the NBA would have drafted him. Marquette would be stronger fundamentally without him. This choice shows just how far the MU program has fallen. Not only is it not elite— it’s virtually invisible. No top recruits (Harvard, not a perennial power, has more top 50 recruits than MU), a coach whose clueless, and a large segment of its fan base that confuses scoring with value. Ring out ahoya……..NOT!

    JB

  2. MuEyeballs
    August 4, 2019 at 11:36 am #

    Where would Sam have been had he stayed? That is where his move continues to break down. If MU makes a run with him…hell even if they don’t…you figure he would be able to sign some local endorsements for years to come?

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