Leading up the season we are doing a countdown of the Top 100 players in college basketball. These rankings are based on a poll made up of 14 CPP writers. These writers span from UCLA to Seton Hall so there is very little bias. Each day we will release the latest player on our ranking with a small write-up. Be sure to check out the rest of the Top 100 articles!
2016-2017 Stats: 13.2 ppg, 54.7 3PT%, 2.3 apg
Why They Are Here
The diminutive Howard led the country in 3-point percentage as a freshman, shooting a ridiculous 54.7% from behind the arc. Playing more of a shooting guard role in the Golden Eagles’ offense due to his accuracy, Howard was Marquette’s go-to shooter on a team that led the country in 3-point shooting. The three never became his crutch, though. Howard developed a consistent pull-up and floater that allowed him to be effective in the mid-range as well, becoming a go-to scorer for his team before he even turned 18. Scorer was mostly Howard’s role all year, as his toughness inside was usually outweighed by his lack of size, and running the offense was, at times, not a strength. But because of Marquette’s plethora of guards, Howard was easily able to find a role in which he literally became the best in the country.
Role on This Year’s Team
I don’t expect Howard’s ridiculous numbers to continue. He’ll still be a lights-out shooter, but he’ll also need to work on his ability to run the offense. Marquette’s problem is that it’s two most dependable guards are less than six feet tall (Howard and senior Andrew Rowsey). Rowsey is slightly more adept at moving the ball, but it’s a defensive liability to play both at the same time, so Howard will have to be a dependable ball handler when Rowsey is taking a breather. The skills are there. He showed them in flashes last season. But he’ll likely be a four-year player at Marquette, and if his play-making skills develop, he will be a force to be reckoned with.
College Season/NBA Prospects
Like I just mentioned, Howard will probably stay at Marquette for the entirety of his eligibility. Because he’s so short and not very strong, it’s tough to see him being a sure draft pick, much less an early one. However, he has time to develop other aspects of his game, and his toughness is remarkable, so in a league where shooting is key, Howard may be able to develop into a viable NBA player. It’ll be a tall task, though.
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Top 100 player.
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