Markus Howard has turned heads.
Markus Howard has turned heads in his Euroleague debut season with accurate, efficient shot selection and the ability to score consistently, irrespective of opposing defensive schemes.
The 5 ́11 PG from Morristown, New Jersey, has quickly adapted to playing in the best league in Europe and paced a surprising Baskonia squad to a 1st place tie in the Euroleague through their first 17 games (11-6 start), eventually finishing 9th and 1 game away from the Playoffs.
So, how did Howard’s ascendance happen so fast?
Let’s start with his college days –> In 4Yrs at Marquette, his highlights include:
- 128 GP (121 starts); 21.6 PTs, 3.1 ASTs, 3.2 REBs per game
- Ranked 22nd all-time in points with 2,761; right behind J.J. Redick (2,769)
- 50 PTs on three different occasions, and >40 points another four times
- Big East Player of the Year, 2018-19
Although undrafted in 2020, Howard played in 68 regular season games for the Denver Nuggets, averaging 3.4 PTs/5.6 MPG before signing with Liga ACB’s Baskonia in 2022.
What specifically made Howard’s first season in Europe so impressive?
- Offensive consistency – great shooting and scoring
- A tremendous off-the-dribble shooter who was also very good coming off screens, hand-offs, or in spot-up situations
- Impressive ball handling – allowed him to get his shot against anyone, in almost any situation
- With his strong base, he could pull up in pick and rolls, off the dribble, and in transition (with deep range)
- Elite shooting mechanics – he possesess a quick release, even when slightly off balance
- He has shown the ability to rise for 3-pointers (without hesitation) if given too much room
- Outstanding quickness – a constant threat, with the ability to drive into the heart of the defense at any point
- Very difficult to contest his shots, and drove by defenders that were too close
What do the numbers say?
- Howard led the Euroleague in 3PT makes per game (2.7) while playing the 4th lowest amount of minutes per game for any player in the top 10 in 3PM (20:31 min/game)
- Howard shot a respectable 36.5% from the 3pt line (keeping in mind the volume of shots)
- In the Euroleague, he finished 1st in field goal attempts (7.3)
- In terms of overall scoring, Howard’s 14.2 PPG ranked 12th in the Euroleague (playing the least amount of minutes for any of the top 10 scorers)
In Europe, Howard has become a specialist as his game has matured since college:
In the final 2 years at Marquette: 1,161 shots, 592 were 3s (50.9% of all shots)
This season in the Euroleague: 380 shots, 241 were 3s (63.4% of all shots)
Heat Check: Howard ́s fast-paced game and shooting ability have allowed him to adapt very quickly to Europe.
- His deep range and 1-1 scoring skills made him one of the toughest defensive matchups in the Euroleague
- Despite only starting 16/33 games, coming off the bench allowed Baskonia to run everything through him
- He became the premier 6th man, with scoring responsibilities and plays called for him
- Think of Howard as a Euroleague version of Manu Ginobili, Jamal Crawford, or Lou Williams