Markus Howard is absolutely ridiculous

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Markus Howard is college basketball’s best bucket getter. Creighton found that out the hard way on Wednesday.

Marquette’s star point guard went off for 53 points, draining 10 three-pointers and adding six assists in a 106-104 overtime win against the Bluejays. You can watch every bucket here:

Howard finished 15-of-26 shooting from the field, 10-of-13 from three, and 13-of-15 from the foul line. He also turned the ball over nine times, but he was so brilliant otherwise that no one is going to remember that.

Howard has spent three years proving he’s one of the most intimidating players in the sport despite standing only 5’11. Consider the following after his latest scoring explosion:

  • He has already dropped 45 points in two other games this season, first against (then No. 12) Kansas State on Dec. 1 and then vs. (then No. 14) Buffalo on Dec. 21
  • This isn’t his first 50-point game. Howard scored 52 points in a win against Providence last year
  • He’s now the only D1 player in the last 20 years to have multiple 50-point games
  • This is a Big East single-game record … breaking the record Howard set last year
  • Howard now has the four (4!) best scoring games in Marquette history
  • His 10 three-pointers were not a career-high. He hit 11 in a game twice last season
  • Oh yeah: he scored 14 points in the five-minute overtime period to carry Marquette to the conference win against Creighton

Here’s a look at his shooting chart:

Maybe the wildest fact of all: Howard is a junior, but he’s actually six months younger than last season’s freshman star Trae Young. And like Young, Howard’s genius begins with absolutely deadly shooting ability from three-point range.

The secret to Howard’s success isn’t just three-point accuracy. It’s also volume.

Howard burst onto the national scene as a 17-year-old freshman who hit 54.7 percent of his threes on 4.8 attempts per game. Since then, he’s been majorly upping his volume while continuing to shoot with impressive accuracy.

Howard broke out as a sophomore by averaging 20.4 points per game, attempting 8.1 threes per night and making 40.4 percent of them. Coming into the game against Creighton, he was taking 9.1 threes this season and making 41.9 percent of them. He’s also averaging a career-high 4.2 assists per game.

When you factor in that he’s money from the foul line — over 90 percent for his three-year career — there’s no denying that Howard is the sport’s greatest shooter. If he keeps it up, he might even make a serious run at national player of the year.

We need to see Howard is March

Marquette is now 13-3 and 2-1 in the Big East. The Golden Eagles missed the NCAA tournament last season, done in by a dreadful defense that ranked No. 182 in the country in efficiency.

The defense is significantly better this season, entering the game against Creighton at No. 52 according to KenPom. Marquette’s offense isn’t quite as great as it was last year just yet (falling from No. 12 to No. 32), but this is a more balanced team that feels better prepared to string together the necessary amount of conference victories to get an at-large bid.

The Golden Eagles picked up a huge resume-builder on Wednesday. They can thank Markus Howard for that.

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