Markus Howard Isn’t Getting the Hype He Deserves
Markus Howard is one of the best players in college basketball this season. Howard is the first player in the last 20 years to have two 50-point games in a calendar year. He is an excellent player, and a really good, genuine dude. Why is there no attention towards Howard in the national media? College basketball podcasts paid attention. Same with after a big Marquette win, but the attention is nowhere near what Oklahoma’s Trae Young had last season. Why is that? Let’s dive into that a little bit because the answers are obvious and some things people will not think about.
1. The Zion Factor – Yeah, this is the biggest reason. Zion Williamson is the biggest college basketball athlete since Adam Morrison and J.J. Reddick. There have been some greats that have come through since Morrison and Redick, but Williamson passed through the college basketball world into the casual sports fandom. No matter how many threes Howard makes in a game, he will not be able to compete with Zion. Yes, he playing at Duke helps too.
2. ESPN doesn’t care about the Big East – Part of the reason why Young and Williamson receive so much attention is the mothership’s relationship with their conferences. ACC basketball is what the SEC football is for ESPN. Big 12 and ESPN run deep as well. The Big East does not have that same clout due to their relationship with FOX. Unfortunately for Howard and the Big East, Colin Cowherd and other major FOX personalities care mostly about football with a dash of the NBA and not giving one living shit about college basketball.
3. FOX Sports – We mentioned the personalities, but FOX Sports 1 is still a mystery to the casual fan. My dad probably knows what channel FS1 is now, but I’m sure it took him at least multiple years before he figured it out. If Howard is heating up this afternoon against Seton Hall, how many causal sports fans waiting for football will know where to go to watch the game? FS1 hurts the Big East in the national attention.
According to One Shining Podcast, Howard is 14-1 to win the Player of the Year with Zion at even money. There is probably no way Howard will take over that title from Zion unless he goes absolutely James Harden in conference play with Marquette being a top ten team.
Still, the ride is going to be super fun with Markus.