All-American guard Markus Howard will return to Marquette for senior season
Markus Howard gave Marquette basketball fans some off-season news to cheer about Friday.
The guard announced on his Twitter page his intention to return to the Golden Eagles for his senior season.
The graphic on his tweet read "Dear Marquette: I'm back. Sincerely, Markus Howard."
In the text of his tweet, Howard also wrote "Unfinished Business. Looking forward to next season with this team."
The 5-foot-11 Howard is 30 points shy of Jerel McNeal's MU scoring record of 1,985 points.
The 20-year-old guard averaged 25 points per game this season and was a second-team All-American by the Associated Press.
Howard could have tested the NBA draft waters, but concerns about his size had most prognosticators pegging him as a mid-second round pick at best.
Instead, Howard will return to school and will be one of the early favorites for national player of the year. He is also a very involved student-athlete at MU, serving on the athletic advisory committees, advocating for mental health awareness and starting a Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter on campus.
The return of Howard sends expectations sky high for MU next season. The hype has already started, with the Golden Eagles consistently being ranked in the top 10 of most preseason top 25 polls. ESPN even has MU at No. 2 behind Michigan State.
MU will return its top seven scorers from a team that finished 24-10 and second in the Big East last season. The Golden Eagles stumbled down the stretch, losing six of their last seven games, including an 83-64 pasting by Murray State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Howard was banged up at the end of the season, bothered by a groin injury and a sprained wrist in the final seven games.
He was still the Big East player of the year, the first MU player to earn that honor since Jae Crowder in the 2011-'12 season.
Howard broke the single-season school scoring mark with 851 points. He had some transcendent performances, including a school-record 53 points in an overtime victory at Creighton in January. Howard also had a pair of 45-point performances, with 40 of his points against Buffalo coming in the second half.
Howard has been an elite offensive performer for the Golden Eagles since reclassifying as a recruit and coming to MU as a 17-year-old freshman for the 2016-'17 season.
He averaged 13.2 points per game his first season, leading the nation in three-point shooting at 54.7 percent.
Howard upped his scoring average to 20.4 as a sophomore, and he began to garner national attention for his exploits after scoring 52 points in an overtime victory at Providence.
But postseason success has eluded Howard during his three seasons at MU. The Golden Eagles are 0-2 in the NCAA Tournament in that stretch, also losing to South Carolina, 93-73, his freshman season. The Golden Eagles won two home games in the National Invitation Tournament in the 2017-'18 season.