Last year only 40 players shot better than 44.5% on at least 100 attempts from beyond the arc -roughly 1% of all D1 players. So, it’s pretty remarkable that three of them were on the same team – Marquette.
It’s not a coincidence. It’s Wojo.
Marquette’s Markus Howard, Andrew Rowsey, and Sam Hauser became just the third trio in the last 20 years to reach this mark from 3. Largely due to their trio’s elite shooting from deep, Marquette led the nation in 3P% at 42.9%. This is a direct result of head coach Steve Wojciechowski’s strategy as he has made decisions in personnel management and game planning to ensure they will outshoot their opponents from 3.
This offensive foundation traces back to his time as assistant coach for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. In his last five seasons as assistant, they averaged 38.5% from 3 - fifth best over that time.
Wojo brought these principles with him to Marquette and he is seeing even more success from deep. Last season they led the nation from 3 and are on pace to be among the nation’s highest again this season.
All three shooters returned this season looking to build on last season’s success. Markus Howard alone shot a historic 55% from deep - the fourth highest rate in the last 20 years. Wojo puts Howard in a high percentage of ball screens to create space to get his shot off. He had the second highest efficiency in D1 when scoring off of a ball screen on at least 80 possessions.
His teammate, Andrew Rowsey, scores in similar ways and was almost as efficient scoring off of a ball screen finishing as the 13th most efficient player. Combined they shot an absurd 46% from 3 and 54% at the rim when attacking off of a ball screen.
Finally add in Sam Hauser, who, at 6’8”, creates mismatches with opposing bigs especially in transition, where he shot 61% from 3. Even though Marquette only gets out in transition at an average rate, they had the nation’s fifth highest efficiency in transition.
Eight games into this season the percentages are similar to last year - Howard, Rowsey, and Hauser are all shooting over 39% from deep. But Wojo has them shooting even more 3s than last season. They are taking 51% of their shots as 3s - fifth highest in D1.
With this increase in 3PA rate, ball screen usage, and transition efficiency the team is looking more and more like the collegiate version of the Houston Rockets or Golden State Warriors.
Wojo is ahead of the curve in college basketball and the results will follow. He is setting this team up to attract the best shooting recruits for many seasons to come. This is now the Land of the Three.