By: Ralph Amsden
Perry sophomore Markus Howard gave Arizona State University his verbal commitment to play basketball on Wednesday, with three seasons of high school eligibility left. The news was reported on Twitter by various outlets, including ASUDevils.com’s Chris Karpman, and we were able to confirm with the Howard family via text message before Markus tweeted the news out to all his followers.
— Markus Howard (@markushoward11) August 28, 2014
Howard goes from a freshman who averaged 23 points per game and holding a co-leader role with older brother Jordan (now at Central Arkansas), to the unquestioned sophomore leader of the Perry Pumas, and the first commit 2017, a class that includes Alex Barcello of Corona and Marcus Shaver of St. Mary’s, and is considered to be the best recruiting class of guards Arizona has ever seen.
Howard, who is 5’10” and a proven scorer, will likely use the next three years to attempt to develop into a true point guard. Passing and court vision aren’t considered to be weaknesses for Howard, but rather areas not yet caught up to to his shooting ability. Howard joined the prestigious 50/40/90 club as a freshman, one of only two of the top 150 scorers in the nation to shoot 50% form the field, 40% from three-point range and 90% from the free throw line. Howard’s 736 points as a freshman makes it feasible that he could also approach Mike Bibby Sr’s career points record of 3002 by the time he graduates from Perry.
Howard is not the only local athlete to make a high profile commitment as a sophomore. Hamilton football’s Casey Tucker committed to play for USC before ultimately reopening his commitment as a senior and choosing Stanford.