Howard passes Lawrence Moten as BIG EAST all-time scoring leader

Markus+Howard+poses+with+head+coach+Steve+Wojciechowski+%28left%29+and+Lawrence+Moten+%28right%29+after+receiving+the+game+ball+from+Moten.

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Markus Howard poses with head coach Steve Wojciechowski (left) and Lawrence Moten (right) after receiving the game ball from Moten.

Senior guard Markus Howard reached yet another career milestone Feb. 12 at Villanova, becoming the BIG EAST’s all-time leading scorer in league games.

Following a 38-point performance at Providence Saturday, the Chandler, Arizona, native now owns 1,459 points in conference play over his four seasons. That is the most in the 40-year history of the BIG EAST.

After hitting a buzzer 3-pointer Feb. 12, Howard passed Lawrence Moten, the former record holder. Moten, a Syracuse guard from 1991-95, finished his career with 1,405 points in BIG EAST games. Moten went on to be selected 36th overall in the 1995 NBA Draft and played two seasons with the Vancouver Grizzlies before moving to the Washington Wizards for the 1997-98 season.

“It’s a blessing. Records are made to be broken,” Moten said prior to Marquette’s loss to Creighton Feb. 18. “Twenty-five years is a good run, half of my lifetime. Like I told Markus, you know, I passed the torch to him as far as him being the all-time leading scorer now. I’ll keep the BIG EAST record for the 80s, 90s and 2000s.”

Howard is also the nation’s leading scorer this season, and his 2,633 points ranks him as Marquette basketball’s No. 1 scorer.

The 5-foot-11 guard is an All-American and national player of the year candidate and a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, Wooden Award and Senior CLASS Award. He was the 72nd player in NCAA history to reach 2,500 career points, and has scored at least 30 points 11 times this season and six times in BIG EAST play.

“Kind of reminds me of a Kemba Walker type of player — scoring point guard,” Moten said. “Seems like a great teammate. I got a chance to meet him earlier. Seems like a very good person also.”

Before Marquette’s game against Creighton at Fiserv Forum Feb. 18, Moten awarded Howard the game ball for becoming the BIG EAST’s top scorer through league play.

“I had said, ‘You know what, if he breaks this record, I want to be there to give him the game ball,’ never really thinking that it would happen,” Moten said.

Current men’s basketball assistant coach Jake Presutti was a walk-on player at Syracuse. He contacted Mike Waters, the Syracuse beat reporter, to try and get Moten to Milwaukee.

“Things worked out the way they did and I’m here to pass on the torch,” Moten said.

The Syracuse alumnus was able to talk to the senior prior to that game. Howard went on to score 13 points against the Bluejays.

“We just talked about life,” Moten said. “I had mentioned to him: Stay hungry, stay focused. Keep hitting buckets, keep doing what you’re doing.”

Moten said Howard possesses the same inner drive that pushed himself to reach greater heights when he played.

“Definitely takes a lot of hard work and dedication,” Moten said. “I saw Markus play in the past. … I was sort of the same way — I shake your hand and I want to see you do well, but once I stepped on that court, I was a killer and I felt like I didn’t know you.”

Moten, who received a degree in education, moved back to Syracuse a year ago and founded a mentoring program called the Promise Zone.

There was one piece of advice Moten wanted to resonate with Howard most.

“I think he has the NBA potential, but at the same time understand you don’t have to be in the NBA to get paid,” Moten said.