2017 Howard makes early commitment

Markus Howard, a four-star 2017 point guard, committed to Herb Sendek and his staff on Wednesday.

Markus Howard is only a 2017 prospect, but the Gilbert (Ariz.) Perry standout wanted to go ahead and get his college decision out of the way.

On Wednesday, Howard, a 5-foot-10 point guard, committed to Herb Sendek and Arizona State.

“I just had to a great connection with the coaching staff,” Howard told Scout.com. “They’ve been on me since the 7th or 8th grade. They’ve been on me for a while and they’ve always been there. I have a great respect for them.”

Howard, who is rated as the No. 5 point guard in the 2017 class, also had interest from UCLA, Oregon, Gonzaga, UNLV, San Diego State, Florida, Kansas and Arizona.

“I just feel so comfortable with the coaching staff,” Howard said. “I know they have my back. I just thought why not? It’s a great position to be in. I’m a local hometown guy. Just the style of play fits me perfectly. At ASU, they play fast and uptempo. That made me want to make my decision early.”

Playing close to home also factored into Howard’s decision making.

“I just want to make a difference in Arizona basketball,” Howard said. “I want people to know what we got in Arizona and we shouldn’t be overlooked. I just gravitated to the ASU program.”

Arizona State clearly jumped on Howard early and he built a strong bond with Sendek.

“That’s my man,” Howard said. “The past couple of years we’ve had a great relationship. There’s been a lot of discussion about basketball and life. I feel comfortable around him. I think he’s part of my second family. We can talk about anything.”

A four-star prospect, Howard is Arizona State’s first verbal commitment of the 2017 class.

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