By Jim Polzin
The Wisconsin State Journal
Sam and Joey Hauser made the shocking announcement Monday, April 15, that they are leaving Marquette.
Naturally, the University of Wisconsin men's basketball program quickly became one of the potential landing spots for the talented brothers from Stevens Point.
Whether the Hausers will end up in Madison remains to be seen. But UW almost certainly would have interest in both transfers, and it definitely has enough scholarships available to make it happen.
Wherever the siblings end up, it's a stunning blow to a Marquette program that was set to welcome back almost its entire roster from a team that won 24 games this past season.
When standout guard Markus Howard announced last week he was returning for his senior season instead of entering the NBA draft, Marquette was being projected as a potential preseason top-5 team in 2019-2020.
Now, the Golden Eagles will have to replace their second- and third-leading scorers.
Sam Hauser, a 6-foot-8 swingman, averaged 14.9 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds as a junior. He shot 40.2 percent from 3-point range.
Joey Hauser, a 6-9 freshman, averaged 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 42.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Neither sibling provided a specific reason for leaving the Golden Eagles.
"I want to thank Marquette University for the countless opportunities it has granted me over the past 3 years," Sam wrote in a note posted on Twitter. "... Marquette will always have a special place in my heart. But moving forward with my basketball career, I have made the decision to transfer."
Joey's comments had a similar vibe.
"This has been a difficult decision, but I have made the choice to transfer from Marquette and continue my college basketball career elsewhere," Joey wrote in his note on Twitter. "Thank you for everything Marquette."
Barring a waiver from the NCAA, both players would have to sit out next season. Sam Hauser has one season of eligibility remaining; Joey Hauser, who enrolled at Marquette a semester early as a high school senior, would have two seasons of eligibility remaining but could apply for a hardship waiver from the NCAA to gain an additional season.
Joey Hauser, a top-50 recruit, was one of UW's two primary targets in the 2018 recruiting class. The Badgers ended up going 0-for-2, with Hauser choosing Marquette and Whitnall guard Tyler Herro picking Kentucky after originally being committed to UW for 10 months.
UW didn't offer Sam Hauser a scholarship in the 2016 recruiting class, a cycle that was complicated by then-coach Bo Ryan announcing the 2015-16 season would be his final one in Madison.
Both players were teammates with Badgers walk-on guard Trevor Anderson at Stevens Point. Anderson, who will be a junior next season, was limited to eight games this past season due to a knee injury.
There's another significant connection to UW for Sam Hauser: His girlfriend, M.E. Dodge, is a member of the Badgers volleyball team.
One program UW could be competing with for the Hausers is reigning national champion Virginia. Both players had scholarship offers from Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett prior to choosing Marquette.
NOTES: Sam and Joey Hauser’s parents have ties to the Twin Ports. Their father, Dave, played collegiately with the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, while their mother, Stephanie (Fermanich), is a former UW-Superior Yellowjacket.