Milwaukee, WI – Marquette welcomed Presbyterian to the Fiserv Forum on Saturday afternoon hoping to get well after suffering through a lopsided mid-week loss to Indiana when the Hoosiers outplayed the Golden Eagles from tipoff to buzzer. But as the game wound its way into the middle minutes of the second half, Presbyterian held a 43-37 lead and the sluggish Golden Eagles looked to be in trouble. “There was enormous game pressure, we were down five, down six in the second half and I felt like at that point Presbyterian thought they could win the game,” said Marquette Coach Steve Wojciechowski.
After turning the ball over at a high rate and misfiring on an unusually high number of three-point shots in the first 25 minutes of the game, the Golden Eagles rallied. Led by fifth-year senior Joseph Chartouny, a transfer from Fordham playing his fourth game in a Marquette uniform, Marquette went on a 37-12 run over the last 12 minutes of the game to pull out a 74-55 victory and improve its record to 3-1. Presbyterian, located in Conway, South Carolina and member of the Big South Conference, fell to 3-2.
A three-year starter at Fordham, Chartouny has been playing off the Marquette bench in the early stages of the season. Bringing with him to Marquette a reputation as a pass-first lead guard, Chartouny has struggled with turnovers and actually entered the Presbyterian game with more giveaways than assists. But he was solid in seven first-half minutes on Saturday, finishing the opening half with a plus-minus figure of ten, tops among all Marquette players. With his team in need of a second-half spark, Chartouny raised his game to another level in leading the Golden Eagles to victory.
Solidly built at 6-3 with long arms, Chartouny is a willing and accurate passer with good vision to make the advance pass in transition and find open teammates in half-court offense. He lacks the athleticism to blow by most defenders, but uses understanding of angles, ball and shot fakes and attacking closeouts to compensate for below average quickness off the dribble to get into the paint. With a solid stroke from distance and the instincts to penetrate, Chartouny is a two-level scorer who averaged in double figures at Fordham and found his scoring groove in the second half on Saturday. After misfiring on all his first four shots from distance this season prior to the Presbyterian game, Chartouny knocked down three of four shots from behind the arc on the way to scoring 16 much needed Marquette points against the Blue Hose.
“You never know on a given night who is going to be the guy to step up and be the spark plug or catalyst for us,” said Wojciechowski. “Tonight that was Joseph. I thought Joseph’s play was outstanding. A lot of people are going to point to his shot. I just think his poise and his presence really settled our team down.”
Asked after the game if he thought one of his three-point makes, all coming in the second half, turned the game in Marquette’s favor, Chartouny joked, “Which three-pointer are you talking about?” He went on to say that “when you see the ball go in, you feel good, but you can’t just rely on scoring to get yourself going. Getting guys involved gets other things going for me. I knew my shot was going to come around. I just stayed with it and kept working hard in the gym.”
Chartouny is the third graduate transfer Wojciechowski has brought into the Marquette program in his five years at the helm. Inheriting the job in 2014 and finding the cupboard mostly devoid of high level division one players, he recruited Matt Carlino from BYU to play his final season in Milwaukee. Looking for a wing shooter for the 2016-17 season, he again looked westward and convinced Katin Reinhardt to leave USC for one final season with the Golden Eagles. Both players ended their collegiate careers in high style with Marquette. Carlino led the Golden Eagles in scoring and Reinhardt helped Marquette to an NCAA tournament bid.
“I don’t think people appreciate for any transfer, but especially for grad transfers, it takes time for them to get their footing,” said Wojciechowski. We’ve had two really good grad transfers here in Matt Carlino and Katin Reinhardt. If you recall, the first month or so of their seasons, they had their struggles, but ended up being real good players for us. Joseph is still trying to find his way and that’s normal. But I think today was a real positive step in that direction.”
Triggering Marquette’s second half rally that began with the Blue Hose holding a 40-35 lead, Chartouny scored in the paint, scored from distance and assisted on three-point makes by teammates Markus Howard and Joey Hauser all in a three-minute span that lifted Marquette to a 46-43 advantage that it would never relinquish. “That was a pretty good spurt,” said Cartouny. “Down five with no momentum. It just shows how resilient this group is.”
Looking to shake up his starting line-up after the loss at Indiana, Wojciechowski inserted sophomore Jamal Cain and freshman Joey Hauser, both of whom showed flashes of promises against the Hoosiers, into the Marquette starting group. Cain, a bouncy 6-7 wing who plays above the rim, also shot over 48 percent from distance in his freshman season. He misfired on all five of his shot attempts, four from behind the arc, on Saturday and went scoreless in his first career start.
But things went much better for Joey Hauser, also making his first career start. A 6-9 freshman and brother of Marquette junior Sam Hauser, Joey continued his strong early season play by filling the stat sheet with 13 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. Joey has range from behind the arc, a feel for spreading bigs often assigned to defend him and instincts to score at the rim. Like with Sam, Joey’s athleticism plays better above the waist than below it. A proven stat-stuffer in his own right, Sam touched the game in a number of areas scoring a team-high 19 points, collecting a team-high 10 rebounds, assisting on two baskets and contributing one block and one steal. Wojciechowski had a one-word answer when asked if he likes playing the Hauser brothers together. “Yea,” he said, through a smile. “They’re both really good players and obviously they’ve played together a lot. Joey scored 13 points and had eight rebounds; that’s pretty good for a freshman. When they’re on the floor together, we’re a better team.”
Stopping in Milwaukee to play Marquette before continuing west to Los Angeles for a November 19 game with UCLA, Presbyterian felt right at home playing in the recently opened Fiserv Forum, an arena Marquette shares with the Milwaukee Bucks. Led by two three-point baskets each from junior JC Younger and freshman Adam Flagler, Presbyterian entered the locker-room tied with Marquette at 26. The Blue Hose forced Marquette into eight first-half turnovers by being active in passing lanes and deflecting numerous Marquette passing attempts.
Continuing its strong play in the early minutes of the second half, the Blue Hose passed Marquette and grew their lead to six at the 12:44 mark. But with a line-up of the Hauser brothers, Chartouny, center Theo John and guard Howard, Marquette staged its comeback. “This was a great win for our team,” said Wojciechowski. “There was a lot of pressure on our guys and our guys responded, so I’m really proud of them.”
Marquette steps way up in competition on November 21 when it travels to Brooklyn, New York to square off against Kansas in the 2K Classic. Any hopes of Marquette pulling off an upset against the Jayhawks, ranked first in the country in one major poll and second in the other, will ride in large degree on its ability to protect the basketball. Turnovers have plagued Marquette in all of its first four games. Against the Blue Hose, Marquette turned it over 16 times, pretty much its per game average after four games. “Turnovers. The biggest problem for us right now offensively is our care for the ball,” said Wojciechowski. “We’ve really got to shore up that area because that puts our defense in harm’s way.”
Marquette remains in Brooklyn over Thanksgiving and plays either Tennessee or Louisville on November 23. After its date with UCLA, Presbyterian returns home to host St. Francis Brooklyn on November 28.
This article was written by Tom Osowski, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can follow us on Facebook, or on twitter. We are looking for those interested in our basketball scout apprenticeship program. For information contact us and forward your resume.