#1 - And The Hausers Shall Lead Us
It’s not a massive surprise to anyone in the college basketball universe as to the talents of Sam and Joey Hauser. Markus Howard deservedly gets a lot of the headlines for Marquette basketball this season, but at the end of the day, it’s probably the contributions of the Hauser boys that will determine MU’s ceiling this year.
They had already gotten off to a good start on the night when Howard left the game with what the team called “lower back tightness” at the 16:48 mark of the first half. Sam had dropped in his first two shots of the game, and Joey had pulled down MU’s first rebound of the contest. That was the start of a combined 41 points on 14-for-30 shooting along with 16 rebounds, and seven assists. Now, once Howard returns to the lineup, it’ll be a rare day when the Hausers combine for that kind of performance. The important thing to remember is that they’re capable of impacting a game like this, and hopefully the existence of this game tape will alter how teams decide to defend the Golden Eagles going forward.
#2 - I’m not sure this game was as close as the final score indicates.
Yes, at the end of the day, the game came down to a turnaround J by Sam Hauser with 66 seconds left, a split pair of freebies by Mac McClung, a missed layup by Sacar Anim, a block by Sacar Anim, a block by Theo John, and two “You wanna go home? Let’s go home” Markus Howard tribute free throws by Sam. It took some big plays on both ends in the waning moments of the game for Marquette to figure out this win, but let’s dial everything back for a moment.
Georgetown led 40-37 at the half as Marquette, both players and coaches, figured out what the hell they were supposed to be doing on the fly without Markus Howard in the lineup. Quite honestly, that’s a pretty good 16+ minutes of hoops. At halftime, head coach Steve Wojciechowski got a chance to talk to his team in the relative quiet of the locker room and lay out the plan for the second half. It’s safe to say at that point everyone knew that Howard would not return to the game. After seeing what was and was not working without Howard, the team coalesced around a definitive way forward for the final 20 minutes of the game.
Marquette outscored Georgetown 37-30 after the break.
Sure, Marquette shot the ball a little worse after halftime, but there’s not really all that much difference between 48% and 46%, and one three pointer that did go down in the first half (4-for-10) didn’t in the second (3-for-10). If you prefer effective field goal percentage, it was 55.2% vs 51.8%. Whatever, that’s life. On the other end, though? Marquette gave Georgetown the business. After the Hoyas shot 52% in the first 20 minutes including 6-for-10 from the arc, the Golden Eagles cut them down to just 32% in the second half, and “only” allowed them to hit half their three-point attempts. Again, for the eFG% heads out there: 63% vs 40%. That’s electrifying defense after a massive struggle on that end of the court in the first half. Tip of the cap all around to everyone who contributed something, whether it was a play on the court or an idea of how to handle the Hoyas.
#3 - Someone needs to stick a quarter in Joseph Chartouny, and they need to do it now.
With Markus Howard out of the lineup for the night, you would have expected that this meant it was an opportunity for graduate transfer Joseph Chartouny to shine in the point guard role.
That did not happen.
Chartouny did sub in immediately to take Howard’s place on the court when he left, but the Fordham Rams grad finished with just 11 minutes played, one missed three-pointer, two assists, a turnover, and two fouls to his name. After closing out November with a dominating second half against Presbyterian and KenPom.com MVP honors for the Charleston Southern game, it seemed that Chartouny was starting to find his way in the Marquette lineup. Since then, he’s kind of been all over the place. There’s been a lot of sub-90 offensive ratings for him on KenPom, although he has had scattered games like his outing against St. John’s, where he finished with 11 points, three rebounds, and three assists. While he didn’t come in with a strong rep as a shooter, he is shooting 37% from long range this season, but he hasn’t hit a triple in Marquette’s last four games and has only attempted two. His turnover rate is more than double what it was last year for the Rams, and while I don’t think anyone was expecting him to have the best steal rate in the country like he did as a sophomore, I think it’s safe to say that Chartouny has been a teensy bit of a disappointment on the defensive end of the court.
“Point Guard Sam Hauser” worked for Marquette against Georgetown, as did letting 21 year old freshman Brendan Bailey loose on James Akinjo on defense. Marquette had the pieces to beat the Hoyas, and did so. It worked. Is that same recipe going to work against on Sunday against Providence if Howard isn’t ready to go? The odds probably aren’t in MU’s favor on that one, and it’s almost definitely not a long term solution if Howard has to miss more time than just the remainder of Tuesday night’s road trip. Marquette needs quality performances from Chartouny in Howard’s absence, whether that’s multiple games, or merely just multiple minutes in each game the rest of the way.