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Is it too early to panic about Chartouny?

Yes.

But when you have two debuts as inauspicious as Joseph Chartouny’s, these types of questions will invariably come up. And they aren’t unfounded either.

Chartouny checked into the game at the 15:27 mark of the first half against Bethune Cookman and proceeded to turn it over on 3 consecutive possessions before being pulled at the 13:31 mark.

But as bad as those turnovers were, there is one commonality in them. They all occur in transition. While recording any type of turnover is “bad” in and of itself, transition turnovers tend to stand out a bit more because they are usually opportunities for easier baskets than in the half court.

In fact, the one saving grace here is that all 3 of those turnovers were completely unforced. It wasn’t that Chartouny couldn’t handle the pressure being applied or didn’t have the athleticism to compete at this level. His brain was simply outpacing his body.

Not to say that in defense of Chartouny. These kinds of lapses are brutal in isolation, and simply intolerable on 3 straight possessions. Sure enough, he spent the next 9 minutes on the bench and Marquette stretched the lead from 4 to 11 points in his absence.

One terrible stretch of play isn’t what has the Marquette fanbase on edge about the PG spot behind Markus Howard, though. Simply put, Joseph’s performance outside of those two minutes on Saturday have also been subpar.

He has yet to make a field goal and has more turnovers (5) than assists (3). He is 0-4 on catch and shoot jumpers, 2 of them guarded and 2 of them completely alone. His ORtg against Bethune Cookman was the 6th worst of his career. He is in the 3rd% nationally in terms of PPP.  Needless to say, he has provided negative value through the first week of the season.

But that was never going to be his role here. Chartouny was brought to Marquette to bolster an horrific defense and give Markus some breathing room to play off the ball for stretches of time each half. And while the second part has been a resounding failure, the defensive portion has already started to pay dividends.

It’s very early so small sample sizes skew any real analysis, but through two games, Chartouny’s defense has put him in the 87% of all college players, allowing only 5 points on 11 possessions for a PPP of .455. He hasn’t yet been the disruptor he has been his whole career, tallying only 1 steal so far, but his length and positioning have been a welcome asset.

Still, seeing this limited sample and the dearth of production, as well as the overall sloppiness to date, it doesn’t feel too early to question whether Chartouny will underperform the expectations set upon him by the team, fans and media this season.

That’s where historical precedent helps us put things into perspective. Marquette fans have enough experience with grad transfers over the past 6 years where you’d think a slow start on the offensive side of the court would be nothing new or alarming.

Katin Reinhardt shot 10-39 from 3 in Marquette’s first 9 games and put up an ORtg of 25 against Michigan in the team’s 3rd game.

Matt Carlino scored 1 point against NJIT, puting up an ORtg of 39 in 22 minutes as Marquette barely held on to beat NJIT, a game after losing to Nebraska-Omaha.

Trent Lockett went 13 straight games from Nov. to Jan. without scoring in double figures, putting up some whopper ORtgs of 44 and 66 in the process.

Katin played a large role in defeating No. 1 Villanova and was 4th on the team in minutes down the stretch. Matt finished second on the team in minutes and consisted of most of the offense that year. Trent finished 3rd on the team in minutes and was the bedrock of a defense that made the Elite 8 for the first time since 2003.

In every single case, I can find you Tweets and threads writing each player off, only for them to prove how integral they were to the team’s success over the course of the season.

For whatever reason, grad transfers have a difficult time integrating with Marquette. We see it every 2 years. So before you start penciling in Greg Elliott for Chartouny’s minutes come Big East time, let history be your guide. That’s not to say that he hasn’t been bad or that he will necessarily be better. He very well may prove an exception to the rule.

But until we have more data points from which to assess, patience is the only answer.

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