MU’s Char­touny ex­pe­ri­ences rad­i­cal change of venues

Guard has moved on from small arena to Fis­erv Fo­rum

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Sports - Ben Steele

Joseph Char­touny’s col­lege bas­ket­ball ex­pe­ri­ence has changed dra­mat­i­cally since trans­fer­ring to Mar­quette for his fi­nal sea­son of el­i­gi­bil­ity.

In his three years at Ford­ham, Char­touny played home games at Rose Hill Gym­na­sium on the school’s Bronx cam­pus in New York.

The 3,200-seat barn was built in 1925 and is one of the old­est venues in col­lege hoops. Kareem Ab­dul-Jab­bar, then a teenager named Lew

Al­cin­dor, played his fi­nal high school game in 1966 at Rose Hill.

“First cou­ple games you play (at Rose Hill), you’re like ‘Oh, this is pretty cool – this old gym,’ ” Char­touny said. “But af­ter three years you’re just like it’s just an­other (gym). It’s very small.”

The his­toric gym has de­trac­tors who think it hin­ders the Rams in re­cruit­ing. For­mer Green Bay Pack­ers coach Vince Lom­bardi, a Ford­ham grad­u­ate, was try­ing to raise money for a new build­ing be­fore he died in 1970. But the games have con­tin­ued at Rose Hill.

“It re­ally looks like a high school gym more than any­thing else,” Char­touny said.

Now the point guard is play­ing in the state-of-the-art, 17,500-seat Fis­erv Fo­rum. The Golden Ea­gles play their sec­ond game in their new home against Bethune-Cook­man at 3 p.m. Satur­day.

“To see what I was play­ing at at Ford­ham and now com­ing here, I’m not tak­ing any­thing for granted,” said Char­touny, who is get­ting a one-year MBA at MU. “I’m just try­ing to en­joy as much as pos­si­ble that ex­pe­ri­ence, be­cause I know ev­ery team doesn’t have the chance to play in those big are­nas. So I’m just re­ally grate­ful.”

The Mon­treal na­tive vis­ited Mil­wau­kee in April be­fore mak­ing the de­ci­sion to trans­fer to MU. He took a tour of Fis­erv Fo­rum be­fore it was fully com­pleted and was suit­ably awed.

But bas­ket­ball is re­ally what drew him to the Golden Ea­gles and fit­ting in with his new team is a work in progress.

Char­touny came off the bench in the opener against Mary­land-Bal­ti­more County and had two points, two as­sists and five re­bounds in just over 16 min­utes.

“I’m still try­ing to fig­ure out my role,” he said. “I know what I have to do to get my­self go­ing, to help the team win.

“Haven’t done as good a job as I would have liked to, but it’s a process. And re­ally con­fi­dent that I’m go­ing to get there. I’m not re­ally wor­ried about that.”

Char­touny is a pass-first point guard who also racked up 2.9 steals per game at Ford­ham.

“He’s good de­fen­sively,” MU head coach Steve Wo­j­ciechowski said. “He’s not a great ath­lete. You don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to be a great ath­lete to be a re­ally good de­fender.

“I think he’s got good con­cen­tra­tion and fo­cus. He’s got long arms. He un­der­stands how to play an­gles, and he’s just got a knack for de­fense.”

Char­touny’s Ford­ham teams played de­lib­er­ately, run­ning set plays on ev­ery pos­ses­sion. He is get­ting used to play­ing in MU’s fast-paced, flow­ing of­fense and with speedy team­mates like Markus Howard, Sacar Anim and Ja­mal Cain.

“I wouldn’t say we have clicked yet,” Char­touny said. “But at some point they will un­der­stand that if they run, I’m go­ing to pass it to them and we’ll score most of the time.

“We’re start­ing to get there. It’s only the first game. We have a lot of games com­ing.”

The up­com­ing sched­ule in­cludes matchups with tra­di­tion-rich bas­ket­ball schools like In­di­ana and Kansas.

“Just play­ing all those great teams, I didn’t have that chance at Ford­ham,” Char­touny said. “So now I’m just tak­ing it day by day.

“But ob­vi­ously I’m very happy to play those teams be­cause in a cou­ple years I’m go­ing to look back and say I had a chance to play that team, that team, that team. So I’m just en­joy­ing it. En­joy­ing the process. It’s been fun so far.”

DAVE KALL­MANN / MIL­WAU­KEE JOUR­NAL SEN­TINEL

Mar­quette grad­u­ate trans­fer guard Joseph Char­touny played at Ford­ham for three years.

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