Four Factors: Marquette vs Creighton

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Hoo boy.

If you're not familiar with the Four Factors as featured on KenPom.com, the concept is very simple: There are four main parts of a basketball game that contribute to a team's success. They are:

  • effective field goal percentage, or FG% with a bonus for made three pointers
  • turnover rate, or the % of possessions that end in a turnover
  • offensive rebound rate, or the % of possible offensive rebounds that the team grabbed
  • and free throw rate, or the ratio of free throws attempted to field goals attempted expressed as a percentage

We'll look at the numbers for Marquette and their opponent in both categories for each game. The opponent number doubles as Marquette's defensive numbers, since it's what they're allowing. Along side each of the individual game numbers, you'll see two numbers after that labelled "Season." The first number is Marquette's either offensive or defensive totals for the year, the second is Marquette's national rankings in those statistics. Both season long numbers are provided by KenPom.com.

Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)

Marquette: 48.1% (Season: 48.5%, #224)
Creighton: 75.6% (Season: 48.3%, #118)

And thus continues the trend. Five of Marquette's last seven opponents have compiled an eFG% over 50%. It was a troubling sign when Marquette was winning, and when facing an elite shooting team like Creighton, it turned disastrous. The Bluejays two most obvious shooters, Doug McDermott and Ethan Wragge, were allowed to shoot a combined 8-11 behind the arc. Remember when Marquette cut the lead down to just five points with seven and a half minutes to play? Here's how "good" Marquette's defense was to get them to that point:

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 13.6% (Season: 17.5%, #106)
Creighton: 16.8% (Season: 19.9%, #79)

Marquette did everything they could to help themselves out here, limiting their turnovers to fewer than normal, and doing a pretty good job at popping it free from Creighton. The Jays are excellent at keeping it and terrible at forcing turnovers, so this is pretty much exactly what could have been expected. Todd Mayo had a game high three turnovers, which doesn't even count his ill-timed three pointer just eight seconds after he grabbed a defensive rebound as Marquette trailed by just five points early in the second half.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 30.0% (Season: 34.9%, #66)
Creighton: 5.6% (Season: 30.2%, #112)

The Bluejays had a grand total of one offensive rebound for the entire game, a Jahenns Manigat grab of McDermott's first three point try of the second half. It turned into a McDermott layup just seconds later, so that's pretty much a worst case scenario for Marquette. Given the complete abandonment of the offensive glass by CU, I have to presume that it was a conscious decision by head coach Greg McDermott. The Jays also did a number on Marquette's efforts to track down their own misses, just as they did on New Year's Eve. Chris Otule and Derrick Wilson were the hardest workers for the Golden Eagles, with four and three grabs respectively.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 69.2% (Season: 43.6%, #94)
Creighton: 48.9% (Season: 36.4%, #90)

We already discussed the goofballery surrounding how the fouls in this game were called, so I don't know if there's much to analyze here, other than DON'T FOUL A JUMP SHOOTING TEAM.

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