Four Factors: Marquette vs Georgetown

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Let's take a wind through some stats as we get ready for this afternoon's tangle with Villanova.

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: 50% (Season: 48.8%, #209)
Georgetown: 45.1% (Season: 48.6%, #126)

It's been a long time since that defensive number started with something lower than a 5. You have to go back to the 48% that Butler assembled on February 4th to find it, in fact. Things did not start out well on the defensive end for Marquette. Georgetown's eFG% was up over 80% midway through the first half, and even by halftime, it had only quieted down to 62%. Something Marquette was doing in the second half was right, as Georgetown ended up shooting just 7-26 from the field, including 1-10 from distance. As you can guess, Jake Thomas was the reason that Marquette had a better than average day shooting the ball, as he went 6-9 from behind the arc. What you might not realize is that the rest of the Marquette squad had just two three point attempts: one each by John Dawson and Jamil Wilson.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 10.7% (Season: 17.2%, #90)
Georgetown: 15.1% (Season: 19.6%, #94)

You can afford to not force as many turnovers as you usually do when you're taking such excellent care of the ball. Marquette nearly escaped the entire first half without a turnover, as they didn't turn it over until the 2:07 mark. MU did get a little more sloppy with the ball in the second half, turning it over five times, but their second half TO% - 14.3% - is still better than the season average, so you can't really complain about it. Marquette made what few turnovers they got out of the Hoyas count, as both Markel Starks and D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera both had three giveaways.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 29.4% (Season: 34.5%, #73)
Georgetown: 29.0% (Season: 30.3%, #123)

Here's what I don't get: with Mikael Hopkins, Nate Lubick, Moses Ayegba, and Bradley Hayes combining for 18 fouls in 53 of the 200 minutes in this game, why didn't Marquette do a better job at rebounding the ball? They held Georgetown to slightly under the defensive average for the season, but MU isn't even in the top one-third in the country in that category. Meanwhile, MU has rebounded the ball very well on the offensive end this season, but the Golden Eagles went well under their season long OR%. Jamil Wilson and Davante Gardner both had three grabs on the offensive end, and special notice should be given to Juan Anderson for grabbing two of his seven rebounds on the offensive end in just 19 minutes of action.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 65.4% (Season: 45.2%, #67)
Georgetown: 58.8% (Season: 37.8%, #119)

Both numbers were way over Marquette's season averages, so I don't know if we can really take anything away from that other than Ed Corbett, Jamie Luckie, and Michael Stephens like how their whistles sound. I think it's worth noting that the two teams combined to shoot 22 free throws in the first half and then they each shot 21 in the second half. That number isn't elevated by Georgetown intentionally fouling to extend the game, as the Hoyas only needed to do so on one occasion. I ask you this: Does that sound like an evenly refereed game from start to finish to you?

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