Four Factors: Marquette at Villanova

Mitchell Leff

Really, the first half was pretty good. A lousy second half is largely responsible for a lot of terrible final statistics here.

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: 44.4% (Season: 48.7%, #211)
Villanova: 54.7% (Season: 48.8%, #133)

Armed with the knowledge that Darrun Hilliard, Ryan Arcidiacono, and James Bell were solely responsible for defeating Marquette in overtime in the Bradley Center, Marquette succeeded in two-thirds of solving that problem on Sunday afternoon. Arcidiacono was hampered by foul trouble and only ended up with eight points. James Bell was taken completely out of the game as he missed all five shots that he took both from the field and from the free throw line, finishing with zero points. Hilliard scored a career high 26 points on 7-11 shooting after "only" recording 20 in Milwaukee. Honestly now.

The worst part about this is that Marquette's defense in the first half was actually pretty great, as they held Villanova to an eFG% of 47%.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 23.5% (Season: 17.4%, #104)
Villanova: 20.5% (Season: 19.6%, #87)

Marquette did an outstanding job clamping down on Villanova in the second half, forcing Villanova to end 30% of their possessions in a turnover. The downside is that they were already down 11 when the second half started and the Wildcats were on fire when they managed to get shots off, so all of the second half turnovers didn't really matter. doing the most damage to the normally reliable Marquette offense was Todd "I don't have it today" Mayo, who committed four turnovers, two in each half.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 25.0% (Season: 34.2%, #87)
Villanova: 25.7% (Season: 30.2%, #114)

No one did a good job tracking down their misses in this game, so I guess that's something. Marquette was particularly good at limiting Villanova in the first half, as the Wildcats only got to 22.7% of their misses. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles only got to 13.3% of their own misses before intermission, so they weren't really doing themselves any favors while doing a solid job on VU. The second half saw both numbers go back to essentially the season averages for Marquette, so you can't really fault the effort there, other than Villanova wasn't missing a whole lot of shots in the second half.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 55.6% (Season: 45.5%, #66)
Villanova: 41.5% (Season: 37.9%, #117)

As was the case against Georgetown, both of these numbers are significantly elevated from the season long averages. Yet again, I can't really pin this on effort by either team, but instead send a glare in the direction of Tony Chiazza, Karl Hess, and Roger Ayers for creating 29 combined free throws in the second half while Villanova was running away with the game after only creating 18 combined free throws in the first half.

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