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The Four Factors: Marquette vs Cal State Fullerton

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

If you're not familiar with the Four Factors as featured on, 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

Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)

Marquette: 61.5% (Season: 45.6%, #274)
CS-Fullerton: 54.0% (Season: 46.3%, #86)

We're going to have to mark down the eFG% for this one as an outlier. The chances of seeing both Jamil Wilson and Jajuan Johnson going 3-3 behind the arc in the same game is probably roughly zero. Still, it's good to see both guys get some confidence in their shot, as any three point shooting threat at all is going to open this offense right up. The defensive number is largely buoyed by CSF shooting 7-11 from behind the arc in the first half, but there is a troubling trend of teams being able to hit shots early against Marquette.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 19.4% (Season: 16.9%, #98)
CS-Fullerton: 22.0% (Season: 20.5%, #74)

Slightly too many turnovers by Marquette here. But five of Marquette's 13 turnovers in the game came in the last 10 minutes when they were already up 24 and Buzz Williams was letting his freshmen get some run and - surprise - make some mistakes. Any time you're forcing more turnovers than usual is great, so the 1.5 point improvement there is just fine by me.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 50% (Season: 38.4%, #46)
CS-Fullerton: 16.7% (Season: 27.1%, #51)

This is all awesome and I have nothing to say here, other than CSF's main rotation guys don't get taller than 6'7", which kind of explains how Jamil Wilson and Davante Gardner both had nine rebounds in the game.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 27.9% (Season: 49.6%, #71)
CS-Fullerton: 34.0% (Season: 33.4%, #63)

Marquette's FTR is still being inflated by the 147% rate from the opener against Southern, so while the number looks bad right now, it might not be as bad when compared to the end of season FTR. Less than 30% is still not great, though. CSF's number is within margin of error on MU's defensive FTR for the season, so not much to say there.