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: 51.8% (Season: 49.4%, #175)
New Mexico: 51.8% (Season: 44.6%, #35)
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to what we like to call "a wasted opportunity." Marquette has one of their best shooting performances of the season, and it's thrown completely out the door by allowing one of the worst defensive performances of the year. MU's stellar shooting overall (and particularly a 4-7 behind the arc night from Jake Thomas) is made even more impressive by the fact that they went crazy on the three-ball, shooting more three point attempts against New Mexico (19) than they did against Ball State and IUPUI combined (18). In fairness, six of those attempts game in the last 71 seconds when the Golden Eagles were trying to wipe away a 68-62 New Mexico lead, and, if you ignore Cullen Neal turning into a white hot greasefire of pure entertainment (6-8 3pt), New Mexico's eFG% falls all the way down to 40.7%. Seriously.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 17.0% (Season: 17.5%, #120)
New Mexico: 18.1% (Season: 19.3%, #125)
These are all right about on the season marks for Marquette, so I'm not going to spend more of your time talking about this.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 28.6% (Season: 38.0%, #32)
New Mexico: 37.5% (Season: 29.5%, #91)
ARGH. Rebounding has been a strength for Marquette this season, but not so much here. Cameron Bairstow and Deshawn Delaney are the two key culprits here, as they both ended up with three offensive rebounds and seven defensive rebounds. It's frustrating enough to see things like "Marquette wasted a seven point halftime lead," but it's even more disturbing to be able to point out the specific failings like this.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 24.6% (Season: 41.8%, #154)
New Mexico: 43.6% (Season: 36.0%, #92)
This one is slightly skewed by Marquette bombing away from three in the last 75 seconds and fouling New Mexico in an effort to get the ball back. But Marquette is a lousy free throw shooting team this year (65.9%), so they have to make up for that through sheer volume. 14 free throws for the game isn't going to get it done, especially when allowing New Mexico to shoot the exact same number before MU started fouling.