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Four Factors: Marquette at Georgetown

Marquette snared a big road win on Monday night. How did they do it?

Evan Habeeb-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: 50.0% (Season: 48.7%, #201)
Georgetown: 44.3% (Season: 46.0%, #67)

Your big shooting heroes for the game: Jake Thomas with a 4-6 behind the arc and John Dawson, who went 2-4 from distance. Special credit can also go to Davante Gardner, who had a 6-11 night from the floor. On the defensive end, Markel Starks and D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera shot a combined 17-35 on the night, including 8-13 on three pointers. Yet somehow, SOMEHOW, Marquette managed to hold the rest of the Georgetown roster to just six made shots, which is where the slightly better than average night came together.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 15.7% (Season: 18.2%, #143)
Georgetown: 15.6% (Season: 19.1%, #130)

If Marquette's not going to be great at shooting the ball, then they can't give the ball away, and they probably need to take it away from their opponent as well. Here, Marquette combined one of their better shooting nights with a good night keeping track of the basketball. Why did it go to overtime? Probably because Marquette couldn't force turnovers like they usually do. And on top of that...

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 34.3% (Season: 34.8%, #78)
Georgetown: 34.2% (Season: 29.4%, #89)

Marquette let Georgetown get to way too many of their misses. Again, with a team that struggles to shoot, Marquette's margins for error in other categories are very small. The Golden Eagles did a good job grabbing their own misses, but if they're not going to force turnovers to end possessions like they normally do, they also can't let their opponent extend their possessions. Georgetown's Mikael Hopkins did the most damage for the Hoyas on both ends with three offensive rebounds and eight grabs on the defensive end.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 42.4% (Season: 41.8%, #153)
Georgetown: 39.3% (Season: 35.3%, #77)

Margins of error, all shrunken down by various issues. In this case, Marquette got a little crazy with the fouls. Just a little. The Golden Eagles have been pretty good all year at not fouling, but that was not the case on Monday night. I continue to be surprised at how (relatively) lousy Marquette has been at drawing fouls this season, given that the most reliable scorers do their best work in close to the rim. Perhaps if Steve Taylor can keep doing what he did on Monday night, it will lead to continuing this positive trend in getting to the line.