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Four Factors: Marquette vs Villanova

Ok, let's see what happened here...

Jeff Hanisch-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: 51.6% (Season: 48.8%, #202)
Villanova: 56.3% (Season: 46.6%, #75)

Well, crap. If you're a lousy shooting team that's having a nice day from the field, the one thing you can't do is let your usual solid defense go to crap. Unfortunately, that's exactly what Marquette did. Here's some worse news: Villanova's season long eFG% is 53.5%. Yes, Marquette let them have 1) A good day for Marquette opponents and 2) a good day for the Wildcats themselves. Your most notable offender: Darrun Hilliard, who went 4-8 behind the arc. Here's some good news (I guess): Marquette shot 2-11 behind the three point line, so they did their damage inside the arc. Good shots in close = best way to go with this team.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 12.4% (Season: 17.8%, #124)
Villanova: 10.8% (Season: 18.7%, #158)

YAY LOW TURNOVERS, BOO LOW TAKE AWAYS. So, Villanova had buried more shots than they usually do, and then Marquette let them hold on to the ball way more than Marquette usually allows. This is a bad recipe for winning, even when you're performing better than you usually do. Marquette even managed a strong outing keeping track of the ball with Derrick Wilson, noted excellent ball handler, committing a game high three turnovers.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 35.1% (Season: 34.8%, #73)
Villanova: 37.1% (Season: 29.8%, #98)

ARGH. Yet another above average offensive effort by the Golden Eagles ruined by a terribly worse than average defensive performance. JayVaughn Pinkston and Daniel Ochefu went to town on the offensive glass with five and three rebounds respectively. Pinkston actually did better on the offensive glass (five) than he did on the defensive side (three). Marquette had Davante Gardner countering that with seven offensive rebounds and six on the defensive side, but only three other Golden Eagles even had one defensive rebound. One of those players was Juan Anderson and he only played two minutes!

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 50.0% (Season: 42.2%, #140)
Villanova: 50.0% (Season: 36.1%, #92)

Oh, look, what a surprise, four for four on being terrible on defense. I guess if you want to take an upside to something, before Marquette started fouling late in the game, Villanova's FTR was only 32.8%. However, Marquette doesn't get to overtime without the fouling, so you have to take the bad with the good. Davante Gardner did the most damage for Marquette, getting to the line 14 times in the course of the game.