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Four Factors: Marquette vs DePaul

Look, we all know that the first seven minutes sucked. Let's see what was actually good about MU's first Big East win of the season.

Sandi Marcius looks like he has no idea what to do with Davante Gardner. Marcius fouled out of the game in just 11 minutes.
Sandi Marcius looks like he has no idea what to do with Davante Gardner. Marcius fouled out of the game in just 11 minutes.
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: 55.1% (Season: 49.2%, #181)
DePaul: 47.4% (Season: 45.2%, #54)

Well, when you go down 14-3, you're left with no other choice than to get the best shot you can for the remaining 33 minutes of the game. This eFG% is comprised mostly of good two point shots, specifically the 9-14 effort from Davante Gardner. Marquette only took eight three pointers in the game, making three of them. They know they're not good as a team at shooting from distance, but when it's not relied on, it can be an effective weapon. On the defensive side, yes, the eFG% is a little high. But when you consider that the Blue Demons shot 10-23 (65.2% eFG%) behind the arc, it's a borderline amazing defensive effort. Although, how Cleveland Melvin, a 49% three point shooter and clearly the #1 guy on the scouting report, was allowed to shoot five threes in the first half, including three in a 70 second span, I'll never know

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 28.0% (Season, 18.7%, #178)
DePaul: 25.4% (Season: 20.2%, #78)

That is an ugly game of basketball. Marquette committed 17 turnovers in the game. DePaul had five steals. That's a LOT of unforced errors, and if it weren't for DePaul committing 10 of their 16 turnovers in the second half, this game would have likely turned into a loss for the Golden Eagles. Of the 16 fouls that MU committed in the game (and we'll get to how great that is later here), four of them, or 25% of them, were offensive fouls that go into the box score as turnovers. Wipe out those and that TO% falls to just 19.8%, right in line with the season long mark. Unfortunately, that still means they're turning the ball over way too much, relative to the rest of the country.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 41.7% (Season: 37.1%, #41)
DePaul: 35.3% (Season: 29.7%, #102)

YOU get an offensive rebound! YOU get an offensive rebound! EVERYONE GETS AN OFFENSIVE REBOUND! This actually isn't surprising. DePaul is a good offensive rebounding team, just nine slots behind Marquette on their end. The Blue Demons spread their efforts around the team, while Marquette got three offensive boards each from Davante Gardner, Chris Otule, and Jamil Wilson. Going forward, Marquette can't afford to let their opponents get to their misses if they're going to have a problem holding on to the ball as well. Extended possessions are almost as bad as extra possessions.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 79.5% (Season: 44.2%, #111)
DePaul: 7.0% (Season: 31.8%, #39)

As usual, Marquette avoided fouls in this game, at least when an opponent was in the act of shooting. As for DePaul, they were foul happy. The Blue Demons committed TWENTY-EIGHT fouls in the game. The four stupidest fouls of the game were their last four fouls. DePaul committed fouls in the following scenarios:

  • down eight with 1:10 left to play
  • down nine with 37 seconds left to play
  • down 10 with 14 seconds left to play
  • down 10 with 5 seconds left to play

Exactly what was Oliver Purnell and his team attempting to accomplish here? Maybe I can understand the first one, especially since they fouled Derrick Wilson, he of the 53% free throw percentage on the season. But they fouled three more times after that, with the lead just getting wider every time. Special derision should be set aside for Charles McKinney, who committed the final foul, his only misdeed of the game. Apparently McKinney REALLY wanted to get a big pointless tomahawk dunk in the game, and his foul accorded him the ability to do so, although he almost ran out of time to get it in. What a complete clown act by the entire DePaul team.