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. For now, it's still a little early to try to look at season long averages, so we'll compare Marquette's efforts to last season's outputs. Both season long numbers are provided by KenPom.com.
Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)
Marquette: 50.7% (2013-14: 48.7%, #210)
Nebraska-Omaha: 63.4% (2013-14: 49.1%, #141)
As was the case against Ohio State, I'm never going to throw shade at anything that's better than last year, or the last two years for that matter. With that said, 6-27 behind the three-point arc is not good, and even worse as an effective field goal percentage. Your worst offenders here are Sandy Cohen (0-4) and Matt Carlino (2-7), and Duane Wilson's 2-6 wasn't going to make anyone super excited.
On the defensive side, that's straight garbage. Omaha went over Marquette to the tune of 7-17 from the arc and around Marquette as well. The Mavericks had 34 points in the paint and 27 points on fast breaks. Obviously there's some overlap there, but neither stat should make you happy about anything.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 13.8% (2013-14: 17.5%, #115)
Nebraska-Omaha: 24.3% (2013-14: 19.3%, #100)
This is actually pretty great, if you're trying to find the West Bend Silver Lining. MU was pretty good at keeping the ball last season and even better at taking it away, and against UNO, they improved on both marks. High points here: Juan Anderson had three steals and C.J. Carter, when he wasn't scoring two of his 25 points, coughed the ball up seven times. Is it possible to defend one player well and poorly at the same time? Because I've got a test case for you.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 31.0% (2013-14: 34.1%, #79)
Nebraska-Omaha: 50.0% (2013-14: 29.6%, #94)
Because of Marquette's size issues, that's a pretty great offensive rebounding number. Anything over 30% should be considered a victory this season. Unfortunately, when the Mavericks were missing, it was a coin toss as to whether they'd get the ball back. The two teams ended up even on second chance points at 14 apiece, so ultimately this didn't completely burn MU. Juan Anderson was a hero on the offensive glass for the Golden Eagles, snagging six of his eight rebounds in the game on that end. Steve Taylor, Jr., was pretty good, too, snaring three misses for the sum total of his rebounding in the game.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 32.4% (2013-14: 44.8%, #62)
Nebraska-Omaha: 53.6% (2013-14: 38.7%, #144)
Ok, first off: If you knock out the eight free throws that the Mavericks shot in the final minute as Marquette clung to a mathematical possibility of winning the game, their FTR drops to just 39.3%. While not great, or even good, below 40% on defense qualifies as "acceptable." Of course, because they were getting their pants kicked off while UNO was shooting the ball and grabbing their misses, Marquette had to foul to grasp at hope, and thus an atrocious FTR. That's going to happen pretty much every time you find yourself in a "foul to extend the game" situation.
The offensive end was no good, either, as MU only shot 23 freebies in this one. They hit on 74% of them, including a ridiculous display of physics by Derrick Wilson, where the ball made at least two full revolutions spinning around the rim before gravity finally took hold and pulled it through the net.