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. The first is Marquette's season long average in that category, and the second is their national ranking on KenPom.com.
Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)
Marquette: 52.1% (Season: 50.5%, #103)
Georgia Tech: 50.0% (Season: 55.4%, #307)
Here's how completely dependent on Matt Carlino the Golden Eagles were in this game: By himself, Carlino had an eFG% of 67%. The rest of the team combined to shoot 43%. Look, when a guy's hot, throw as many logs on that fire as you can get. But other guys have to help out, too. Carlino hit his last three pointer with just over seven minutes left and it gave Marquette a seven point lead. They would never trail, or even let Georgia Tech tie the game, but that final got way, way too close.
At this point, I have to take 50% on defense as a pleasant thing and just move on. While I tend to agree with Bomani Jones that zone is for cowards, until either A) Marquette figures out how to do what Wojo wants them to do on defense or B) Luke Fischer is eligible and turns out to be the world's greatest help defender, we're just going to have to stick with this zone defense to stop the turnstile effect that seems to be happening otherwise. Of course, it helps that Quinton Stephens decided that he was going to return to earth on his three point shooting. He came in shooting 8-14 behind the arc on the season and left shooting 9-21.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 19.6% (Season: 17.3%, #70)
Georgia Tech: 23.8% (Season: 26.1%, #21)
A little worse than normal on both ends of the ball, but Marquette was already one of the best teams in the country at both acquiring and protecting the ball, so that's nothing to worry about. I will say that Juan Anderson and Duane Wilson probably need to not turn the ball over three times apiece in a game where Marquette is struggling to put the ball in the net, though, and we'll just move on.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 27.3% (Season: 30.2%, #195)
Georgia Tech: 45.9% (Season: 40.6%, #328)
Gross. MU dug themselves into a hole on both ends of the court in the first half on this one, and only kind of dug their way out on their own misses in the second half. No one had more than two grabs for Marquette, while Charles Mitchell had five offensive rebounds for Georgia Tech all by himself. On the flip side, that's an *average* game for Mitchell this season, as he has 20 in four games.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 68.1% (Season: 45.5%, #74)
Georgia Tech: 17.5% (Season: 33.7%, #117)
Ok, first the obvious: that 68% is inflated by the 150% FTR for the second half because MU shot 10 free throws in the final minute. With that said, MU's rate for the other 39 minutes was 47%, and that's pretty great. On the other side of the court, Marquette's defense was great. The Yellow Jackets shot just 11 free throws for the entire game, split essentially evenly in each half.
Here's a question for Georgia Tech, though: Why are you fouling Matt Carlino? He shot all 16 of his free throws in the second half, but only six of them came in the final minute. Dude has a true shooting percentage of 75% in the first half, so why are you giving him a chance to calmly put the ball through the net with the clock stopped?