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Marquette Basketball Four Factors: vs Tennessee

A very strong effort from the Golden Eagles to come away from the Orlando Classic with a winning record.

Duane Wilson had one heck of a game against Tennessee.
Duane Wilson had one heck of a game against Tennessee.
Maggie Bean/

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.  The first is Marquette's season long average in that category, and the second is their national ranking on

Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)

Marquette: 60.5% (Season: 51.6%, #94)
Tennessee: 45.8% (Season: 55.8%, #318)

YESSSSSSSS.  It's asking way too much to see that 60 on the offensive end on a regular basis, but Marquette managed to combine a great shooting night with a great defensive shooting night, too.  The Golden Eagles did their damage on both numbers in the second half.  They held Tennessee to just 1-15 shooting behind the arc, while Duane Wilson went NBA Jam ON FIRE mode.  The redshirt freshman from Milwaukee hit on four of his six three point attempts in the second half, which nicely balanced out his 1-4 effort inside the arc.  Shout out to Derrick Wilson for hitting all four of his shots, including the lone three pointer that he attempted.

Word of warning, though: Tennessee had an eFG% of 56.5% in the first half, although a lot of that was due to hitting four of their first five shots.  They went 8-18 the rest of the way, which still isn't great.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 15.5% (Season: 17.2%, #57)
Tennessee: 25.0% (Season: 25.8%, #15)

Handshakes and high fives all around here.  Well, almost all around.  Juan Anderson (4) and Duane Wilson (3) combined for seven of Marquette's nine turnovers.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the court, the defense harassed Josh Richardson into committing five turnovers, four of which were in the first half.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 19.2% (Season: 29.6%, #213)
Tennessee: 51.4% (Season: 40.5%, #331)

This is really bad.  It just is.  The fact that Marquette won this game as easily as they did is a testament to how thoroughly they dominated the first two Factors.  OR% is the third most important of the four, and because MU had the easy upper hand in eFG% and TO%, it didn't matter that they did almost nothing to help themselves out on the glass.  Armani Moore did most of the damage to Marquette, snaring eight offensive grabs and five more on the defensive side.  The 6'5" junior had those 13 rebounds plus 18 points to lead the way for the Vols.  Juan Anderson had three ORebs for the Golden Eagles, and Steve Taylor had a solo carom.  Thus ends the list of MU players with offensive rebounds.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 53.5% (Season: 44.4%, #73)
Tennessee: 10.0% (Season: 30.6%, #77)

As bad as the OR% category was for Marquette, this was the exact opposite.  MU allowed Tennesse to shoot just six free throws the entire game, with five of them coming in the first half.  While Marquette was working on preserving their lead in the second half, they made the Vols work for every point that they could get while the clock was running.  There were a flurry of MU freebies late in the game, but it wasn't a situation where the FTR is artificially inflated.  Using Bill James' theory of a safe lead, Marquette's lead wasn't safe until Duane Wilson popped in two from the charity stripe with 35 seconds left.  Why UT fouled again after that point because they were down 10, we'll never know.  I mean, we could ask Donnie Tyndall, but he's probably not going to give us a straight answer.