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Marquette Basketball Four Factors: vs North Dakota

If we were only looking at the second half numbers, this would be a pretty positive article.

The North Dakota game, AKA "The game where Luke Fischer came back down to earth a bit."
The North Dakota game, AKA "The game where Luke Fischer came back down to earth a bit."
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

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: 45.8% (Season: 51.6%, #74)
North Dakota
: 46.2% (Season: 51.0%, #253)

Marquette's lucky to have both of these numbers for the full game.  The Golden Eagles shot 33.3% in the first half while allowing North Dakota to shoot 52%.  Estan Tyler going 3-5 behind the arc explains the defensive number to a large degree, while a 1-6 overall from Duane Wilson, including misses on all three long ball attempts, does the most damage to Marquette's offensive pride.  All told, five Golden Eagles combined to miss 10 of MU's 12 three-point attempts in the first half.

The second half was a different story, as MU only attempted five from long distance.  Derrick Wilson went 4-6 and Matt Carlino went 3-4 to lead the way back to respectability on offense.  On other other side of the court, Tyler continued to go nuts (3-4 behind the arc) and Quinton Hooker did his part to help North Dakota by going 3-4.  Those two guys accounted for 60% of UND's makes, though, and Tyler's three longballs were the only three that NoDak made the entire half.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 18.3% (Season: 17.3%, #47)
North Dakota: 20.2% (Season: 24.2%, #24)

That 18.3% is only within range of the season average because - again - MU saved things in the second half.  At the break, Marquette had already committed eight turnovers on just 33 possessions, which, y'know, is bad.  They only had half as many in the second half, which just goes to prove the value of having the ball in order to score baskets.  Matt Carlino was the biggest transgressor this time around, coughing it up four times overall, but three of them came in the first half.

MU's defense was fairly even on both ends of the game, with seven turnovers in the first half and six more after the break.  Estan Tyler was the focal point yet again, as when he wasn't throwing it in the rim from behind the three-point line, he appeared to be turning it over.  He finished with a game high six turnovers, including four in the first half.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 44.7% (Season: 28.4%, #253)
North Dakota: 19.4% (Season: 34.8%, #285)

WELL THEN.  I'd have to go back and double check, but if this isn't Marquette's best and most complete rebounding effort, I certainly don't remember it.  Juan Anderson and Steve Taylor, Jr., both had four offensive grabs, while Luke Fischer and Derrick Wilson (!) each snagged three.  As was the case with most of these categories, Marquette was better in the second half, but even the first half number - 39.1% - would have been just fine.

On the other side of things, relative to how Marquette's rebounding has been going, it's amazing to see MU hold a team to fewer than one-fifth of their own misses.  Jaron Nash had three of NoDak's seven total offensive rebounds, and no other player in black and green managed more than one.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 40.7% (Season: 43.8%, #60)
North Dakota: 20.8% (Season: 29.0%, #42)

If you've been paying attention to the season rankings numbers in this post, you're starting to get a picture of what kind of things Steve Wojciechowski is emphasizing, at least this season.  Most notably: ball control and foul control.  As you can see in the turnovers section, Marquette's really good at both keeping the ball and taking it away.  On top of that, Marquette's doing an excellent job drawing fouls and also not committing that many.  They were a little under the average at getting to the line against North Dakota, but that's - again - because of a lackluster first half.  Jajuan Johnson did his best to even things out after the break, shooting all six of his free throws in the second half.

In a game where Marquette was struggling a bit to score points, both on run of play shots and at the free throw line (13-24 on freebies), they didn't let North Dakota get chances to keep themselves in it at the line.  UND shot just 11 free throws in the game, split essentially right down the middle in each half.  In fact, only three NoDak players shot free throws in the game, and a majority of their tries came from Terrel De Rouen, who went 3-6 from the charity stripe.