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Marquette Basketball Four Factors: vs Morgan State

One last Four Factors before the Big East schedule starts on Wednesday afternoon, and it's pretty well loaded with good news. Mostly.

Defense was the name of the game against Morgan State.
Defense was the name of the game against Morgan State.
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: 67.9% (Season: 52.9%, #45)
Morgan State: 36.9% (Season: 49.6%, #204)

SOLD.

Ok, I'll actually talk about this.  MU shot a remarkably great 8-18 behind the arc to fuel their offensive number.  As an added bonus, Luke Fischer hit all six of his shots to raise his shooting mark on the year to 83.9%.  I'll let that sink in for a moment.

Meanwhile, Morgan State went 6-22 behind the arc, including a 2-6 effort from Jamar Redmond and a 2-7 outing from Blake Bozeman, the coach's kid.  Really just a stellar outing on both ends of the court for Marquette.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 14.4% (Season: 17.1%, #40)
Morgan State: 17.8% (Season: 23.7%, #32)

This was also great.  Marquette had just nine turnovers in a 62 possession game and no one had more than two.  As great as it is to hit shots, keeping the ball to get to shoot more is pretty awesome, too.  What makes this more impressive is forcing turnovers is one of the few things that Morgan State actually does well, as they rank 10th in the country in defensive TO%.

The defense wasn't up to its usual outstanding level, but that's fine.  Can't win 'em all.  Marquette did hassle Dontre Pretlow into three turnovers, which is just nice targeting on their part.  Pretlow turns the ball over more than a quarter of MSU's possessions when he's on the floor.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 25.0% (Season: 28.2%, #257)
Morgan State: 37.8% (Season: 35.1%, #295)

Again, the OR% effort stinks, and in this case, it was worse than the average on both ends of the court.  Yes, only having 24 chances at an offensive rebound because they were shooting so well limited Marquette's chances, and yes, MU only had two offensive rebounds in the second half while only having 10 cracks at it.  They had a 20 point lead at the half, so again, perhaps it was a tactical thing.

On the other end, offensive rebounding is a thing that Morgan State does well, and they did it very well here, forcing Marquette into a worse than average defensive OR%.  Four Bears had at least two offensive grabs, with four from Rasean Simpson leading the way.  Marquette did improve on this in the second half (22.2%) after allowing MSU to grab 48.1% of their misses in the first half.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 26.4% (Season: 42.3%, #81)
Morgan State: 9.2% (Season: 27.0%, #24)

Not a lot of free throws in this one, that's for sure.  Cedric Blossom shot all six (SIX!) of Morgan State's free throws, while Juan Anderson led the way for Marquette with five attempts from the line.  Anderson only hit one of his five, so he's largely responsible for MU only shooting 64% from the stripe in the game.  Then again, Marquette won by 28, sooooooo....

I should point this out, to emphasize what Marquette did on defense: they held Morgan State to a borderline hilariously bad shooting night, made them cough it up more than one-sixth of the time, and they did all of that while only committing 10 fouls for the entire game.  Shoutout to Luke Fischer for only having two fouls to drop his fouls per 40 number to 4.4.