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This Game Sucked: Four Factors And Some Awards

We couldn't decide what to do about Saturday's win against DePaul.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Spor

I mean, do YOU really want to try to spend 300-500 words talking about the ins and outs of whatever the hell that first half was, much less whatever the hell that second half was, or even how that game inexplicably went to overtime?

We didn't.

I tried, Rubie Q tried, Warrior Brad tried, Mr. Kensington tried, MrsB tried. No one had anything printable to say about the game.

So we're going to look at the Four Factors, hand out some awards, make fun of Oliver Purnell, and then get ready for tonight's contest with Georgetown. Luckily, tradition dictates that playing Georgetown involves scotch, so we've got that going for us, which is nice.

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 labelled "Season." The first number is Marquette's either offensive or defensive totals for the year, the second is Marquette's national rankings in those statistics. Both season long numbers are provided by

Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)

Marquette: 56.7% (Season: 48.8%, #212)
DePaul: 57.1% (Season: 48.7%, #130)

We already discussed Marquette's defensive lapses over the last month or so in depth earlier in the week, so there's no reason to harp about it further. The good news is that Marquette did shoot the ball very well against the Blue Demons. The bad news is that MU shot 4-12 behind the arc with Jake Thomas and John Dawson combining for all of the makes. Bleh.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 16.1% (Season: 17.4%, #107)
DePaul: 16.6% (Season: 19.7%, #85)

DePaul taking care of the ball better in the second half nearly cost Marquette the game. They booted it away 20% of the time in the first 20 minutes, but after intermission, the TO% went down to 11.4%. In fact, the two teams essentially just switched TO% at halftime. The really terrible thing is that DePaul usually turns the ball over more than Marquette usually forces, so for DePaul to do a better job is kind of troubling. This is made even worse when Marquette has been surviving by forcing turnovers while allowing opponents to shoot the ball extremely well.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 29.7% (Season: 34.7%, #70)
DePaul: 34.2% (Season: 30.4%, #124)

How did Marquette win this game? No, seriously, how did this happen? DePaul shot the ball better, turnovers were essentially a wash, and DePaul ran wild relative to Marquette's usual stats on the rebounding front. This sucks.

Chris Otule was a force for Marquette, grabbing four misses, with Davante Gardner chipping in three. Four different Blue Demons grabbed more than one offensive rebound, with Tommy Hamilton leading the way with three.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 65.0% (Season: 44.5%, #76)
DePaul: 50.8% (Season: 37.0%, #97)

Oh, so THIS is how Marquette won. MU shot nine free throws in overtime alone, compared to just five for DePaul. Both teams racked up their free throws in the second half, with the Golden Eagles getting 16 attempts and the Blue Demons shooting 17 freebies. While it's great to see Marquette get so many free throws, it's rather uncharacteristic of MU to allow their opponent to get to the line so much. Todd Mayo and Davante Gardner did the most damage with 10 and 12 attempts respectively.

Jae Crowder Player of the Game: While Jamil Wilson had a line of 18/9/2, and he's absolutely deserving of this award, I'm going to give it to Davante Gardner. A team high 22 points, five rebounds with three on the offensive glass, one assist, one block. That's the stat reason, but the eyeball reason is for his VERY important and-1 in overtime that flipped the game from DePaul by one to Marquette by two, and he followed that up on Marquette's next possession by draining two free throws. This is where you all yell at me for giving him this award even though he did whatever it was that he did before overtime ended.

Joe Fulce Undersung Eagle of the Game: This one has to go to John Dawson. After two straight DNP-CD's, Dawson was pressed into service because Derrick Wilson picked up two fouls in the first seven minutes of the game. He played nearly the entire rest of the half, scoring five points on 2-3 shooting including one of Marquette's four made three pointers of the game, grabbed a rebound, dished an assist to Jake Thomas for a three pointer, and didn't turn the ball over. He also didn't play at all in the second half, but Dawson deserves this one for the first half effort alone.

Davante "Big Smooth" Gardner Smooth Play of the Game: Usually we take this seriously. Not today. Not when Oliver Purnell wears Marquette's uniform colors on a day when DePaul is honoring alumni at halftime and hosting alumni watching parties all across the country.

Now there is a dude openly trying to get fired.