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Four Factors: Marquette at Providence

Derrick Wilson's foul didn't cost Marquette this game. Neither did Todd Mayo's two fouls against three point shooters. It's much more simple than that.

Oh, Jake.
Oh, Jake.
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

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: 39.3% (Season: 48.3%, #223)
Providence: 46.8% (Season: 48.7% #129)

So here's the good news: For just the second time in the last six games, Marquette held an opponent under 50% eFG%. Given that it was against Bryce Cotton, one of the most lethal shooters in the conference, I'm counting this as a job nicely done, both from a season long perspective and a recent history perspective. Cotton was just 5-16 for the game, including 2-7 behind the arc. The downside to all of this is that Marquette couldn't throw the ball in the ocean from the deck of the Titanic, and yes, I mean from where it currently sits. Your two biggest offenders here are Jamil Wilson (4-15) and Todd Mayo (7-19), although if you factor in Todd's 4-7 effort behind the arc, he's not doing too badly. Davante Gardner's 4-10 also was not helpful.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 16.3% (Season: 17.3%, #101)
Providence: 16.1% (Season: 19.5%, #98)

If you're not going to hit shots, then you need to give yourself as many chances to end a possession with a shot as possible and end your opponents' possessions without a shot as often as possible. Marquette held up on their offensive end, turning the ball over less frequently than they normally do this season, although MU's usual guard trio - Derrick Wilson, Jake Thomas, and Todd Mayo - combined for eight of Marquette's 13 turnovers. On the defensive end, this was a massive failure. PC turned the ball over even less frequently that Marquette did, albeit just slightly. If you want to try to find some good news, the Golden Eagles did manage to force the normally sure handed Bryce Cotton into committing four turnovers in the game.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 40.4% (Season: 34.5%, #73)
Providence: 19.5% (Season: 29.7%, #99)

Here Marquette did exactly what they had to do in a game when they weren't hitting shots or forcing turnovers. They got to a lot of their misses to get second chances at hitting a shot and they stopped Providence from taking a second crack at it an awful lot. Jamil Wilson and Chris Otule were the major forces, grabbing five and four offensive rebounds each, with Todd Mayo and Davante Gardner chipping in a very respectable three each. Only LaDontae Henton was able to grab more than one for Providence, although he managed five caroms all on his own.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 36.0% (Season: 45.1%, #69)
Providence: 46.8% (Season: 38.2%, #126)

These two stats were decided in the first half and in overtime respectively. Marquette had an FTR of just 14.8% in the first half, which kind of submarined them for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, Providence also struggled to get to the line in the first half (16%), and landed essentially right on MU's usual defensive number in the second half (30.3%). Then overtime started and for who knows whatever reason, Marquette got foul crazy, allowing the Friars to shoot more free throws than field goals and finish with an FTR of 155.6% in the 10 minutes of OT. It wasn't even an issue of fouling Providence to extend the game, although twice in the final 91 seconds of the second overtime period, Marquette fouled Bryce Cotton while the Golden Eagles had a one point lead, including the pair that Cotton drained following Derrick Wilson's overly aggressive foul with just seven seconds remaining. Don't do that, kids.