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Marquette Basketball Four Factors: vs Creighton

It was an ugly game with a shining moment at the end for Matt Carlino. How did the Golden Eagles go about picking up the win?

Jeff Hanisch-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.  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: 52.3% (Season: 51.8%, #68)
Creighton: 42.7% (Season: 48.5%, #164)

There's a lot to not be excited about from Wednesday night's game against the Bluejays, but the shooting offense and defense don't fall into that category.  Obviously the highlights of the contest were Duane Wilson and Matt Carlino teaming up to connect on 11 of their combined 20 shots, including a 6-11 outing behind the arc.  Tack on 2-3 from long range from Derrick Wilson and Sandy Cohen connecting on his only attempt of the game for a triple, and Marquette comes away from this looking pretty nice in that department.

The defense was pretty great, too.  You'll take 7-26 on threes from your opponent every day of the week, and only Ricky Kreklow finished with a respectable percentage at 2-4.  Creighton fans probably weren't too disappointed with the 2-6 from both Toby Hegner and Isaiah Zierden, but that's 33% and under 50% in eFG% terms, so that's fine by me.

Jajuan Johnson Watch: He shot one three-pointer in the game, which he missed.  Johnson is now shooting 17.5% on three-pointers this season.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 25.1% (Season: 18.3%, #94)
Creighton: 20.1% (Season: 23.1%, #28)

Well, that's no good.  If Marquette had kept their defensive end up to their normal standards, you could probably excuse the massive divergence from the norm on offense.  But Creighton doesn't force turnovers all that much (#231 in the country in defensive TO%), so having a bad night keeping track of the ball is really a bad look.  The only real good news to take from this is that 20% is actually a worse night than normal for Creighton at hanging on to the ball, so at least MU can hang their hat on that.

Both teams had their problems with turnovers in the second half, where they combined to boot it around 18 times.  Marquette had the worst of it after intermission, where they were handing it over to Creighton on every third possession on average.  No one player was particularly egregious, but Marquette had three guys cough it up two times each, including the usually sure handed Derrick Wilson.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 14.8% (Season: 29.4%, #230)
Creighton: 29.7% (Season: 34.9%, #310)

Defensive rebounding: Better than normal, which is great, because MU's kind of lousy in that department.  Offensive rebounding: total dumpster fire, and MU wasn't great at that to start with.  The complete totals of Marquette's offensive rebounding: one from Steve Taylor in the first half, one from Juan Anderson in each half, one "team" offensive rebound. That's it.  That's the list.

Over on the Creighton side, they did their rebounding by committee.  Three guys had two grabs on the offensive end, while Geoffrey Groselle had a game high three offensive rebounds.  The Jays did a number on Marquette in the second half, grabbing six of their 14 misses.  Luckily for the Golden Eagles, these rebounds led to just two second chance points after intermission.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 27.9% (Season: 39.6%, #120)
Creighton: 14.5% (Season: 28.0%, #27)

Well, at least the game wasn't overly heavy with free throws?  In fact, there were so few fouls in the game that Marquette had committed just four in the second half and the lack of a bonus in the last 10 seconds of the game led Creighton head coach Greg McDermott to expect Marquette to foul to throw the Jays off.  That foul never came, so McDermott never called timeout, so we got the final official shot of the game on a slightly rushed hook in the lane from Will Artino.

The two teams combined to shoot just 20 free throws in the whole game, including absolutely none at all by Marquette and just two by Creighton in the first half. Creighton only ended up shooting eight freebies in the whole game, with all of them coming from either Kreklow, Avery Dingman, or James Milliken.