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Marquette Basketball Four Factors: at Xavier

Oh, this is going to get ugly. If you want to take breaks in the middle, I understand.

Frank Victores-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: 50.0% (Season: 51.7%, #64)
Xavier: 55.1% (Season: 48.9%, #176)

SIGH.  After the Musketeers posted a 42% eFG% in the first half, it seemed pretty likely that they were going to bounce back a little bit towards 50% in the second half.  I didn't expect them to shoot 68%.  Remy Abell and Myles Davis combined to shoot 7-10 (105% eFG%) behind the arc after intermission to nearly single (double?) handedly choke the life out of Marquette.

Matt Carlino did his damnedest to keep Marquette in the game, hitting on four of six long range attempts in the game and six of nine overall in the game.  Carlino was the only Golden Eagle to hit more than one three pointer in the game, and only Duane Wilson joined the BYU transfer in hitting one at all.  Overall, Carlino was the only Golden Eagle to hit more than three shots at all in the game.  When he's this hot, you have to feed him, but still, someone else has to get involved.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 28.3% (Season: 18.9%, #133)
Xavier: 26.4% (Season: 23.2%, #25)

Well, at least both teams were kicking the ball around the gym?  In any case, this is an especially bad performance by the Golden Eagles, because even in the first half (aka "the good half"), Marquette still threw it away on 22% of their possessions.  You just didn't notice because Xavier was booting it away 40% of the time.  In the second half, things didn't exactly reverse, but Marquette got worse from a really bad spot (34%) and Xavier suddenly got very very good at keeping track of the basketball (13%).

Four Golden Eagles had at least three turnovers, capped off by five from Matt Carlino.  It's fascinating how we can get Good Carlino and Bad Carlino in the same game like that.  Xavier's Dee Davis matched Carlino in the turnover department, but he wasn't the key for the Musketeers turnaround after the break.  Both Matt Stainbrook and Trevon Bluiett had three turnovers in the game, but only one of those six came after halftime.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 19.2% (Season: 28.9%, #241)
Xavier: 34.4% (Season: 34.9%, #313)

Oh, this just keeps getting worse.  When will it end?

You can't even be happy that MU held Xavier to right around the average defensive OR% for the season, because Marquette is atrocious at keeping their opponents away from the offensive glass.  Three different XU players had two offensive rebounds, and Bluiett had three to lead the team.  All three offensive grabs by Bluiett were backbreakers.  First, he stuck a putback to get Xavier on the board after Marquette had opened a 7-0 lead to start the game.  Then, with just six minutes left in the 1st half, Bluiett got another putback to cut the lead to six points.  Marquette had been constantly threatening to push the lead to double digits, and for a moment, Bluiett stymied that attack.  Then, finally, he had the last rebound of the game as he snagged his own missed free throw with four seconds left to make sure that nothing insane happened as the Musketeers led by four.

I'd write things about Marquette's offensive rebounds, but the only nice thing to say is that Juan Anderson had two, one in each half.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 48.8% (Season: 40.0%, #111)
Xavier: 28.6% (Season: 28.0%, #26)

YAY SOMETHING POSITIVE!  Not only did Marquette do a great job getting to the line, but they also converted from the line: 17-20, and no one missed more than one free throw, with none of the misses coming in the second half.

Over on the other end of the court, the Golden Eagles were their usual stingy self when it came to handing out trips to the foul line.  Things were a little lopsided in terms of each half, as the XU split was 4 and 10 in each half, but at the end of the day, that's an acceptable result for Wojo's team.